Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Lent is such a gorgeous piece of the liturgical puzzle. I love the richness of tradition, the opportunity to sacrifice, and the opportunity to be grateful. Ash Wednesday is a day to showcase your faithfulness to the world around you, but it is also a day for reflection. Today, I reflected on my life and what would have the most meaningful impact on my life as I head into the Lent season.
I knew that the thing that is affecting my relationship with the Lord the most is my negativity, fear, and anxiety that I let prevent me for fully connecting and appreciating. The anxiety triggered from events of my childhood that tells me I’m not good enough, unsafe, unsettled, and broken. It creates a filter over the joy I should be absorbing all the time, not just on certain days. I am imperfect, I worry unnecessarily, and I get frazzled and frustrated with myself.
I don’t always remember to be grateful, I am never satisfied with myself, I’m too critical of myself. I don’t see myself as God sees me, and that has to change.
This year for Lent, I’m giving up negative self talk.
This year for Lent, and hopefully the rest of my life. I’m cutting myself some slack. I’m admitting that I’m acceptable looking, that I am generous, and hilarious. That I write things that inspire others, that I motivate those around me, and acknowledging what a loving and wonderful wife and mother I am. I’m continuing my pursuit of my best self by accepting the things I cannot change. I will turn my focus to the Lord and my Catholic faith when I want to berate my acne, weight gain, or parenting. When I feel inadequate, I will choose to see the things I know God has made me great at. He has given me a gift for encouraging others, and instead of focusing on my inner shortcomings, I will bless others when I feel weak.
The forty days that lay ahead, I pray, will be trans-formative and insightful.
I pray for a closer relationship to God, myself, my husband, my children, and my friends. I pray for more breathing room when I unwind the chains that bind me to my insecurities.
“Lent is like a long ‘retreat’ during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.” — Pope Benedict XVI