You never truly know yourself because of layers. Sure you’ve heard it before. Like with an onion you peel off one layer and find there’s another one underneath, shiny and glistening and mocking somehow. But, an onion does not worry about its layers!
At the core we are all one, but if we look at the “baggage” there are any number of variations of bullshit that we think is important. Let’s excavate and release! But….
I don’t think it works that way. You can work with layers, but where you end up is not perfection. You can never get to the bottom of the layers, but you can experience the river of perfection that keeps you alive. Forget about the layers; they lead nowhere.
Here’s a painting / mixed media I just finished. It’s a good example of putting ON the layers instead of taking them off.
Broken Dreams 12×12″ mixed media
I started out with no idea at all. I sprayed some paint on the canvas , rubbed it around, and let it dry. Added some more layers, but I couldn’t see a picture emerging at all, so I glued on some papers (the only one showing now is the crinkly tissue paper in the corner.) The papers led to nowhere, so I decided to just paint a face. Faces are always tricky because you never quite end up where you plan to end up. They take on a life of their own.
This one ended up with a slightly disdainful expression, but also with lots of inner power, so I accepted her. Then I couldn’t get anything to stick on the right side. I painted birds, leaves, a big flower. They all looked wrong, so I scraped some paint over the whole and buried them. All the layers add energy to the painting, so nothing is lost.
I have been into square shapes lately, so I added some of those. At that time I had some dreams broken in my life so I “saw” them there. I had to add a solution so there is an exiting square in the corner that says Let Go.
The art didn’t turn out like anything I envisioned, but I allowed it to emerge. These kinds of paintings are tricky. I never know if I like them or not.
The point is: With every stroke of the brush, or any addition of paper, I altered the course of this piece of art. I didn’t know if it would work, but I could only move forward until I felt it was done, but far from perfect. I had to accept it.
It is what it is.
What does that have to do with layers in life? How can you know what will emerge as you remove layers? Is it even possible? Aha moments can come, and they often do, but what do they change? On a good day, we might walk in a different direction and leave something behind that burdened us. That is all good.
But, basically, isn’t it enough to accept ourselves exactly as we are today? Trust that you are enough. Connect with your inner flow and just “BE YOU?” When you do, something good emerges, the authenticity and power of who you are, layers and all. Who gives a shit about layers? Maybe psychoanalysts do, but I say, go for it, warts and all! Be authentic.
Be your frigging AWESOME self, right now. I have stopped trying to change or fix myself and there’s a lot of peace in that.
P.S. I often look at my paintings and think aliens painted them. When we allow flow, something much greater than the little self (shrouded in layers) comes out to play. It is a path of mystery and curiosity. If you want to try some art journaling, please sign up for my art newsletter for a primer and a mixed media tutorial. CLICK HERE.