Why I’m Not Giving Anything Up for Lent :: Instead, I’m Giving More of Myself
Every year after the fun of Mardi Gras, Lent comes upon us. Growing up religious, we were encouraged to sacrifice, or give up something we love, for Lent. I’ve done it all. From chocolate to social media to sushi to wine. It’s a long 40 days, but if Christ sacrificed himself for me, the little I can do is sacrifice something I love for 40 days.
The older I’ve gotten, the more aware I have become about myself and my faith. I’ve decided that instead of sacrificing something, that honestly most of us have not always succeeded to do for 40 days, I try harder to give more of myself. Obviously, we all try to be “good people,” but I mean that in these 40 days, I work on specific ways to spread happiness and kindness. Moms are already stretched very thin, so “giving” of ourselves happens pretty much all day, every day of the year. So, if some of you are eye rolling me, I totally get it! I just feel like I make a more conscious effort during Lent. Below are two ways to give more of yourself and spread kindness.
Pay for the Coffee of the Person Behind You
This is an easy, often mentioned way to give more during Lent. You don’t know what other people are going through. Sometimes you are in line fore coffee just because you need the extra caffeine for the day. Sometimes you are having a difficult day and want the comfort of your favorite coffee. Either way, no one knows the exact story of the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. It is a wonderful act of random kindness to pay the bill for the person after you.
This is the one I pride myself in trying hard to do. We all try to be patient with all that life throws at us. During Lent, we should try to exercise more patience than usual. This is a hard one. We all get our buttons pushed. A side comment. A criticism. Getting cut off in traffic. We react or get defensive. We are human; however, during Lent, try not to react or show frustration. Everyone is going through a tough time. I think to myself “what if this person is saying this because they are hurting.” Yes, they may just be evil, but I won’t let it get to me. I am a stronger person. I try to just listen to the comment and walk away. Let the angry driver cut me off and not yell in reaction to it.
For me personally, once I try these during Lent, I am able to practice these tactics over the year. Everyone is fighting their demons but I feel my job is to make life happier for myself and everyone around me.