Paul uses eating all foods as an example of the freedom of believer. Much could be said about what Paul wrote. Instead I will think more globally about the connection between food, fear, and love. A member of my America's Biggest Loser chat room, Roxy, posted this essay. It's good. Real good. Shower the people you love with love.
Avoiding the Void
The more you possess, the less you can love. And love is the door. Or, the less you can love, the more you start possessing things. Things become a substitute.
Let us try to understand it. A child is born. If the mother loves him...psychoanalysts have been studying, much research has been done — if the mother loves him, the child never drinks too much milk; never, because he knows, it is a tacit understanding, that the mother is always available and she’s always ready to share. So what is the fear? If the mother loves the child, the child will drink only as much milk as is needed. If the child is loved, you will never see a big belly in the child.
The child will be proportionate. In fact the mother will be constantly worried that the child is not eating or drinking or taking as much food as needed. But the child has understood that whenever the need arises, the mother is there. He can rely on love.
But if the mother does not love the child, then he is afraid for the future. Love is not there, the tacit understanding is not there, so whenever he gets the opportunity he will eat as much as he can, he will drink as much milk as he can. Now he is already becoming a miser; he has already started accumulating things — in the body. He’s afraid. Who knows about tomorrow? This mother is not reliable; he has to accumulate for emergencies. So he will accumulate fat, eat more.
People who have not been loved in their childhood continue to eat more. No dieting can help unless love arises. They will eat; eating has become a substitute for love. If somebody loves them, they will immediately see that their overeating has stopped.
Love and food both come from the mother’s breast. The first experience of love is from the mother’s breast and the first experience of food is also from the mother’s breast. So love and food become associated. If there is less love, it has to be substituted for by more food.
If love is enough, you can afford not to eat much. There is no need. Have you watched it? Whenever you fall in deep love, hunger disappears. You don’t feel hungry. Love fulfills so deeply that you feel full. Then one starts eating less and less.
One woman was talking to me. She was very puzzled. Her husband had died and she told me, “One thing I have been keeping a secret. I have not told it to anybody because nobody will understand. But you may understand, so I’m telling you. And I will be unburdened whether you understand or not. But please don’t tell this to anybody.”
I said, “What has happened?”
She said, “When my husband died, at night I felt so hungry. The corpse was lying in the house. ‘What will people think if I go to eat?’ The whole family was awake, relatives had come and many friends were there together. And I felt such a deep hunger, such as I have never felt.”
So she had to go in her own kitchen like a thief! In the darkness, she ate. And now, since then, she has been feeling guilty. “My husband had died. Was that the time to feel hungry? His corpse was lying there. I was like a thief, eating in darkness in my kitchen.” She asked me, “What happened?”
I said, “It is a simple fact. The person you loved died. Immediately, you felt empty. Now that emptiness had to be filled by something.”
Since then I have been talking to many people and I have come to the conclusion that whenever you are sad, you eat more. Whenever you are in a deep sorrow, you feel more hungry. Whenever you are happy, flowing, cheerful and loving, and love is showering on you, who bothers to eat much? Even a small amount of food is enough nourishment then, because love is giving so much nourishment.
People who can’t love will always become misers: possessive, accumulators of things.