I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.
Now that easter is over so is lent. Yay! I see a lot of people are excited to have completed the forty day fast from their various vices… and so am I. Those last two weeks were a struggle for me. *wipes forehead*
I wanted to share with you what I learned from my particular lent commitment. No, I’m not catholic and although I knew the basic concept of lent this year I was curious about its true purpose and why people are suppose to participate. So, like any person would I took to google for the answers.
After my research I chose something in hopes of it becoming more permanent in my life and that would strengthen my spirituality. I chose to give up television, phone calls/text, and computer use after 8 p.m. everyday. In place of these things I embarked on reading Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren all the way through. I tried several times in the past to read the book in its entirety only to be defeated by day four, but this time things were different.
Purpose Driven Life (for those who don’t know) is a book that teaches you about what you’re place on earth is through five purposes in life as a Christian- believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior= the reason we celebrate easter- and you read one chapter a day for forty days.
I only told maybe two people about my commitment for lent. I felt it was better to keep it to myself as a true test because I could tell all my friends not to call me after eight, but that would’ve been too easy. During the last forty days I’ve learned a lot and wanted to share with you the top three things.
1) It Can Wait Until Tomorrow
Sometimes with all this technology nowadays we feel that we need to be available at all times, even when were sleep, but we really don’t. Most of the time it can wait until the morning. What is more important is clearing your mind and resting it. My thoughts seemed to just be so fluid at night with ideas, what needed to be done the next day, and with my true emotions because there was no pressure to keep up with television dialogue, a constant moving timeline, or the sounds of my phone going off. This allowed me to sleep better too and be rejuvenated in the morning.
2) Sometimes Its Better To Write It Down First
Its good to talk to friends about the different situations in your life, but its even better to write it down in a journal or something first. This allowed me to communicate my thoughts better and be sensible about how I felt because I didn’t have others to validate it or tell me their opinion first. It allowed me to be truly honest and unadulterated with myself. The time also allowed for me to be uninterrupted in my thoughts. I found myself able to tell my friends something instead of questioning them about the issue or not mentioning it to them at all.
3) Willpower is NOT Enough
I read this in the book and it just clicked like a light bulb. So many times I tried to have willpower in fighting against my normal habit when it came to diet, cursing, going to class, etc but this is when an attitude/mindset change from the inside out needs to occur. This is especially true if you’re looking to make permanent changes in your life like I am. The strength is within to change but you also have to apply practical things to replace the old mindset like bible scriptures, quotes, maybe even different people and places that you may frequent. This moves you out of your comfort zone but into a new way of thinking. It can be scary because it isn’t easy, but its worth it.
As mentioned before I learned a lot over the last forty days and I’m sure it will reflect in my future writing and actions.
What did you give up for lent and what did you learn from it? What have you learned from recent changes in your life?