Saturday, October 17, 2009

Allowing an end

Photo by Adam Graham

Just when I think I've made up my mind about this whole thing, something takes over and everything changes. My feelings flip through anger, freedom, calm, nostalgia, happiness, hate and love. It’s like emotional A.D.D. It's really quite frustrating. Can't I just land on one feeling and stick with it? At least for a day? OK fine, at least for a few hours?

I was explaining this to someone one day and they said to me, "Grieving a loss is like peeling an onion."

Now at first this sounds like the sentimental bullshit people toss around like, "Time heals all wounds" and "The heart was made to be broken." But when my mind drifted to images of peeling away shiny white onion skins and tossing away layer after layer -- it started to resonate with me and I wondered, is that what grief is? Peeling away layers?

Well the next day, something really strange happened in Pilate's class. As we methodically moved and breathed and balanced, my teacher kept repeating that we were allowing a space within ourselves to be at peace and to allow calm and quiet.

I thought about that word.... allow.

This struck a nerve and I suddenly felt this overwhelming wave of emotion come over me just thinking about that word ... allow -- and I wondered about all the things I've simply allowed to happen to me; all the pain and the hurt and the emotional turmoil that I've tied to this break-up -- and as I was lying on the mat, my face was straining to fight all these thoughts, and I guess the teacher must have sensed it because at that moment she placed her hands on my legs and tugged me forward in the pose almost as if she was grounding me, softly placing me backing into reality and out of my own head. I was so grateful for that moment because I became startlingly aware of the present and all of a sudden my mind drifted back to the onion.

Think about it, when you peel an onion eventually if you peel enough of the layers away, you get to the end and you find yourself holding that last thin layer. And then its over. The onion's gone. Once I saw it this way, my mind settled. I accepted what was happening – the frantic cycling of emotions - and I felt calm. Because I know there's got to be an end to this onion, you know?

So if I need to be happy one day and super pissed off the next. Well, that's OK. This onion's gonna end someday, but only when I've allowed myself to peel away that last layer.

Photo by DavidDMuir


  1. I loooove this analogy. I hope you don't mind, but I would like to share the link to this entry on my blog... it really is spot on!

    And I can sympathize with emotional ADD... While the situation is different on so many levels, your blog has really helped me deal with my own break-up and the aftermath of my ex moving on as quickly as he moved to me and promising someone else his "forever and always." (Unfort for her, she has fallen for it!)

  2. Hey E,

    Thanks for reading and I'm really glad you find my blog helpful. I always like reading yours too. I'm sorry to hear about your ex. I've actually been thinking about mine too and wondering if he's moved on to someone else -- and I've come to the realization that if he is, I honestly wouldn’t want to take her place, you know? Like you said, “unfortunately for her...” Here's to celebrating our emotional ADD! Glad to know I’m not the only one. :)



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