I’m a naturally optimistic person. Not like irrationally so or anything like that, but…practically optimistic and generally hopeful.
Lately, however, I’m finding myself inclined toward the glass-half-empty perspective. My mind seems to want to go to the grumpy side more often than normal, and I’ve been having a tough time wrangling it in — which drives me CRAZY.
If you’re not familiar with Lent…It begins on Ash Wednesday (today) and ends on Easter. It’s a time to prepare for Easter (aka Jesus’ resurrection) through fasting, repentance, moderation, spiritual discipline, etc. The purpose of which is to set aside time to reflect on Jesus — his suffering, sacrifice, life, death, burial, and resurrection. Often times, people will give something up during Lent to make more room for reflection and communion with God, often using the pangs of withdrawal as a reminder to get with God. (Keep in mind, I’m paraphrasing here).
Usually, you give up something that you rely on enough that its absence is truly felt. It should be something you will resume once Lent is over – don’t look at Lent like a day to renew your New Year’s resolutions and finally kick whatever habit you’ve been trying to drop for a long time. What you give up may not be “bad” for you (smoking), but it’s something you will feel (no coffee, fasting during one meal, no Facebook, etc.) and the void created will be a constant reminder to fill up that time with more God-focused activities. Sometimes people add a new activity that will focus their mind and heart toward Jesus.
I’ve decided to give up negativity and add positivity.
Isn’t that so incredibly cheesy?!? Yes, yes it is. But I’m totally serious.
For the negativity part of it, it will be catching myself when I head toward the half-empty side of things and refocusing myself on the half-full. For the adding positivity, I’m going to choose a daily positive quote, verse, affirmation, etc. to start the day off right, and then end the day by reflecting on all the day’s positives (even if the day was craptastic). And of course, interspersed throughout it all will be prayer.
So, here’s to Day 1! This week’s been a tough one, but in the words of Ice Cube, today was a good day. Positive, forward looking, happy. Success.
Sooooo….Are you giving up anything for Lent?