Cookies, TV, biting my nails.
Those are the types of things I would sacrifice for Lent, 40 days of fasting before Easter, when I was younger.
Being Catholic has given me the space to be introspective and has granted me my foundation and faith for my spiritual practice. As I grow older, the more mature I become in my faith, and the more I can think about the bigger picture.
This year for Lent, I gave up judgement.
I know what you're thinking - that's 'impossible.' And most of the time, it is difficult. Our brains are hardwired to pass judgement on others, to perceive their experience as negative, to underestimate the grand love that they have inside of them. Whether you believe that is because of a primal instinct to view others a threat or whether you just can't relate to them, these thoughts happen to each of us.
These are thoughts I catch myself thinking daily. And recently, I had an instinct: if I ended my practice of separating myself from others, whether in a superior or inferior way, I could return back to love, and instead bring happiness to myself, and others, and bring us all closer.
1.) Witness your judgmental thoughts.
What are you thinking? Is this thought a sign pointing to something you dislike or want to change about yourself? Where is this thought coming from?
2.) Forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness.
I let myself off the hook for thinking these thoughts. They are normal, and I am growing into a better person for recognizing them.
3.) Shift your focus back to love.
FeMantra: We are being led toward love. We are love. We are one.