I’m not Catholic but I do like the idea of lent and giving something up for it. I know that some people do the reverse and give during lent which can be quite a powerful thing as well. I had asked a friend at work a few years ago what he was giving up for lent and he said he was going to stop killing people. His reason was that he obviously didn’t kill people so it would be really easy to give it up.Well that not the way it’s supposed to work…
I try to do something that would be hard for me. One year I gave up chips. Last year it was cheese (I cried a few times actually…cheese is on EVERYTHING!) This year I wanted to do something that would be hard but also meaningful. If you are looking at lent from a religious perspective, the idea is that God gave the world his Son who then in turn gave up his life for us. So giving up something for 40 days once a year is really nothing compared to that.
I don’t mean to get all religious on you and I am NOT asking you do anything for religious reasons, but I do go to church most Sundays and this is just something that I do. I just want to explain where I am coming from.
I decided to give up complaining. I find that I complain at work A LOT and it’s usually about stuff I can’t do anything about but it makes me feel better to get it out. The only one that helps is me so I am going to try my best not to do it anymore and make the space around me positive.
While I hate the Disney “Let It Go” song (just because it was played 7 million times), that phrase is what I need to put in my head. Complaining about people being selfish and not compassionate isn’t going to get me anywhere. Instead I need to let it go and show compassion myself to counteract their actions. When someone who makes 5 times more money then me but doesn’t want to give $15 for a collection for a co-worker who lost a close family member so we can send them a gift card so they can eat and not have to worry about that for a few days but in the next breath wants to talk about a $20,000 dollar deck they are putting on their house – I have to let it go! I can’t do anything about this and neither can anyone else. What I can do though is support people in need, be kind, and giving. I am hoping that after lent, my non-complaining turns into a habit and my life becomes freer and less stressful.
Really that’s all any of us can do.