Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Morning meditation - What are you giving up?


Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the day, as a former Roman Catholic, that we were reminded that we are dust and into dust we shall return. It is humbling realization which gives one pause, to reflect on one's demise. As the saying goes, nothing focuses one's attention like staring into the pit of death. It is good for one's soul.

Lent is a time for reflection, self denial which heightens one's awareness of one's own functioning and one's relationship with the people and world around oneself, and the anticipation of the joy of resurrection of spring, of new life, when the planet is reborn with new life.

Self- denial is not about deprivation. It is about a mind and mood altering experience which gives one, hopefully, an attitude of gratitude. It is like Freud's idea of the pleasure/pain principle which contains the idea that one cannot experience pleasure without pain or tension.

As a child we asked one another, "What are you giving up for lent?" Sometimes it was candy, sometimes it was TV, sometimes it was doing an extra good deed every day for someone we didn't like.

I am 63 and I haven't decided yet what I am giving up for lent, but I will decide on something before I go to sleep tonight. The Spirit of Life calls me to be more self aware and to share what I have with others in a generous way. I try to practice this all year around, but at this time of year I think I should do something extra special. It will make Easter and Spring that much sweeter.

What are you giving up?

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