Happy Ash Wednesday, when all the good little Catholics “give up” something in support of Jesus sacrificing his life for us. There are those who will abstain from Facebook, sweets, alcohol, joy, well, you get it. And that is all simply adorable. Really, cute. What if you were to give up something that would truly benefit you? That would enhance your life as an adult. What would that be, Allison? I am so glad you asked. Here are a few adult ideas to consider during the next forty days.
Give up taking things personally: Contrary to popular belief, not everything is about me. Let that sink in for a moment. Ego can say otherwise, but the older I get, the more I realize that other people’s struggles can overflow and I might experience some of that residue. Hurt people, hurt people. When I can shake off the notion that I am the target, I am able to be more compassionate to someone else’s plight.
Give up trying to please others: I am not a piece of chocolate, people. Chances are that someone or a group of someones, will not be pleased with decisions that I make. Sorry. Not sorry. You see, taking care of myself is priority. Pleasing others is not. When I honor my truth, I grow. When I try to please others, I lose myself. I will pick me. Every. Single. Time. It isn’t always popular, but it is necessary for my own well-being.
Give up complaining: As much as I generally abstain from people, I really run in the other direction of chronic whiners. You know, those individuals who can’t see all the good around them. They are stuck in the cycle of “everything happens to them”. Get a grip. At this moment, I have friends experiencing life-changing situations. Guess what? They aren’t complaining. They are finding the blessings. They are practicing gratitude. Bad things happen. It is what you do with those situations that matter.
Give up living a life of illusion: Be real. You know those people on social media whose life looks perfect? Spoiler alert….it’s really a shit show. An illusion to make you think that they have a perfect life. Nobody does. I use social media as a catalyst for shedding that mystique. I am living an imperfect life, perfectly.
I could write more, but I feel like these are the most important ones to consider. When asked, what I am giving up for Lent, I will simply say, “people”. Not everyone, but most of the general public. I will emerge after Easter.