Although sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, examining life though an alternate lens when a sign, lesson, or message may exist inspires imagination, truth, and possibility. Sometimes weeks pass before explanation emerges, like the pause in a breath, awaiting the flow of exhalation that breathes out answers. Recently a sigh released a possible message of a prior event, its significance helpful along the weight loss journey.

My eyes flutter open to pain, aware something is amiss with my left eye. Sharp ache, blurred vision, and an unmistakable, guilty knowing catch my undivided attention. Holding my eye with a hand-covered patch, I hobble to the bathroom. Aided by the mirror, peaking through fingers for an explanation, I see a red eye in need of care. Removing my extended wear contact lens, the culprit confesses without coercion. The left lens sits in my hand dry, lacking its normal, supple flexibility, as I glance in the mirror with a “woe is me” expression.

“I’ve done it now,” I thought. Guilty of over-wearing my lenses, injuring my vision, suffering soreness and dire consequences steering me in the face, I cry with immediate regret. Forewarned repeatedly in the past decade of potential hazards of wearing extended, overnight contact lenses, I ignored the warnings, and walked a fine line, finally tripping a wire to one of their roadside bombs. The ache dulls as the explosion settles, and I surrender to my eye doctor for exploration, diagnosis, and solution.

He appeases my self-critic when my ears hear words and phrases as, “an abrasion, eventually heal, and vision will return.” Relief fills my senses and my breath returns to normal frequency. Tension tightly wound released when diagnosis and treatment transfers from his mouth to my ears. My elation celebrates the eventual healing, halting my pity party, and adding gratitude for a second chance. Changing my ways to protect my eyesight’s assets remains vital and present for my future.

With the gift of time, I evaluate the meaning behind the eyelid. Losing focus, lacking clarity, taking senses for granted, ignoring the rules, dry eye – unrealized emotions, squandering vision, and seeking support for deficiency (eyeglasses). Tampering with metaphoric explanation, numerous thoughts reveal themselves.

Along the weight loss journey, is my vision blurred, am I overlooking achievements, forgoing senses, and disconnecting from intuition? Ignoring rules subconsciously within my healthy lifestyle, blocking emotions from reaching the surface, or losing focus, are potential hazards that stunt weight loss. When feeling weak, have I sought help? Am I seeing clearly through the lens of my life or have I blurred my vision from stubbornness, recklessness, or laziness?

By answering these quandaries healing and jubilation occurs with the opportunity to receive a do-over to reestablish goals within a slew of personal and professional pursuits, including the weight loss pursuit. To evaluate metaphoric meanings behind experiences is an inexact science, but adds a key element to growth, learning, and improvement in life through the subconscious mind. Yet sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. How Freud might have interpreted my lost vision and how to regain it is uncertain, though looking through life’s lens in another way contains valuable insight.