Peeling The Layers


I wrote a post yesterday titled Who Are You? I got a few responses that really started me thinking. Imagine if people could see our true selves. What if we had a flashing light on the back and front of our shirt that described how we were feeling at that moment in one word? Would we be more sensitive in our interactions? If I was standing in line for coffee and someone’s shirt read depressed, would I offer a hello and kind words? Better yet, what if someone’s shirt read aggressive and I could automatically choose to stay away from him or her altogether. Wouldn’t the avoidance of that interaction help me stay in a better place? What if I knew to be kind to that person and possibly soften his heart. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful gift?

The truth is, we have layers and boundaries that hide who we really are. We think we know someone but our behavior may portray the very opposite of who we are in our heart. What if we could put into words what we really need? One word, on our back that would make us vulnerable enough to ask for what we need. Words like space, love, compassion, attention? We are always interacting with the layers. My layers react to your layers and your layers respond to my layers. It’s exhausting really. When do we ever break through enough exterior to have a relationship based on the real truth of who we are…who others are? Many of us don’t have the time or patience to stick around long enough to even get a glimpse of the soul of another human being. We are so tangled up in our own web that we become stuck there and that’s all we see.

Why is it so easy to feel aggravated and frustrated with the people around us? Why couldn’t it be easier to see their gifts and positive attributes as it is to see their faults and flaws? If only we could tear down the walls and sit there naked in front of one another unclothed by what the ego has led us to become. If only we could be brave enough to drop the fear long enough to show someone the beauty of our heart. The sad truth is for most of us, that will never happen. We are all like soldiers with PTSD trained to protect ourselves at all costs. What happens though is the sudden onset of the imagined threat of danger sends us into a complete tailspin. We are at risk to hurt the very people we were meant to protect because the fear and conditioned response to save ourselves elicits an involuntary reaction to destroy the enemy or whoever our mind convinces us is an enemy in a moment of weakness. I want to put down my gun and run as fast as I can to join a mission with the sole cause to bring about peace but do we really ever have the discipline and trust to make a commitment to something like that? Don’t the words we feel we have the right to speak and our need to prove we are right destroy the very thought of an opportunity to keep and promote peace? Imagine how beautiful the world would be if there was no threat of pain and hurt and a desire of all to love and heal? Our intentions are there. Our hearts are in the right place. The real work is convincing the mind to allow the layers to fall away, one at a time, one day at a time.