In my last post, I briefly mentioned that I'm giving up Facebook and Pinterest for Lent. This means I'm giving up a serious addiction for 6 weeks. For anyone who doesn't understand the point of giving things up for Lent, let me explain.
Lent is a time of solemn reflection. It is a time of preparation. It is a time where we try to cleanse ourselves (mind, body, and soul) in preparation for the coming of Christ. It begins with Ash Wednesday and these very solemn reminders: Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel. Repent and hear the good news! During this time, we give up things that are dear to us, so we may better ourselves.
People used to fast during Lent. Actually, I always thought this was similar to the fasting during Ramadan, where people of faith would give up eating, drinking, smoking, and sex so as to be closer to God. These sacrifices are to teach us about patience, spirituality, and humility. Sacrificing other things, such as chocolate, sweets, Facebook, etc, are all considered part of the fast. It is a sacrifice to bring us closer to God and to better ourselves. Now a days, some people add things to their lives, such as volunteer work, or charitable donations to better themselves. Either way is acceptable, and ideally we'll do both.
When I was younger, I didn't quite understand that. I'd give up sweets or soda or chocolate for all the wrong reasons (I wanted to lose weight). Admittedly, sometimes it had a great outcome. For example, I still don't drink much soda. Once I gave it up, I never really wanted to go back to it. Still, though, I wasn't getting the point of giving up something for Lent.
It's different now, though. This year especially, I want to better myself. I knew I was spending way to much time on the computer, staring for hours at status updates and pictures. It was depressing in some ways, but I just couldn't stop. I knew that this was not how I was supposed to be living my life, but I couldn't think of any reason to stop. I didn't want to give it up completely, but I couldn't tear myself away from it.
Then, as Lent approached, and I was trying to determine what to sacrifice, I saw (somewhat ironically) a post on Facebook from someone saying she was giving up Facebook for Lent. Suddenly I realized that I could do this! This would be the perfect thing to sacrifice. I needed something to tear me away from the computer, but I didn't want to be torn away forever. Lent was a perfect excuse. I'd be torn away for 40 days, and in that time I'd work on bettering myself. At the end of 40 days, I hope to not be as drawn to Facebook or Pinterest (or the internet in general). I hope it ends up being like it was when I gave up soda. I'll have it every now and then, but not a lot.
All that said, there are two clarifications that Hans and I discussed last night. 1) Hans will go on Facebook once a week for me to make sure no one has posted on my wall and to tell them how to get in touch with me if they have. He said he wouldn't tell anyone if I hopped on myself for 30 minutes each Sunday (technically not part of Lent), but I really didn't want that. 2) I am allowed to post pictures from my cell phone to my business page. I can also post interesting articles to my business page. I can't let the business go dormant for 6 weeks. It may have much less activity, but it won't be completely dormant. Oh, and as Hans reminded me, my blog shows up on Facebook, so I'm not completely invisible!
Anyway, here's to 6 weeks of bettering myself!