If you haven’t read the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson, do yourself a favour and find it immediately. A brilliant read for anyone wanting to improve their life in general!
In the aforemetioned book, Mark mentions the Self Awareness Onion – the concept that the more layers of self-awareness you peel back, the more likely you are to cry.
Akin to this, and to quote some of my favourite lines ever from the movie Shrek:
Shrek: Ogres are like onions.
Donkey: They stink?
Shrek: Yes. No.
Donkey: Oh, they make you cry.
Donkey: Oh, you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.
Shrek: No. Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. You get it? We both have layers.
Donkey: Oh, you both have layers. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. CAKES! Everybody loves cakes! Cakes have layers! You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits.
Self awareness is exactly like an ogre or an onion or a cake or even better, a parfait. It has layers. The hardest part is peeling them back (particularly an ogre, have you ever tried to peel an ogre?!).
I’m more of a parfait person myself – so think of self-awareness like a parfait where you get to non-judgmentally and inquisitively remove each of the layers to find what’s underneath. Some of the layers you may enjoy (like a crisp biscuit crunch) and some you may not (fake whipped cream yuckkkk) and when you get to the bottom, it’s likely to be rather soggy. But with each layer you discover something different.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where you are having difficulty – be self-aware and ask yourself why you are feeling that way. Ask why, repeatedly. Peel back those parfait layers! The answer often lies beneath, even if it’s a soggy bottom.
The important part: finding out what you can and cannot change in this way allows you to regain control!
I feel upset. Why? Because I ate too much chocolate. Why is this bad? Because I’m worried my skin will break out in pimples. Why do you think this? Because it’s happened before. Why is this bad? Because then I’ll look horrible. Why will you look horrible? Because my face will have red spots on it, and that’s not pretty. Why is that not pretty? Because society tells me it isn’t pretty.
Hmmmm. Can’t do much to change society or the fact I’ve eaten too much chocolate. But can make sure I wash my face properly and don’t pick at any pimples that come up. And if it does happen, that’s why the world invented concealer.
Remember you’re a parfait. A complex, layered, delicious, sometimes salty, sometimes sweet and sometimes unintentionally soggy parfait. That’s life.
But as Donkey says, ” Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Heck no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious. Parfaits may probably be the most delicious thing on the whole dang planet!”