Ah, the romance of self-sacrifice! The idea that we would give of ourselves to become a better person for ourselves and for others. Yes, a romantic idea indeed.
Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in many Christian religions. I was raised as a Catholic and for years I have followed the annual Lenten ritual of giving up something for Lent, the 46 days preceding Easter. (It’s only 40 if you don’t count Sundays!)
While I’m no longer a ‘practicing Catholic’ I still observe Lent. It’s somewhat of a holdover from my traditional Catholic upbringing, but now I make the effort more to satisfy my personal preferences rather than to comply with religious tenets. I appreciate the idea of that I can choose to ‘give something up’ as a demonstration of my own willpower over the choices I make. I like to muster the determination needed to make a commitment and see it through to the end. It requires that every day I be aware of my choices.
For years I’ve given up liquor and chocolate, but not this year. This year I’ll continue to give up liquor – it’s not like I’m a really big drinker – but instead of chocolate, I’m giving up cakes, cookies and pastries. I know I could give up the chocolates, I’ve done it before, many times and I’m certain I could do it again, should I so desire. But I’ve never tried to do the cakes, cookies and pastries thing before, and this year I wanted to do something different. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the BIG box of chocolates sitting at home in my cupboard. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Anyone else out there who still observes the Lenten ritual of self-sacrifice? Just asking.
Enjoy always, T