Chopping onions and crying

posted in: Food! | 1

I volunteer at a local soup kitchen in my area. On this particular day we prepare the soup at the Veterans Building, and then package it and bring it to the park to feed the Vets. We receive donations from assorted people and organizations. This time we received three 50 pound bags of onions.

After prepping and chopping other veggies for the soup, my friend, who is in charge of this monumental project, and I set to chopping onions. As we begin to chop we begin the onion weep. We start to laugh as we cry over the onions. As we continue to chop and put them into the food processor, we compare notes about all the wives tales and urban legends about how to prevent yourself from crying whilst chopping onions.

We came up with quite a variety, some of which included:

Run cold water while chopping

Hold the onion under cold water and then chop

Hold a stainless steel spoon in your mouth and chop

Eat a teaspoon of sugar and then keep the spoon in your mouth

We concluded that none of the tricks we each tried ever worked. We continued to chuckle between blowing our noses and washing our hands. I also remember hearing from someone in Culinary School, that the older the onion, the more you will cry, fresh onions will not make you cry. I think I have mostly chopped old onions because I always cry when chopping large quantities of them.

A little later when we were cutting other veggies, we were joined by a young woman who comes to help on certain days. My friend said,” Hey! nice to see you! Are you ready to chop onions?”  She did not looked thrilled. She expressed her dislike in onion chopping because she did not like the crying. She proceeded to put on her sunglasses. I asked her if that helped. She said it did. I was intrigued, especially after the conversation my friend and I had just had.

My friend and I proceeded to chop the onions as the young woman put them into the food processor. I again began to cry as well as my friend. The young woman did not seem to be affected at first. I said, crying is good, it is a cleansing and catharsis. She said, ” Oh no, but I just don’t tear up…” Oh I said, I don’t either as you can see, my eyes water, my nose runs; it’s great! She expressed by her face that she did not prefer it. In fact, she had so much difficulty with it, she had to frequently leave the kitchen to get away from the onions.

Then I got the best spiritual light bulb I have ever received!

Crying is not socially accepted. We are considered emotional, too sensitive or just plain silly. We are often seen as weak and unbalanced. Men, especially are criticized and not encouraged to cry or show great emotion. We squelch our emotions and our crying. We hide behind closed doors to express ourselves and release our tears. We spend our lives suppressing our emotions and our tears. As a result we abuse drugs, alcohol and even people. We feel shut down and stuck, often hopeless to have control over our own lives. We have so many pent up tears packed away inside ourselves. What a perfect opportunity to release and allow all the pent up tears to flow.

What a great benefit that we get to shed tears in public for no apparent reason. Actually, there is a reason, it is an involuntary response our bodies have from chopping the onions. That is a great reason to give ourselves permission to cry; why not?  The body takes the opportunity to release and cleanse by getting involuntarily triggered by chopping onions. Our bodies have such innate wisdom, they take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

As we chop onions and we begin to cry, we can allow the involuntary response to take over and simply cry. Cry for no reason at first, and then we can allow ourselves to cry for everything we wished we had cried for, and everything we have never cried for. Cry for justice, peace, compassion, love, violence, hate, crime, self doubt, politics, animal cruelty, global warming, GMO’s.  We can simply cry for everything!

How great that vegetables and the physical involuntary response of the body by chopping onions can facilitate our cleansing and healing process. This is the best kitchen alchemy I know of!

While you are crying if you have a memory that comes up, allow it to be cleansed by the tears and let it wash away and be released. Bless this memory, your awareness and the whole process.

How truly profound and magnificent the combined process of preparing food and releasing old habits, thoughts, stories and patterns, simply by chopping onions  and crying!

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