“If you came here hoping that God will hand you the solutions to all your problems, then you’ve been wasting your time. He will not tell you what to do, or how to do it. Through His teachings, His Word, He can only try and make you realize what you have to do, or make you realize that you have to stop being in denial and do what you’ve refused to do all this time.” – Father James G.
Lent this year was somewhat different from the previous ones I’ve observed. Of course, there was the usual abstinence from meat and the one thing I give up every year, and even though there were times when I couldn’t bear to look at fish or think about eating because I knew I would be reduced to fish, and my body was crying out for the one thing I knew would numb the pain, even if only for a little while, this time it took a lot less for me to overcome those urges to stray. Besides just telling myself I had x-number of days left till Easter, I learned to tell myself, “There are other ways to deal with this.”
I’ve never been one to turn to God at every little hiccup I’ve had in life; this may be because, unlike most people I know, I was not born and brought up into a life that was filled with the teachings of the Church, but more into a life that said, “C’est comme ça, et c’est tout. This is how it is. Deal with it.” I’ve never been able to understand when one says they hear the whispers of God, showing them the way in life, which may be why I don’t hold lengthy conversations with God, asking him why my life has turned out so and what I must do to salvage it, as much as others appear to. And this Lent, in this period of reflection and introspection, I find myself searching less and less for those answers, which came as a surprise to Father James when he realized he only needed one hand to count the number of times I bawled my eyes out in the Confessional.
Because I know, and I have known for a very long time, what I must do to salvage my life; I just chose to look for another answer elsewhere because I knew I didn’t have the strength and the courage to do the only thing I knew was left for me to do. This Lent wasn’t just about giving up meat and abstaining from my vices; it was about giving up the things that were bad for me, no matter how happy they made me, and learning to tell the difference between wanting and needing something, be it out of love or habit. It made me face up to the truth of my fears, reminded me that no harm ever comes out of trying for something I want, as long as it was for the right reasons, but also taught me to know when it was time to stop.
This Lent has taught me to stop selling myself short. I will stop making a mockery of myself, humiliating myself, and selling my soul, my self-worth, and my heart just for that little sliver of happiness I get now. Life is too short.
“I like to be positive. I like to think that ten years from now, you and I will have finally found happiness with someone, and we can sit down somewhere — hopefully not D’Haven — and have a good laugh at how silly we were today, because we settled for something that doesn’t make us happy.” – Becca