We have now entered in the season of Lent, a time of repentance, fasting, and sacrificing. I was so excited to begin this Lenten journey mainly because of my new Blessed is She devotional. I discovered Blessed is She exactly a year ago when I began my first Lenten devotional and since then I have used the 2018 Advent devotional and now the new 2019 Lenten devotional. My favorite practice before beginning a new devotional is re-reading each one to see how my faith journey has changed.
Was I in a better relationship with Christ then or now? What was I struggling with that has improved or worsened since the last? Where in my life do I need to forgive myself and has there been an area where I have already forgiven myself? And, of course, what can I sacrifice in order to be a better daughter of God?
During Lent and Advent we experience life through death. In Advent we sacrifice and sever the toxicity in our lives to create purity for an innocent baby to come into our lives so that we may be reborn in the same purity as Jesus. For Lent, we are humbled by completely demolishing all attachment through fasting and abandoning the ego through partaking in sacrificial love. Does this sound familiar? In Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, non-attachment is the fifth yama, aparigraha, and surrendering is the fifth niyama, ishvara pranidhana. We can learn so much from releasing ourselves into the spiritual realm of God.
This year for Lent instead of giving up something, I am giving away at least one material item each day. I cannot claim that this was an original thought because I definitely stole the idea from Salvation Army but this practice is special nonetheless. The challenge seems easy right now but I have a feeling the more I plunge into the depths of Lent, the harder it will become because I am terribly sentimental. I have been on a constant journey of dwindling my amount of possessions but it is incredibly difficult. I still have not jumped on this Marie Kondo bandwagon but I have a feeling I may need to before the end of Lent to truly shift my thinking to a minimalist mindset.
Have you actually thought of why this movement is so popular? The attraction of this minimalist way of living is surrender. Minimalism gives us the ability to kill the narcissism and to make room for our Divine Father. We must seek death of ourselves to fully take part in the resurrection and the life we have in Jesus Christ. When there is nothing left of us and only His presence exists, our lives align in perfect, divine union.
Many people are so uncomfortable with death because they see it as an unhappy ending. I would venture to say that most people would prefer going to a first birthday party rather than a funeral. We put so much emphasis on life yet life only has power because of its contrast to death. Death is our avenue to new and complete life whether that be in physical death or material death.
If Easter is about the life and resurrection, then Lent is about death: death of self, death of attachment, death of the earthly needs, death of our own individual independence (I need to work on this one). When these aspects of our life die, we are reborn in faith, in hope, in love, and in Him.
Lord Jesus, may we be familiar with death so that we can fully live.
What are you learning about yourself this Lent?
Peace and Namaste,