For any of you who aren’t Catholic or Christian, today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent. Growing up, I always looked forward to gorging myself with food & partying on Mardi Gras. lol Then come Wednesday morning, I attend mass & get my ashes on my forehead prepared to fast for Lent. Every year, from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday before Easter, I fast giving up meat on Fridays as well as something that I love dearly for 40 days. In the past couple of years, instead of giving up one thing, such as frivolous shopping, soda, or fast food, I gave up one of the Seven Deadly Sins. If you’re not familiar with the Seven Deadly Sins, they are:
- Lust: Extreme sexual desire and/or impulsive behavior
- Gluttony: Overindulging in anything to the point of obsession and/or waste
- Greed: Extreme neediness for money and/or material possessions
- Sloth: Laziness or indifference with lack of drive or focus
- Wrath: Extreme anger or rage
- Envy: Resentful longing for what another has including their material possessions, qualities, luck, etc.
- Pride: Selfishness
Last year, I gave up Gluttony, because I have a weakness for online shopping & overeating. lol I gave up frivolous shopping, which I define as any shopping that is not a necessity, such as groceries or personal hygiene products, & overeating is pretty self-explanatory, no eating more than necessary for survival. Even though I proactively choose to eat clean for majority of the time, I still love dessert & appetizers as well as unhealthy snacks, such as candy or chips.
This year for Lent, I’m going to try my best to refrain from committing any of the Seven Deadly Sins. Since I’m single, I’m not going to act impulsively or jump into a new relationship. I’m not going to shop carelessly, over eat, or over drink. I’m going to limit my social media screen time, be thankful for the existing abundance that I have, & not envy the money, possessions, or circumstances of anyone else. I’m going to create a routine & set daily goals for myself to stay productive, & I’m going to be altruistic, putting the needs of others before myself.
Lent this year is not going to be easy, but I think that’s the point. During Lent, you’re called to give up your vices, not to torture yourself, but to learn & improve as a person. It’s common knowledge in Psychology that it takes 21 days to break a habit, so I think 40 days can help me break a lot of my toxic behaviors. While I know that I won’t be instantly cured come Easter Sunday, I’m optimistic & hopeful for the changes I’ll be proactively working towards during my 40 days of fasting.