Lent started yesterday with Ash Wednesday. I challenged myself to have an 'immaculate' and 'sin-free' day. LOL That meant being patient, being kind, being slow to anger (or not getting angry at all). That meant no lustful thoughts, no judgements of others. I wanted to try to be love personified. I'm trying to imagine how the Virgin Mary was, being holy and blameless all her life.
Well, I realized how totally difficult that was.
Upon waking up, I opened my gadgets to tune in to social media. I see posts from my sister, the one I have frequent disagreements with, that made my eyes roll. Oh my! I just judged her! I realized that it was so easy for me to dismiss her because of what I felt towards her. I suddenly replaced those thoughts with more loving vibes towards her.
The Viber group of my high school friends was filled with messages. I looked at them and see shared photos of almost-naked hunks! Oh no! I am tempted to open one and zoom in. I stopped myself and scrolled down, just to get rid of the notifications.
I was rushing to attend the morning mass. But I was trying to feel calm even as I was hurrying. Leaving the house, the household help was rushing to give me my lunch. She almost forgot. I was instantly annoyed. Stop! I quickly changed how I felt and just smiled at her.
All that in the first two hours of the day.
And it got more challenging at work at a meeting. I was becoming irritated at the way things were moving so glacially. I noticed I was starting to raise my voice. I caught myself and calmed down. I smiled and made a joke instead.
At the gym, I was trying to stay focused on surviving my workout. Cute, hunky kid, a crushie, I admit, walks in. Oh my! Lustful thoughts! I turned my attention to the Spotify playlist and tuned him out.
You can imagine now how my entire day went. At the end of the day, I noticed how almost automatic it is for me to be irritable, or lustful, or annoyed, or judgmental. The thoughts, and emotions, seem like reflexes to the stimuli. I had to consciously stop myself every time, if only to keep me on track.
I may not have been successful at this challenge. But I am happy that I was able to exercise some mindfulness and some control in my thoughts and feelings.
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