Lent. I didn’t grow up in a religion that practices it, but something about Lent appeals to me. The idea of giving something up from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday proves to me that I CAN control myself, that I can sacrifice, that I am stronger my physical urges. There is something fresh about the whole thing. (Perhaps I’ll only feel that way until this weekend when I’m suffering for my Lent choice. I’d better make it a good one.)
As I have pondered the plethora of things that would be beneficial to my mind, my health, and my spirit to get rid of for the next 40 days, I noticed that it was starting to feel like I was making New Year’s Resolutions (something to which I am quite opposed). So I thought about it, and thought… and I decided to do something that will benefit all three; something that will be very difficult for me but something that I know will calm my mind, body, and spirit. I read up on Lent and got into the real spirit of the whole thing.
I’m going to give up a sort of obsession of mine…guilt. Guilt has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I am guilty of all manner of “atrocities” and I beat myself up over them daily (hourly is more accurate).
I am naturally prone to guilt to due a bit of perfectionism and OCD but I have to admit that it has become exhausting as of late. I feel guilt about everything! Are my children ok? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Did I workout today? What did I eat? How clean is my house? I’d better get back to college asap. I forgot to dry that last load of laundry! My kids need a healthier snack. I really need to wash all of the windows. How much water have I had to drink? I’d better floss because we all know flossing is the key to health. And on and on and on I go. I even feel guilty for relaxing these days! It’s really gone past healthy.
I have been a worrier all of my life and the guilt ties in nicely with said worry so I just adopted them both as a sort of package deal. Well…I’m done! For the next 40 days I will work on just enjoying my life. I will work out when I can fit it in and when it sounds good, I will not berate myself for that last load of unfinished laundry or forgetting to return my library books on time. I will drink water when I think about it and my kids will probably have a few snacks that are less than healthy. But I’m not going to work myself up about these things, I am going to realize that this is life and it is messy and I’m doing my best.
So, what are you giving up for Lent? I hope it’s something that will resonate with you and bring you closer to who you really want to be.