I was at the beach, sitting by myself along the waterline. While watching my kids play, I slowly dug a hole next to me, carefully scooping out handful after handful of sand. Eventually, I had a deep crevice, and a giant pile of damp sand. What to do with the hole? I had nothing to carry water from the ocean with. I was far too comfortable in the afternoon sun to get up and go in search of seashells. So, eventually, with nothing else to fill it with, I just filled it back up with the sand I had taken out of it in the first place.
I was percolating yesterday on why, sometimes, it's so hard to let go of things. We often make efforts to cut certain things out of our lives. Sometimes, that means activities or foods or actions or even people. Am I the only one that finds this hard at times? It's not so much the initial cutting. It's more having the strength and the resolve to not go back to whatever it was.
It occurs to me this morning that letting go of something is much easier to achieve if we have something else ready to go in the hole we made when we cut that something out. If we've stopped smoking, maybe we need to find something to do with our hands. If we've decided to cut out ice cream, maybe we need to make sure we're occupied during the time that we'd normally find ourselves eating ice cream. If it's a dead friendship, maybe we need to make sure we're engaged in other healthier friendships so we aren't tempted to pick up that old broken one back up. If we don't have something ready to take its place, eventually it just becomes easier to fill the hole up with whatever we took out of it to begin with.