.....Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I am probably one of the world's most shameful Catholics.
It isn't on purpose by any means. I just believe that God really does love all of us, regardless of our views on sexuality, pregnancy and multi- faith beliefs. I know...crazy talk.
That doesn't mean that I don't look forward to Lent.
The chance to get things right. To have a renewal. To learn about yourself. These are just some of the reasons I look forward to this time of year. More than any other Christian holiday, Lent reminds me to stop and focus on who I want to be, not who I have been.
When I was a child, I would give up things like chocolate or gum.
A few years ago I decided to give up intangible things. Well, maybe they aren't truly intangible. Can a change have no form? Maybe, but it still offers intrinsic value, right?
Last year I decided to give up anger for Lent. It was harder than you might imagine. I had to let go of things that upset me and there were times when I forgot that I was supposed to be releasing instead of holding things inside. But, at the end of the process, I did feel a lot less angry. I especially felt less angry about things for which I had no answers. I started speaking just a bit more freely.
That's the things about holding things inside. Once you get used to doing it, you lose a bit of your voice - of yourself.
How sad, right?
This year I am giving up grief. Sure, I wander around smiling. A lot. And laughing. But there are things that have made me sad and once sadness sets in, it can lead to grief. No, it's not always about a physical death. Sometimes an emotional one can be just as hard. If not harder.
And of course, grief holds us back from where we need to be, right?
Right. So that's why I need to learn to let it go.
What I felt while traveling this past January really feels like a sea-change in my life and I just really want it to be who I am always. Not just a few weeks out of the year.
So...40 days of getting rid of a new tangible intangible.
This could be the start of a whole new trend. Or not.