Lent. That season of reflection and preparation that runs 40 days until Easter. Half way there. I grew up Catholic where you gave something up during this season. Parents encouraged us to give up TV and candy while they tried their efforts at giving up alcohol, meat, eating between meals, sugar.
As an adult I too tried my efforts in the past of giving things up but it never brought me closer to God. It left me frustrated feeling like a failure. My reasons always self-focused, Oh, I can lose weight during Lent if I give up “sinful” foods. Years ago instead of focusing on “giving up” something I used the season of Lent to “take on” something. I took on meditating ten minutes every day, sitting in silence, saying something kind to others. These efforts brought me a lot closer to anything Divine than “giving up” ever has.
This Lenten Season I chose to walk that old school Catholic way proving you can take the girl out of Church, but you can’t take Church out of the girl. I chose to give up something as well as take something on. (Drinking more water every day. And yes, peeing more this season in the process.) It wasn’t alcohol, red meat, or sugar. I chose something that gets in the way of me living fully far more than a glass of wine, tacos or a chocolate chip cookie. And trust me a lot more challenging. (At least for me.)
Judgement. Self judgement is where I had to start before I could begin the journey of letting go of judgement of others. I have stumbled. I have succeeded. I have failed, I have begun again. I have become so much more aware of how critical, defeating judgement stands in the way of me loving fully. It blindly blocks any Divine Light from getting through. I feel lighter. I feel whole. I may never give it up completely for it has its positive place indeed. But I see the self defeating line it draws in my heart. I am able to catch myself now with practice and give it up on the spot, redirecting, reframing, letting go, taking a different path.
The path will more than likely take a lot longer than 40 days. With awareness and learning every step I am half way there and that is perfect. I am grateful to be half way there. No judgement for how long it takes. Only faith. Only trust. One step at a time.
Whether or not you observe Lent is there something you want to give up or take on that can lead you down your path of living life more fully, connected to all you are meant to be?
Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach, Retreat Leader and Writer. As founder of my retreat business, Mama Needs A Refill, LLC, one way I know I fill my cup is by showing up to a blank page to write. Thank you for stopping by and reading my Random Monday Thoughts, because I will be honest that fills my cup too, knowing others are reading my filled page. Life is too short to blog about anything else unless it touches my heart. Please know I appreciate you joining me on this journey whether you visit every week since I began in 2008 or this is your first blog stop.
Interested in life or spiritual coaching or want to learn more about my retreats in Seattle, please find me on FaceBook, www.FaceBook.com/MamaNeedsARefill or visit my website: www.mamaneedsarefill.com)