25 February 2009

Lenten Leavings

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
~ Lao Tzu

I love Lent. It is a great time to take stock (again) of one's life and re-adjust what needs re-adjusting, relinquishing some goods in order to make room for others. That is what "giving up" something for forty days is about, a spiritual, mental and emotional spring cleaning.

Letting go can be a frightening exercise, but it is a necessary aspect of life. Either we willingly and lovingly surrender or we waste precious time and tears when things are taken from us. Sometimes letting go can be as simple as clearing our schedule to make time for loved ones. Plan a quiet dinner or simply be in the same room together. Sometimes it is making time for ourselves. When is the last time you took a retreat? Just you and the wind and God (however you define the Supreme Being). A year? Two years? Never? Maybe it is time to take a couple of days and head out of the city and re-prioritize.

Sometimes it is letting go of vices masquerading as virtues. For me this means spending less time agonizing over the plans for a sit down dinner for sixteen and to plan simpler meals with friends ~ where they actually get to see and talk to me, instead of watching the mad chef in the kitchen wear herself to a shadow getting every dish perfect.

There is, of course, a place for perfection and doing the job right. But this is a time to reconnect and enjoy the simple things in life. It is not a time for showy recipes and decadent desserts. Those things will be more appreciated on Easter Sunday ~ welcomed like friends after a long absence. It is a time for hearty soups and stews. Fried chicken and fresh baked biscuits. Chili and homemade cornbread. For the next few weeks, I want to let go and just breathe and refocus my time and attention where it matters most: my loved ones.

May this Lent be one of joy and peace for all my dear readers as well.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela
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