So, Ash Wednesday. A time for forgiveness..for focus..for renewal. We can be dastardly little people, getting caught in the day to day. We commit harsh actions and say things we don’t necessarily mean. We need time to slow down for awhile and just think. Think about what matters to us. What we find important. Why it is we even get up in the morning.
Lent is the perfect time to do such thing. We spend time not only on God, and in our forgiveness, but also with the inner workings of ourselves. We start to see ourselves through the solitude. Which is a place I feel we fear to go. We would rather being anywhere but completely alone in times of reflection. It reveals our character flaws. It opens us up to who we really are. But when we have millions of distractions before our eyes, those “little” imperfections get lost in the hype.
Why is it that we’re so uncomfortable with recognizing our own mistakes and flaws, but not others? Is it truly easier to critic others than ourselves? Or is it we’d rather not put effort into change even knowing what or who we are isn’t a good thing?
Now, I feel hypocritical bringing such things up. I myself am no crown jewel nor do I put all I have in to improving my person. But of course we can’t change all at once. Change needs to manifest in small, rational decisions in our lives. And though it rarely happens, it needs to be completely unbiased and based on what we really want. We may feel that what everyone pushes on us is what we want..but I think if we push back the layers..we’ll find our true selves somewhere.
So does such inner strength exist? Or is all that we’re willing to accomplish stemmed from divine sources. If it is in our hands, then maybe it’s easier than we believe it to be. Change can be scary though. It removes the dependency and comfort we had in our old ways. It’s like jumping quick from warm air into cold water. We need time to adjust.. to cool down. But it’s definitely possible.
But coming back in to this repentance theme, we also can’t get caught in the past. We screw up, it’s a human thing to do. But where we go wrong is harping on the bad. We can realize and grow from our mistakes, but not if we don’t move out of them. There’s no room to forgive when we’re sulking in our troubles.
Then there’s the opposite….living too far ahead of ourselves. Always feeling we need to plan far down the road, while forgetting we have current issues to deal with. Planning is good, but not obsession on how events will work out. Because there is no real way of knowing until it happens.
It’s a balancing act. Trying to have a little bit of both perspectives, while not stressing from either. But it’s never too late. We can always turn around..try to become better than who we were.
We were made from very little, and one day, You will return from which you came. -jz