By now, if you are a regular GutsIsTheKey Reader; you realize that the two biggest topics are inspiration and sales fulfillment. This one deals more with personal wholeness. So it is more of an inspirational topic. But being personally whole can certainly help you in the professional dimension. So, I write a lot about maximizing your life, spiritually, mentally, physically and professionally. True, meaningful and lasting success; most often involves growth in all these areas synergistic-ally.
No matter how you fancy or envision yourself; the dilemma of growing and developing, as a healthy and happy human being must be of interest to you. And as a person trying to increase your wholeness, we all have certain things in common.
One of these things that is a common denominator among living things that are healthy is that they must not forget their roots. You and I certainly fit this category. In order to grow up, we must also grow down. In order to forge new vista’s of positive direction; we can not overlook the foundation from which we seek to grow.
This GutsIsTheKey Beam revisits a topic that I wrote about a year ago. The name may be a little humorous. But I have found that great depths of truth can be often found in humorous irony.
ONION THEOLOGY. Soak Through, Peel Back & Stay in The Dirt Methods.
What do I mean by ONION THEOLOGY? Often objects in nature offer some of the best qualities to illustrate truths of human life. The onion is certainly one of these.. One of the neat things about an onion is that the outside layer may be tough and the inside of the onion, still be good. Many of my favorite people are like this quality of the onion. They are rough on the outside but other layers are really good. How many people do you know that can appear quite gruff but really be Teddy Bears, once you get to know them? ——————— Like these friends; I am a little rough on the outside. OK. I confess, I am REAL rough on the outside. Still, on the inside I am not so rough; depending on who you ask of course. lol
Another way that we can be aptly compared to an onion is that we have many layers. Layers which must be accounted for, if we are to grow personally, professionally and spiritually. What people see on the outside is obvious. But often it is the less obvious parts of our person-hood that must be addressed to effect real and meaningful change.
How do we get desired changes to take effect in our life? Most often, this involves change on deeper layers of our make-up. We too often forget, overlook or neglect that we have a a subconscious, inside dimension; (you know, the one that produces your dreams). This deeper part of us needs growth too. In fact, failing to recognize it will often thwart changes we want to take place on the outside of us. So, How do we effect growth on more than just the surface layer of our personality??????????? That is what this article is directed towards. ( Also see: the BEAM on SPONGE Theology.)
1st – There is the soak through method. Even with an onion; if you expose it to the outside environment, it will change the inside. Unfortunately, this usually rots the onion. Our problem is the same; we are exposed to so many different things on the outside, that can cause us to deteriorate within. So how do we keep bad experiences from rotting us inside? …….. There are preservatives like vinegar that can cause an onion to last longer.
Yet, I don’t think we benefit from a liquid preservative; I proved this trying to pickle myself in the prior years. It didn’t work. I got rotten anyway. —– No, the soak through method that really works; is spending time with healthy life sources. Reading, Writing, Praying, Singing, Arts, Positive Fellowship, Exercise & other healthy habits and uplifting pursuits; these are examples of things we can do that improve our environment so that it helps us, instead of rotting us.
Make a conscious effort on the outside to do the right things consistently and it will soak through your being. You will find more substantive changes happening on the inside of you, as well.
2nd – Next, There is the peel back method. We peel back a layer of the onion, to get to another layer. This can be effective. The way we can do this personally is best demonstrated by what the Catholics have always practiced. Disclose our soul to another trustworthy human being. In sharing with someone else what is really going on, on the inside of us; we discover ways to get truth applied, deeper within our selves. [We sure need to be careful with who we do this with]. ———————-
Another way, we can peel back is with self-examination and introspection but this is limited in effectiveness, because often, we can not be objective with ourselves, about ourselves. So, Probably the best peel back method is deep meditation and prayer. I am learning on an ongoing basis; to reveal and probe what is going on, on the inside of me, with God on my knees. When we offer ourselves to Him and ask for His guidance about deep areas of life; discoveries that can not be made otherwise are common-place. The key, once deep discovery is made is to accept what he shows us and make changes in our lives; accordingly. —— When I peel back the layers with God; I find help in many areas. So can you.
3rd – Last but not least; there is the stay in the ground and grow in the dirt method. You know if you leave an onion in the ground; it will continue to grow & results in even more onions, until it is fully mature. It only rots, if it dies and by then, it has produced lots more life around it.
This seems like the best way to get growth to all the layers of the onion. – – The ground is a) God’s goodness and presence and we can always stay in it. The ground can also represent b) the molding effects of our normal experiences. The problem here is that this takes lots of time and most of us are not willing to stay in the dirt of real life & power; when it takes us out of the spotlight. ———–
When you are in the dirt, you do not get seen. We don’t like this. When you are in the dirt, you don’t get picked. We don’t like this either. Yet, if we read the Bible. It reveals that the triune bedrocks of spiritual growth are (a) faith as a child, (b) humility as a servant and (c) brokeness like Jesus on the cross. This is tough stuff. This is not popular. It is Dirt indeed; but the dirt we need. We are not comfortable at first, in the dirt but it is a great place to continue to grow and also the most likely place, where we grow the best.
So the next time you are reviewing the topic of your personal growth; think of Onion Theology. Let the practice of consistent healthy life pursuits soak through, from your circumstance to your inner being. Peel Back & Open up your heart to God & another human being to learn more about yourself than you can see through your own tunnel vision. And Stay in the Dirt of God’s Fellowship and the challenges of normal experience; so that you are grounded enough to sustain your growth.
The late and very wise Steven Covey spoke of significant life changes for the good as “Paradigm Shifts.” What we are after is real and lasting change that makes the entirety of your life and work better. Let us seek Not just temporary resolutions but entire re-directions of our purpose and being.
Like the Onion; Use the Soak Through, Peel Back & Stay in The Dirt Methods to learn, grow & develop. Let me know how you do! 🙂
(revision & replacement of Oct. 11, 2011 BEAM)