Instead of obsessing, I wanted to give something up that would be a reminder of Christ’s love instead of what seemed like total punishment and depression.
Now that the Lenten season has come and gone and we’ve already celebrated Easter, I can tell you a little bit about my experience this year with fasting.
I am completely addicted to chocolate. Not a day goes by without some form of it entering my body at some point. Since lent is a time for giving up something that is close to you, I thought I would give up chocolate for the 40 day fast.
While that sounded good, the reality of it hit hard in just the first few days. I became depressed and obsessed. I was obsessed with the fact that I was “not allowed” to have it which made me want it more. I got depressed because I didn’t have my daily little indulgence.
Instead of doing what it was supposed to do, this giving up made me crazy. Really crazy.
So I changed my mind. Instead of obsessing, I wanted to give something up that would be a reminder of Christ’s love instead of what seemed like total punishment and depression.
I decided to go the non-food route. I typically listen to music in my car, so I decided that not listening to music will have multiple benefits. I will drive in silence, which will remind me of what I’m giving up. In that silence, I will be able to think, meditate, and pray while I’m driving. When the music is blaring I don’t think and just jam. With silence I can actually hear myself think and enjoy a few quiet moments–at least it’s quiet when the kids aren’t in the car!
I learned this year that giving something up for lent isn’t about punishment, but rather focusing on the positive. In addition to experiencing silence in the car, I also started a new tradition with my boys focusing on gratitude. Every night before bed we would thank God for something good that happened that day. Even though lent is over now, we are still giving thanks every night and the boys look forward to sharing a story to go along with it.