In the original film Shrek, Shrek talks to the donkey about being like an onion with layers. Stating “Ogres are like onions. We both have layers.”
Each of us have these layers that need to be stripped away. Sometimes these layers unnecessary as they are, allow us to operate and exist in various settings such as at work, at school, or in our family environments. We have different roles and different expectations. We may even behave differently.
Can you think and reflect on the layers in your own life? How do these layers change?
But sometimes these layers may not always be healthy. In Jungian psychology we might form complexes or ways of seeing the world that may not always be true. We follow a script that we create or an explanation for what we think is true. Maybe we had a parent who did not treat us well as a child in a healthy or wholly way. Maybe an event occurred which caused us to be traumatized as a child. We create these complexes and scripts in order to navigate through this. This may not be entirely bad, but are they true? We tell ourselves stories which soon become our own reality.
From a Christian perspective we cannot be a Christian alone. We are designed as humans to reflect the beauty and nature of God. The false truth we tell ourselves may not reflect the wholeness of God. We in a sense are broken. We are not always perfect.
Jesus too does not always choose the perfect people to be his closest followers. Jesus chooses broken people or people who are not at the top of the pecking order. Fisherman, tax collectors, zealots and a woman who had a bad spirit. But in different times in our own life are we not each of these people.
Do we have a job that has demands, our precious time and sometimes you are not able to find fish? Do we have financial demands that may cause work to be harder and harder more and more? Are we like the zealot, at least interiorly, where we want to kill off ideas in people that are different from our own ideology? Do we have bad spirits like addictions or habits that suddenly appear in moments we do not expect or can control?
All of these, are all of us, at different points in our life. And now Shrek in the movie says peel back the onion layers of who we are.
Jungian psychology asks us to reflect more deeply about the complexes and scripts we have created. Are we able to identify what is true from what is not true?
Jesus asks Peter the question “do you love me?” This questions he gives to each of us. You see it is not through thinking that we get to heaven. It is not through doing it right that we get to heaven. Rather, it is through love. It is through each other. We become a true sense of who we are through loving. Allowing others to love us. We love others especially those who challenge us the most. We become more fully who we are and more fully alive through a deep relationship that we form in love.
Now I don't know about you but when I peel an onion and start chopping it up, I start to cry. And, If we truly fall in love does not that bring us tears as well? And maybe if we don't have tears, are we missing the layers of our onion?