Our Heart is Like an Onion

*Thank you to Donna of Kia Maia for allowing us to share this piece. You can see more of her content here and her website here.*  

Life is like a box of chocolates and our heart is like an onion. Just like an onion, the heart consists of fleshy parts that turn scaly, dry, and paper-thin, but leave them alone for too long and they grow mould. The same happens with our heart space. The layers of our hearts are waiting to be peeled away, explored understood, and processed. Some of our heart layers are tender and sweet and we get feelings of joy, love, and contentment. They are the layers that make us smile and hold our passions, the essence of our emotional well-being that nourishes and enriches our lives.

Alongside these warm fuzzy layers are also the layers that are more challenging to confront. These are the spicy layers that make us cry, and stir up feelings of grief, sadness or anger. Delving into these emotions can be uncomfortable and sting a little, like onions that bring tears to our eyes. But just as onion tears cleanse the eyes, allowing us to see more clearly, shedding emotional tears can be healing, helping us to release pent-up feelings.

Lastly, there are the layers that have gone stale and turned mouldy with neglect from unresolved issues. These are the smelly layers that hold onto resentment, bitterness, or unresolved trauma. And if we don’t let the fresh air in or the tears out, they can weigh heavily on our heart which starts to decay our mental and physical health.

So why do we want to peel away these mouldy layers that hurt to pick at? Why don’t we leave them in the dark to fester, with the hope they will go away on their own? The answer is the profound connection between our physical and mental health. Just as our fridge wants us to discard rotting food, our emotional health requires us to shed the layers of toxicity and negativity that pile up in our heart space.

By embracing the short-term pain of the spiciness and tears, we create space for growth, healing and transformation. We can allow ourselves to confront difficult emotions, process them and start fresh, paving the way to compassion for ourselves and others that creates meaningful connections.

No one says it will be easy. It requires courage, vulnerability, and a willingness to confront the discomfort along the way. It may involve seeking support from loved ones, professionals or other sources of guidance and encouragement. The reward for taking off the scaly, dry layers or the mouldy ones, is to gain your emotional freedom.

So this is your reminder that our hearts are not static but actually, a dynamic force that is everchanging and evolving. Prepare, package or peel as you need to with your layers and embrace the freshness vibrancy within you.


Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!

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