Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Taking Lent In A New Direction

Normally the 40 days of Lent are regarded as a period of sobriety, penance and reflection.  I can remember peers in elementary school who gave up chocolate for Lent.  Not this girl.  No way was I handing over my Ho Ho's and Ding Dongs to the church.  I was always afraid to publicly give anything up for fear of failure.  This year I would give up Facebook but that box is already checked.  I now have 12 days of my Sadhana (40 day spiritual practice) remaining, and I have given up Facebook except for one Valentine's Day post.  I have remained true to my 40 day pranayama meditation commitment and I can always throw on one extra day of the Facebook fast to round it out to the full 40.  (I doubt that Patanjali would notice.  Maybe I'll get assigned some extra chaturangas, but I could use them anyway.)

My husband and I have repeatedly discussed what to give up this year: meat or booze were the two most popular candidates.  Someone at church suggested I give up sugar, and I can tell you that's not happening anymore today than it would have when I was 8.  I have a box and a half of Leonidas chocolates left over from Valentine's and Jamie's not getting all of them.  My yoga teacher said she failed after 8 days of giving up sugar and I doubt I'd do much better. 

When I discussed Lent with a fellow Catholic preschool mom, she suggested I add something for the 40 days, as opposed to the usual subtraction.  I like it.  That's what I'm going to do.  I talked to Jamie about it.  The way I see it, anytime you add something you're taking away the antithesis of that thing.  If you add some light, you take away some darkness.  When you add gravity, you subtract levity.  Adding wetness removes dryness.  And so on.  Is this kosher with the Jesus gang?  What I do care?  I'm interfaith! I'm having my Lent my way.

SO, here it is: for Lent this year, we're adding something to our marriage.  We are giving up complacency and inertia.  Yep, you guessed it: 40 days of creating one flesh.  Because it's kinda sorta biblical, when you take out the Leviticus bits.  And no, that's not what we call them.  Imma let Justin sing me out!

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