Let’s talk about Lent for a moment. Yes, I know I am a week late with this post. But here’s the thing – I’m not even Catholic. So…yeah.
My Catholicism (or lack thereof) is a pretty common misconception. First, I attended Gonzaga University which is about as synonymous with “religion” as it is with “basketball”. (P.S – Go Bulldogs). Second, I can follow along with a full Catholic mass well enough to fool anyone (stand, sit, kneel, sit,”Peace be with you,” etc. etc. etc). Third, I minored in religious studies. And I usually give up something for Lent.
But again, I’m not Catholic. So what gives?
Personally, Lent has become an opportunity for me to focus on 40 days of guilt-free self-improvement. I say “guilt-free” because dedicating time to oneself can be excruciatingly difficult. I’m pet, husband, and child free (at least as far as I know..) and there are moments when I feel pulled in so many different directions I can’t even see straight. Mad props to the ladies and gents out there who walk the tightrope between taking care of yourself and simultaneously fulfilling the obligations and commitments you’ve made to the person(s) you love. I participate in this 40 day stretch of discipline and self-improvement because I want to, but you do this because you’ve legitimately earned it. And you deserve it.
For me, Lent this year isn’t about giving something up; it’s about gaining something for myself. Selfish and a bit backwards? Maybe a little. But it comes from a place of genuinely wanting to be a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better woman. Just like you don’t remodel a house by ripping out it’s foundation, I can’t better myself by removing something that’s already there—I have to build and improve on the foundation I already have built.
So long story short, I’m not giving up coffee, or chocolate, or Facebook for the next 30 some-odd days. I’m taking away the pressure to ‘subtract’ and instead giving myself permission to ‘add’ the things I know I need to spiritually and emotionally thrive.
What about you? Are you participating in Lent this year? How is it going???