Each year about this time, the big question around here is...
What should I give up for Lent?
If you’re not familiar, “Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.” (from The BBC)
In case you’re trying to figure out what to give up for Lent, here are 4 unique ideas:
First, bring your awareness to this voice in your head, and rather than allowing it to push you over, or ignoring it, or doing battle with it, instead just notice it. Bring mindful, non-judgmental attention to it.
Then shift your focus to the area around your heart and silently say to yourself, "I am good. I am beloved. I am enough." As you repeat these words to yourself, alternately tap your left shoulder then right shoulder for 15-30 seconds, helping anchor the feeling neurologically through bilateral stimulation.
This year for Lent, I'm giving up self-contempt. #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath
2. The Need to be Right
Here’s what I’m learning about my identity and who I am not:
- My identity is not in the victories or the failures in my life.
- My identity is not in my struggles to control other people or institutions or outcomes.
- My identity has absolutely nothing to do with what others expect of me or what I think others expect of me.
- My identity is certainly not found in how many arguments I win online, behind the windshield, or in person. No matter how spiritual I think I’m being when I advocate for what I think is right.
My identity has everything to do with my relationship with Christ and what He says about me.
This year for Lent, I'm giving up the need to be right. #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath
3. Fear-Based Theology
I think it’s the way fear takes up the whole atmosphere of the room, honestly. How its voice bellows over the quieter conversations we’re trying to have, keeps us unable to focus on the expressions of the person sitting across from us, keeps our system on high alert.
That’s why it calls for a casting out.
Today, I will see God in her warmth, in her softness and strength, taking me in her arms with glad abandon and answering, Yes, beloved. Yes. You belong here. You belong to Love. No matter what.
This year for Lent, I'm giving up fear-based theology. #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath
4. Busyness and Numbing Behaviors
My prayer is the same for each of us during this season. I pray that we each practice becoming more aware and courageously let go of whatever is keeping us from waking up to the gift of our precious and sacred life.
Whether you choose to officially participate in Lent or not, know this: you are already enough. Whether you give up something, or add a spiritual practice, or change nothing at all, you are already enough.
This year for Lent, I'm giving up busyness and numbing behaviors. #graceismessy #catchingyourbreath
1. My Catching Your Breath Self-Care Journal
Have you done all the right things, but you still feel overwhelmed, anxious, or just plain stuck?
Subscribe to my newsletter and I'll send you my Catching Your Breath Journal, with nine printable self-care worksheets.
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2. The Opening of My Upcoming Book, Hiding in the Pews: Shining Light on Mental Illness in the Church, from Fortress Press
Hiding in the Pews is a prophetic call—a clear, compassionate, and practical guide—for the Church to become like a psych ward: a safe place where believers and leaders with mental illness are empowered to cultivate vulnerability in safe community.