The cup is only useful when it is empty.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that I needed another hole in my belt; a new one, further along the belt. A year ago, I did not even need a belt for the pants I was wearing that day. They fit perfectly then, slim-fit khakis that accentuated my long frame. Now, I need a new hole on my belt to wear them. I lost a good deal of weight, something I will vehemently deny if we were to meet, “This is my body”, “I am coming into myself”, “I’ve got the kind of genes women would kill for… Ha ha haaa!”. Why? Firstly, I am a poor eater. Even on a good day I find eating, and the dish-washing it often entails, cumbersome and there are a myriad of other interesting things I could be doing. Secondly, when my mother was found to have diabetes, I grew an irrational fear of being overweight and going down that road. I cut out a lot of the sugar from my diet (except chocolate. This is my unabashed unguilty pleasure). The results were remarkable.
Back to the belt. In the interesting way my mind works, I sought added meaning to this ‘a new hole in my belt’ and I came up with this: the new hole is symbolic of all the holes we create for ourselves. More aptly, the emptiness we need in order to go about life. We often shed parts of ourselves, for the better I like to imagine. We change by subtracting from what we are and from what we have, to create space for new things, material and otherwise, like new beliefs. In fact, any change starts with a new belief, and different ways of thinking and looking at the world are, at first, filling, as it were. We grapple with the new information; it takes up most of our time and intellectual and spiritual horsepower. We fumble with it, relishing it and despising it in equal measure, congratulating ourselves on taking one more step on the journey to wisdom, ruing ourselves for not languishing in comfortable ignorance a while longer, because change is painful.
A no-sugar diet is as cringe-worthy as it gets for a self-confessed sweet-tooth, but I would not have it any other way. I get to get a sinful pleasure from the occasional slice of cake and my taste buds are not as fuzzy as they used to be. The mark of a life being lived is flux; constant physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual change. Maybe one day I will fill out my belt, maybe I will go back to not even needing one (I highly doubt it will be soon). This is probably a poor analogy of the inconsistency of living but I hope you catch my drift. It is not always a bad thing to shed some aspects of our lives: we need to create room for growth, even at the expense of disappointing and outright breaking ties with the people we care about, at the expense of being ridiculed and gawked over. (I keep being made fun of how I slimmed down because of thinking too much. Ha!) So, what holes will you be making today?