Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I just have to believe

Is it just me, or has the last week or so been really emotionally challenging?

It's that time of year when many of us who have stayed the course with resolutions desire nothing more than to falter.  The time of year when goals are set for the lenten season, and all of a sudden we feel deprived.  So many people feeling discouraged, stressed, run-down, defeated.  On top of that, we in the northern hemisphere are in the midst of the coldest month of the year, and arguably the most depressing for many.  It's a tough time of year, especially if you are trying to undergo a metamorphosis.  When you seek to become better, faster, stronger, wiser, more able, more healthy, resistance will always follow.  We are creatures of habit.  Our habits are easy, they are convenient, they are comforting at a time when we most need that comfort.

The church I grew up in was always very clear on their views of lent.  It was not a season to feel that "giving up" something should be identified as feeling deprived.  Rather, they identified those 40 days as the perfect opportunity to cast aside thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and things that keep us from fully engaging with God.  That this time is about spiritual abundance, and how much more valuable that is than any thing on this Earth.

Source: via Kristen on Pinterest

I no longer practice my faith in the manner I was instructed as a child.  I do not know what to call the space that I am in now.  That is alright.  And while I am certainly not practicing the act of going without something this year for lent, I find myself wondering why I am afraid of drawing nearer to a spiritual practice in which there is no room for hate, for fear, and all the room in a million Universes for love.  Perhaps the concept of filling myself with so much love frightens me, because what do we do when people don't love back?  How challenging is it to love those who wish to not be loved?  What would I choose to give up, however difficult, in the quest for that kind of practice?

Who would I become?  Would I become a person who believes in humanity?  A person that believes we can solve issues through cooperation and greater understanding?

Would I become a person who knows their inherent value and worth, and loves herself freely and without reservation?

Source: via Kristen on Pinterest

Oh, how I wish I had the answers to these questions, without having to embark on the journey first.  I wish that I could see what that path held, and decide if I am brave enough to let my light out.  I can't see it though.  And therein lies the problem.  How do I trust that I can do this?

I just have to believe.


  1. My childish upbringing on Lent was always to give up something you like... to be perfectly miserable for 40 days. It was epic. And probably hurtful if I look at it too closely. But on Sunday my priest gave this amazing sermon about how maybe lent could be a time where we take stock in our delight - in the things that bring us delight. And maybe it's an opportunity to to cast off the doubts, anger, jealous, and other emotions that weigh us down and keep us from being the best versions of ourselves. And maybe letting in some of that universal love is what you need to do. It's totally ok to be scared about it. It's hard and it takes time. You'll get there. I already love you, and I'm always sending happy thoughts your way!

    That's why I nixed the giving up swearing thing, as you probably noticed during our talk yesterday. I'm trying to curb it, because it bothers me. But I'm focusing on being a better me, and the better me doesn't believe in deprivation of any kind.

    How's that for a comment, hmmmm? Thoughtful enough? Bahahaha.

  2. P.S. Does believing have to be seeing? Is it totally necessary to see the path to believe that you can do it? Rhetorical questions, but I get it. I'm often confounded because I can't see the path I think I want to take, and so can't determine if it's worth the risk. But that's the very definition of a leap of faith!

  3. This is some deep stuff, my friend. I wish I had some guidance for you. Unfortunately, I was raised entirely distant from any sort of church and with a relatively bitter relationship towards its existence.

    However, I will say to you this: you are doing awesome(!!!) on this metamorphosis. You are killing it with your diet and your awesome DIY wedding plans, all while still lovingly caring for all of your blogger (and also assumably IRL) friends. Changes take time, and it's hard to see that we're changing when it's little things that happen every day. But then, two months go buy and you realize how different you are now then you were two months ago, but you couldn't notice if you were looking every day.

    All this is to say, I believe in you. And no one has ever gone wrong by filling their hearts with a belief structure of love. Loving those who do not want it can be difficult, but not as difficult as you may think. It's just a different form of love. :)

  4. you are so wise.
    I always know even before clicking on your blog that I'm about to be inspired.

    and guess what.
    I believe in you. :)

  5. My favorite Lents have been the ones that instead of giving something up, you DO something for the season of Lent. Then, I'm not grouchy because I'm not getting my caffeine fix (for that one year I gave up soda) and I don't feel awful when I forget that it's "fish Friday" and go out to dinner with friends and have a steak.

    For me, doing something is a sacrifice in a way, it's sacrificing yourself to DO something that you wouldn't normally. If it was read your Bible in the morning AND at night, work in the soup kitchen, anything that would Godly.. or even nice would probably suffice.

    I have faith that your journey will be spectacular, no matter where you end up! :)

  6. Ugh your last few sentences totally speak to me at the moment. WHile I'm not that religious I feel like these are the questions I just have about life in general. I don't know what continent I'm going to live on 5 years from now- and I just need to trust that I'll be where I need to be. And that I'll be able to make that decision when it happens.

  7. As a total control freak I have a very hard time giving up the reigns. These days I'm trying to just tell myself to trust that life is leading me where I need to be and that it the end things will work out the way that they're supposed to.

    Good luck to you lady.

  8. Deeeeep thoughts for a Wednesday! I do like that idea of lent that focuses more on getting rid of bad thoughts and attitudes as opposed to depriving yourself of something.

    All the questions you asked in this post are scary, because they can mean big change. and it's easy to look at change from this side and be afraid of it. but when you're looking back, realizing how far you've come, you'll be glad you went down that path. Hopefully that made ANY sense, but suffice to say, I believe in you!

  9. You write so beautifully! John is Catholic I am not. However, we have decided that we will raise the boys Catholic bc it is very important to him. I practiced Lent last year but am not this year. John doesn't do much in the terms of religion. It's a little frustrating for me bc if I'm willing to practice his religion he should be practicing too.

  10. Don't give up! I so sympathize with how you feel. It'll all be worth it!

  11. Why do resolutions have to start in the cold New Year? Why can't it be Spring 2013 resolutions when the sun comes up and it's above freezing? Stay strong girl!


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