Lent Your Way?

This year is really flying by!  I can’t believe we are already in March and it’s time for Lent.  I am not Catholic in any way but I have always been fascinated by how Catholics and the, “I’m only Catholic on holidays” Catholics celebrate this religious process.  The basic concept is denying yourself something for 40 days in an effort to draw you closer to God.  It’s not Biblical but it is what they believe.  I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t broken Lent within a week or actually avoided eating meat on Friday.  I wanted to take this a step further to see if people can go without something important to them for any time period all in an effort to draw themselves closer to God?  There are so many things we do on a daily basis that are such a habit that we don’t even realize we are doing them.  Humans are ritualistic and forget to function on thought sometimes because it takes too long to break cycles.

What if we challenged ourselves to spend a few days trying something else?  Doing something new or letting go of a vice that may be killing us in an effort to pull closer to God?  And for those who don’t or refuse to believe in God, doing all the same just to find some peace of mind or clarity?  I am not saying to do this for 40 days at a time but start small.  If you smoke, go a full day without cigarettes.  If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to once a week.  If you have a gym membership that you barely use, make an effort to start going once a week.  There are very big and small ways in our lives that we can make changes to find balance.  It all comes down to if we are willing or not.  I have challenged myself to get a lot of the stuff done around the house that needs it before it gets too warm outside.  I like to do yard work in late Winter/early Spring versus trying to hump around all summer in the heat.  I want to fully enjoy Summer this year.  My smaller more personal goal, not just for 40 days, is to spend more time each day with God.  I have found myself doing too much other stuff and then realized it’s just stuff.  I felt empty.

What will you be inspired to do?  Maybe it is time to let go of those old pains, get that big final cry out?  Maybe it is time to try something new – almost anything new!  Cliff diving in Mexico might not be your thing but wearing a dress for the first time in years might be your start.  Going on that first date, deciding to take things to the next level, planning to get married or working toward making your relationship or marriage stronger versus throwing in the towel, or remembering why you have always loved that person no matter what and finally making your lives become one.  It is never too late for any of this.  You are the starting point.

Whether it is for Lent, one week or one day, you should strive to cut away the old bad habits.  That is the only way new and positive habits  will enter your life and stick around.  What will you try today?

 

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Sunflowers

What really is the best way to deal with disappointment?  Over eating?  Over drinking? Obsessing on Facebook?  I’m not really sure the answer to this myself because depending on the situation and how grave the said disappointment, you may want to do all that I’ve already mentioned – if not more, right?

My recent excursion down the trail of disappointment of course deals with my love life.  I called a good friend of mine earlier to vent a bit about the past month and to talk shop about moving forward and realistic expectations for the coming month.  I may be down for a bit but I refuse to stay down.  Giving others power over you is dangerous and worthless.  This past month I have dealt with a lot of issues from past relationships and potential new ones that I have been trying to change within myself as well.  I made a deal with myself a year ago to change my behavior and some of my ways and try to date new and different kinds of people because what I was doing before wasn’t working.   I ended up alone more often than I cared to be.  I decided to open myself up to new kinds of men; men who before I would never consider dating because I would consider them too heavy a risk.  Yes, I look at dating in the form of accounting – whether he is an asset or a liability.  It’s just who I am.  In the beginning of the relationship things went okay.  I let go of some things and proceeded with caution.  You only live once, may as well take a risk and find out.

Time went by and I ended up in a new relationship.  Things were okay for a while until reality set in and my previous checks & balances that would have told me to not bother with this guy were coming up like red flags in a bad soccer match.   My gut/intuition/whatever you want to call it kept telling me to end things and move on, no matter how hard it may be.  How can you go one minute wondering if this is the kind of compromise they talk about when moving forward to getting married?  I also contemplated that was it my own fears holding me back from moving forward too?  Sadly, those red flags were turning quite serious and I knew it was time to go.

Fast forward to dating others more recently, still trying to be optimistic, hoping that if I try something different, maybe that will lead me to someone I am able to feel safe with.  Nothing has stuck yet and the old temptations to previous encounters swing in and out as if being offered a warm bowl of ice cream.  It’s tempting but easy to resist.  I wouldn’t say I was lowering my standards.  It was more not being as picky as I can be.  My philosophy is to wait for that right one, not waste years of my life tied to the wrong one.  What I realized after chatting with my friend earlier is that I am okay being single.  My life is filled with a lot of great people and adventures that maybe, right now this is all I need.

It’s important not to be envious of others.  What some have, they may have had to sacrifice everything for a moment of fleeting happiness.  I do believe that a strong marriage is more important than just being someone’s wife.  I also believe  that a good marriage can exist, even in our modern time.  I just know that it’s not my time yet.  If or when that time comes I will be ready, but I am content to wait.  I know me of 5 years ago would have thought the me now is crazy for even thinking that but wisdom comes with age.  There are more important things in life than the selfishness of others in bad relationships, or pride for that matter.

As far as I know, for me, if I don’t feel that he is the right fit, I will politely say,  “no thank you,” and patiently wait my turn.  I deserve that.