- Mary-Sue Cowell
Giving Up, What do you have to Gain?
It’s March people! Where did February go? How are those new year's resolutions coming along? February has come and gone and I have excitement and a renewed energy that comes with spring (I know this doesn't officially arrive until the end of the month but it's sunny outside today). As a Catholic this week also marks the beginning of Lent. Simply put this is a time where we abstain or give something up which in turn creates more time and space for God in our life and strengthens our faith. I have always felt that this is like another January 1, but this year my thoughts have shifted beyond. I am participating in Lent as a Catholic, by giving up cheese and adding more intentional prayer to my days but this "giving up" has thinking more about how I spend my time... If we apply this "giving up" whether we are Catholic or not to our life and not just during Lent what could the outcome be?
Are there things you could give up in your world that would bring you closer to the people you love, or maybe a goal you have set for yourself or even create more time for you? If we applied the concept of giving up something regardless of our faith could have stronger connections with people and move closer to our goals than ever before?
Now I'm not saying that giving up cheese (I know hard right!) is going to bring me closer to my family because it’s not, we all really love cheese. I will say already (only a few days into Lent) I have reached for the brick of cheddar or the Boursin and stopped and thought about my faith so it works. If I apply this to other areas of my life and think long and hard about the way I “spend” my time, and I put the word in quotation marks because that is essentially how we live our life, we literally spend the time we have. Perhaps, abstaining from the distractions that do not serve me would free up time where I could call a family member I haven’t spoken to in awhile, go outside, play a board game or have a bath. Things that connect us to one another and back to ourselves and that feel good.
How many times have you gone to look something up quickly on FB and then spent 20, 30 even 45 minutes or more down a rabbit hole, then said to yourself well I just wasted 20 minutes of my life. I heard Brendan Burchard speak about our phones and devices being, "Weapons of mass distraction," only if we allow them to. They can be tools that help us lead more fulfilled lives but we have to use them with intention. What if we viewed letting go of unhealthy distractions, relationships or habits
as gaining something; connection with others, movement towards a goal or a more balanced relationship with ourselves.
Maybe it's time to start giving up things to get to a better space with our relationships and ourselves. Just something to ponder. Signing out so I can go call my uncle and get my workout in. Here's to Spring, standing STRONG and being our best!