Waking Up to What’s True

I wrote the number 2 on the whiteboard on our fridge.

For two days, I have not eaten after supper. I feel hopeful that tomorrow I will write a three and the next day a four.

In 2020, I worked so hard to lose the weight that was endangering my health and limiting my joy. But for a while now, I’ve fallen back into the habit of snacking in the evening. During the summer, I was so active, I didn’t gain weight very quickly. That changed in the fall when rainy days and a full schedule returned.

For weeks, I would say to myself, “Today’s the day.” But when evening came, there was always a good reason to have some crackers and hummus and then a handful of nuts.

Finally, when the scale reported I’d gained back a third of the weight I’d lost, determination met grace and Day One arrived.

I want to live in a world where I can eat what I want, when I want and as much as I want and maintain my ideal weight. But that place doesn’t exist.

You’d think I’d be able to stop living in an illusion once I’ve woken up and named it for what it is. But I can be lulled back to sleep so easily. The voice in my head gets a lot of mileage out of the simple statement: It’s not that bad.

This statement is powerful because, really, most of our bad habits don’t have disastrous results in the short term. The world won’t come to an end if I eat a bag of chips or leave my dirty dishes on the counter. I don’t want to catastrophize or become hypervigilant.

And yet, when I minimize, excuse or defend a hurtful behaviour, I continue to hurt myself, others and the earth bit by bit.

This is what I need to remember to stay awake, so tomorrow I can write a 3 on my fridge.

Awake, my soul!
–Psalm 57:8 (NIV)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

“The world is dark and light is precious.
Come closer, dear reader.
You must trust me. I am telling you a story.”

–Kate DiCamillo

Recently, a friend introduced me to Kate DiCamillo‘s writing with these words, “Fully aware, characters in these stories face what the world brings them–abandonment, loss, disappointment, danger, cruelty, rejection….  They experience the full effect of darkness in family, friends, strangers, and in themselves. Fully engaged, the characters encounter the light in the world as well.  The precious moments of love and hospitality, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, truth-telling, bravery, tears, laughter….  You’ve got to read Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books!  Her person and literary skill name all the hard questions of what it means to be human and engage the reality of something so precious in the midst of the hardness of it all.” I was so inspired by my friend’s endorsement that over the Christmas break, I listened to these books on Libby: Flora and Ulysses, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Beatryce Prophesy. I thoroughly enjoyed them and thought you might too.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Images of numbers from https://freesvg.org/
Banner of Sunrise by Susanne Nilsson . Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2023.
The unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2023.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Overeating, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Waking Up to What’s True

  1. Susan King says:

    You can do this! Starting is so important. I love the way of marking the days on the fridge.

    I also love your paragraph “I want to live in a world where I can eat what I want, when I want and as much as I want and maintain my ideal weight. But that place doesn’t exist.”

    I want to live in a world where I can have a glass of wine with dinner and not poison my body. That world doesn’t exist either!

    So I’m counting too – I count 6 days without my glass of wine with dinner. Similar to you, I cut it back to 1/2 glass a few years ago because it helped my arthritis. It crept back up when I wasn’t paying attention. I cut it back on Jan 11 and then decided on Jan 22 to cut it out entirely.

    So we take one day at a time and celebrate by counting. And God is counting and celebrating with us because He loves us so much and wants us to be healthy.


  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thanks for your encouragement and your company, Susan. Today is Day 6 for me too.


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