hello, i'm alicia. i'm a relaxed catholic and i celebrate/participant in lent.
i'm not going to explain what lent is, i'm just going to get straight to the goods. during lent, some people give up something (typically a luxury) for 40 days as a form of penitence; no soda, no sweets, no fast food, no meat, no facebook, etc. as i've grown older and wiser, i started to think that the kinds of things i was giving up weren't really being given up for the right reasons. i'd give up chocolate to try and lose weight. i'd give up sweets to try and lose weight. i'd give up fast food to try and lose weight... you see where i'm going with this. it really defeated the purpose of what i was trying to show contrition for; "yes i'm sorry i have sinned, but i'm going to also reap benefits of showing my remorse by choosing to give up something that will help me lose weight." not quite what founding catholics had in mind, i'm sure.
i'm thinking of lent in a different light this year. instead of trying to punish myself, or subtract from my life, i want to add to it. one of the biggest "sins" i commit is simply not respecting myself or giving as much praise for the beautiful life i've been given. how can i take in more of what has been graciously given to me? how can i give more to myself in a healthy and loving way?
here's what i'm going to do for 40 days:
- take the stairs every day
- write down one or two things i'm thankful for everyday
i have an able body and i want to use it, i want to appreciate it more. and i'm not using it to all its ability when i take the escalator or the elevator. this is why i am choosing to take the stairs for 40 days.
i need to learn to let go and be. appreciate what's around me without focusing on the next move or the what-ifs. i need to re-learn how to be happy with life as is, and with myself. by choosing to write down something i am thankful for each day, it will force me to focus on the great things in my life, and will serve as a reminder that there are wonderful things to smile about every day.
"let light shine out of darkness" - this hits me hard in the gut for many reasons, but mostly because it is word for word what i've been trying to do to overcome depression. i have been trying to be my own little light in all this darkness, and i am getting there. there's a flicker where there wasn't anything before, and the flicker can resist the storms more than it ever could. everything i'm going to do during lent is to help my light shine brighter and move me closer to the day where this is no more darkness covering my life.