Lenten Reflections

6 Apr

Today marks the end of Lent. As usual I dove into the Lenten season with visions of losing twenty pounds, de-cluttering half of everything we own and having an absolutely immaculate home by today. Ha!! I am a grand planner, but that execution thing still alludes me some days. Don’t get me wrong. I have made progress, just not as much as I’d hoped.

On the weight front, I have lost some. I have made mostly good food choices. I’ve exercised a little more consistently than in the past. What I haven’t done is rested as much as I should. I know I should get more sleep. I know I should take a nap in the afternoon if I’m tired. Why don’t I? I could blame it on having too much to do or the fact that my teenagers seem to like to start long conversations at bed time, but the truth is that I haven’t put rest anywhere near the top of my priority list. In the past it seemed weak and un-American and un-motherly. In my Protestant upbringing, we sacrifice all for others. It’s just what we do. It doesn’t matter if you’re tired, or sick or in pain. Just hitch up your big girl panties and make that casserole or batch of cookies, chair that committee and attend those meetings and church services. How dare you say no? How dare you ignore the advice of others? What makes you think you know best? DUH!

If you can’t stop and listen and figure out what’s best for yourself and your family you are in serious trouble. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve ignored my intuition and seen the disastrous results. I’ve heard my intuition and disregarded my own connection to the Divine and seen how small and insignificant it makes me feel. On the flip side, I’ve heard my inner promptings and followed them knowing the guidance will lead me to the next best place in my life. I’ve even followed that inner guidance when it doesn’t seem like the “normal” thing to do and found myself in a better place than I could imagine. Especially when I write, I feel my intuition take over and, most of the time; I just know what to do. I truly understand the artists who say that the pictures they paint and the sculptures they fashion were there just waiting for someone to bring them to life. The finished product is not yours. It is the product of something bigger than you that you were privileged to be a part of.

When I write, I combine a little bit of my life with a lot of faith that the Divine will give me the best words to share. I never know if anyone will relate to what I am saying. I sometimes worry that I share too much and that my transparency will be my undoing. I feel vulnerable and scared, but I feel something else too. I feel a connection to the Divine I can only match in deep meditation. I feel like I am being my most authentic. I feel like I’m becoming my best self by revealing my truth through my gift, and I believe we can all do the same. It doesn’t matter if you’re an accountant that can work miracles with numbers, a baseball player that can hit the unhittable pitch or the nurse that knows just what to say to an agitated patient to calm them; if you feel a deep connection to what you do in life and lose all track of time when you are doing it, you are in a Divine and wonderful place. If you aren’t, find something, anything, that brings that feeling to you and do it to the best of your ability.

So, I guess for me, this Lenten season hasn’t been about de-cluttering my body or my home as much as it’s been about de-cluttering my spirit and the things that keep me from being the best person I can be. It feels good to know that and even better to share. It feels much bigger than the weight on my body or the boxes in my basement. It feels freeing and what Lent should be about and that is the spiritual spring cleaning I think I was looking for in the first place. Like I said on Ash Wednesday, I love Lent. Thanks, dear readers, for being you and have a great day!

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