I am a person who has spirituality and faith - but I don't necessarily subscribe to any particular religion. However, I find the exercise of giving up something for Lent to be a worthwhile endeavor. For it to have any impact on your life, it needs to be something important and pleasurable to you and the things you can learn about yourself - what you need and what you really don't can be quite enlightening.
For myself, I have chosen two things. The first is coffee. I LOVE coffee. I also know that I drink too much of it. My body lets me know in several ways - like near manic activity followed by feeling too sleepy to do anything (must need more coffee!). Sometimes I have headaches or stomach aches with too much acid. I had to give it up entirely when I was experiencing acid reflux a few years ago. After gall bladder surgery, it crept back into my life though - and I've been drinking way too much. So coffee in all its glorious forms is verboten until Easter. I can do tea or water. I haven't banned soft drinks, but they cause the same sort of problems as coffee, so I'm going to avoid them as much as possible. They're bad for your bones, you know!
The other thing is dessert-type items. Cakes. Cookies. Ice cream. Brownies. Doughnuts. Tiramisu. Not only am I diabetic and should be avoiding them anyway, but between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, I consumed WAY too many of them. My blood sugar is up and so is my weight. That's a bad thing. So naughty pastry of all sorts are out of my life until the end of Lent. Perhaps by then I will have discovered that I can, indeed live without them. Please note that I have NOT banned chocolate. And as if it were a sign from God, I was presented with a beautiful dark chocolate-covered strawberry today. It was absolutely heavenly.
I went to my doctor today. He wants me to lose 20 lbs by my next appointment (May 18th). And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can do this. I am empowered by my Lenten "sacrifices", my daily treadmill habit, and feeling good.
Yep. Feeling good. I can't tell you how long it's been since I really felt good. I have energy. I have stamina! I have ideas and dreams. It's hard to have those things when your body is betraying you (and you it) in so many small and varied ways. They add up to feeling a bit like a lump. That is behind me now. January and it's never-ending head cold are over. Even if Punxatony Phil says six more weeks of winter, it is spring in my heart. And giving it up for Lent is helping me lighten that load.