“The important thing is this: To be able, at any moment, to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” –Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Having been raised Catholic, Lent has always been a major part of my childhood. Although my religious views have since shifted, and the celebration of many Catholic Holidays has ceased to exist in my adult life, there is still a very large space I hold in my heart for Lent. The idea of giving something up, of sacrificing important things in our lives, for the good of what’s to come, truly appeals to who I am as a healer and as a Human Being.
As a young child following the teachings of Christ, of receiving Sacrament, and having a strong religious presence in my life, I was provided with a way to help shape my belief of who I am, in comparison to the world around me. I will admit, I found a lot of my religious studies hard to grasp, tough to understand, and constantly found myself questioning most of what was being taught. However, what has always stuck with me, is the idea of a man who truly embodied what it means to be inherently good. Can I admit I have always tried living a Christ-like life? Absolutely not. Can I say I followed these teachings and have lived a life I’ve always been proud of? Not a chance. What I can say is now, in my late 30’s as I embark on a path of self-love, acceptance and healing, I find myself returning to this idea often. The idea that inside all of us, is something inherently good.
Beliefs and teachings aside, wether or not I consider Jesus a prophet, if he died for our sins, was resurrected, or lives on as the son of God, etc., is of no real importance to me. The true beauty in the idea of Lent is in acknowledging that whomever Jesus is or was, is that during his time here on Earth his sacrifices for others were numerous. He lived as we all should. He loved and accepted all beings. He believed in the good of all people, and in my mind those sacrifices and his spirit should live on, and be celebrated.
It is of no surprise that we find ourselves here, celebrating Lent as the dark, harsh, cold winter unfolds and we make way for spring. The season of new beginnings, of growth, of transformation. With spring comes hope and promise. It brings Light into our lives. We bloom as the flowers do, each of us awakening from our restful winter. It is a time for us all to be reborn, to leave the old behind, and renew our own spirits.
No matter who you believe Jesus was or who he may have become, we can all take a page out of his book (no pun intended)! We can all make a sacrifice for the next forty days and forty nights (and then some), to honor the beauty of what he made of his life’s work. I think it is important in our modern times to step back and acknowledge those who have lived a life full of compassion, empathy and true acceptance. I think a lot of good can come from learning from their sacrifices and in making our own. For true growth comes to us most, in those times of discomfort, change and personal sacrifice.
So I ask this of you; What will you give up today? What will you sacrifice for the next forty or however many days? How will you celebrate this time of change, of growth and rebirth as we move out of the darkness and into the season of light and rebirth? How will you help aide in the growth of your own Spirit and awaken what is inherently good inside of you?