Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Lent

I've always enjoyed Lent.  I have generally found some things to give up for the occasion.  But I've realized a lot of things have lacked significance.  So the last couple years, I've tried to focus on giving up things that can in the end help me out in the long run.  Bad habits like biting nails.  Comforts like my trouble foods.  Things that help me focus on the positive.

But this year, I am realizing that this isn't enough.  Sure, there's a couple tangible things I'm giving up.  But a good friend of mine made this post  about how this time is a preparation for preparation - and that Ash Wednesday is "preparing our hearts, minds, and attitudes to venture into the time of Lent."

So I have been taking a look at myself and asking "What am I preparing for?"  What do I want these things to accomplish?  I wrote at the beginning of the year how I want 2013 to be a year of Discovery.  So where do I want to be at the end of these 40 days?  Is "giving up" something really the answer?

I want the next 40 days...
to challenge me and make me question
to immerse myself in positive relationships with people I love
to live more for others
to focus on health and wellness
to reflect on where I've been
to discover where I am headed
to tap into my true passions
to surround myself with love

so many other things I want this time to be, but above all else, I want this time to bring me closer to God.  I don't know what that looks like, but I want this to be a time for spiritual growth.

And it's not about 40 days... I want this period to be a catalyst for how I live way beyond Easter.  How I live every day.

So what can I do?
Use this moment as an opportunity to explore and discover.  Spend more time in reflection and solace.  Surround myself with positivity and love.  And engage in discussions and learning that really make me take a closer look at my life.

What can you do?
Hold me accountable - ask what I've been thinking about and reflecting on - and talk with me about REAL topics.

And what can I give up?
As comfortable as I am with and as much as I love no structure, no plans, flexibility, change, etc... I am realizing that I have a desire to try to control the things around me.  If I am struggling with things in my life, I try to rationalize and reason my way out of it.  If I am going through a slump, I try to fill my schedule with as much as possible because busy = success and happiness.  But that's not the truth.  Far from it.  I need to find balance.  I need to find more meaning and depth.  I need to let go, and let God.  And I need to trust that things will work out the way I hope.  I consider myself to be a very emotional guy, but even with that, I rarely let myself truly open up and be vulnerable.  So this fear that I have of falling flat on my face through this process?  This desire I have to try to control my outcomes and evade difficulties?  This hesitant and apprehensive approach that I'm finding myself in with several areas of my life I need to focus on?  THOSE are some of the things that I want to give up...

...and french fries.

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