There was a time when I gave up the usual luxuries--sweets, spending, etc--but in the past years I've focused my lenten “giving up" on something a little less tangible. For the past four years, it's been the same thing: I've tried to give up complaining, judging, and negativity in my life in preparation for the Easter season.
I don't do it over and over because it's powerful or effective. I repeat it because it hasn't yet worked.
Every year I try it, and every year I fail. I've used prayer, visualization, post-it notes, and hourly reminders on my cell phone. One year I even wrote a minus sign--the universal symbol for “negative”—with one of those “NO” circles with the diagonal slash through it on the back of my palm every day. I figured not only would I see it all the time, but when people asked me what the odd symbol on my hand was, I'd have to explain it to them and it would be an additional reminder.
Nope. Didn't work. I can still gripe with the best of them, no matter my good intentions.
It's our human nature--we're quick to proclaim what's wrong and slow with valuable praise.
There I go again, focusing on the negative. It makes no sense. Easter is about life, rebirth, salvation. We’ve got a wonderfully healthy, fully recovered boy and a happy family this year, and I should reinvigorate my positivity goals.
I figure I'll have to keep at this until I get it right—I may be drawing on my hand for a few more years.
How about you? Have you given up anything for the Lenten Season? Is it the same thing as years past or something new?