A few weeks ago, I wrote about how for lent I was giving up worrying (if you didn’t read that post, check it out here!) and to remind myself, I tied a piece of red yarn around my wrist.
Well, yesterday, during my post-Easter zombiefest (seriously, how can one weekend take so much out of you as a pastor/person?) I cut the thread; I am no longer bound by that piece of yarn, and I can once again worry about everything.
That’s the way it works, right? If I had given up soda, I’d be on my 3rd 2-liter bottle in 2 days, or if I’d given up coffee, I’d be finishing at least my first pot (gotta start slow), if I’d giving up cursing, well, lets just say that on my first post-Easter day in the office I’d probably still be saying unpleasant things to our office copy machine.
Truth is, I’m not sure I did a great job remembering my lenten discipline. But, then again, that might have been part of the point: stop worrying about whether or not I’m doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing. Worry instead about accepting myself as I am.
And the funny thing is, that usually leads me to being better to myself. It’s not just that I accept myself more, without the worry of having to earn some “good person” award for the things I do; usually positive changes in my life are made only after I’ve taken the time to not worry and accept myself.
Case in point: I spent a few weeks not worrying too much about how I was living my life, and inadvertently upped my weekly running a few miles, began eating and enjoying healthier meals, and read more- all things that I usually stress out about.
So, in short, if my method for self-improvement follows the logic “I don’t do ‘x’ enough; good people do ‘x’; if I was a good person I would do ‘x’ more,” I usually fail.
If, on the other hand, I think “I’m a pretty good person who likes doing ‘x;’ I should do ‘x’ more because I like to do it,” I’m much more successful.
For the record, I’m not going to gorge myself on worry. But I am thankful for the self-(re)discovery of lent!