What I am Choosing to Give Up This Season

Religious holidays and celebrations offer me an opportunity to reflect on my personal journey and consider ways I can uniquely honor my spiritual self. Throughout the past few days, I have listened and read about how individuals are choosing to give up alcohol, social media, chocolate, and television for the season of Lent. After some reflection and soul-searching, I resolutely decided the most difficult and potentially rewarding thing I could give up would be my negative self-talk: the terrible words that I speak in the depths of my soul; my disparaging remarks that I so easily whisper throughout the day; the way I berate myself for careless mistakes. What a monumental feat! I began to imagine what it would be like if I refused to talk to myself in an unloving and unkind way. Upon careful consideration, it seems most likely impossible. Yet, what if in this, and in all things I did not expect perfection, simply growth. If I choose to spend a concerted effort in noticing and changing those thoughts over the next few weeks, I wonder how differently I might feel. I am beginning to have hope that the destructive, demeaning phrases might be diminished, and that quite possibly I could begin to communicate with myself in a way that honors my humanness, my compassion, and my ability to improve.