For those of you that didn’t know, or don’t celebrate, today is the first day of Lent. Typically, this is a religious holiday, but I know people that aren’t religious that also celebrate. For people who are religious, many choose to participate as a way to learn about the suffering Jesus went through and also use this time for spiritual growth. For me, it has always been a way to learn more about what I have chosen to give up for the next 40 days and to learn more about myself as a person.
This year, to be perfectly honest, I completely forgot about Lent until yesterday someone posted a photo with the caption “Fat Tuesday” under a picture of homemade beignets. It made me drool all over my phone. Suddenly I started racking my brain for all the things I could give up.
Meat? Nope, I gave that up 5 years ago and then proceeded to read the book “Skinny Bitch”. I haven’t touched meat with the exception of seafood since.
Caffeine? Can’t. I quit drinking it in December once I realized my 4 cups a day habit probably wasn’t helping my migraines.
Fried Food? Who am I kidding? I don’t eat enough fried food to justify that as something I would honestly miss.
Social Media? Josh and I did that last year, and while I definitely enjoyed the experience and would recommend it, I didn’t think I should repeat something just because I felt it would be a quick fix to my dilemma.
I don’t know why I kept thinking it had to be food, maybe it just shows how much I love food; or why I felt the need to give something up physically. This morning I asked Josh what he was going to give up and he said, “Worrying”. While he may have been joking, I think he had a good point, we don’t have to give up something physical. It is often easier to give up something physical because you can tell someone and you have instant accountability. However, giving up worrying, judgement, or anger-even if it’s not for Lent, that’s hard. Changing our mind set, our perceptions of ourselves and others leaves no accountability but oneself -and often we are not good accountability partners.
So this year, I am going to give up being such a harsh critic; whether that is of myself or of others. Everyday I plan to be mindful of the thoughts I have of myself and others, and at the end of the day I want to reflect on at least one good thing that happened to me or someone else. So with that in mind, I’ll end with a quote I found earlier this week, “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”