How do we focus on the things that strengthen us as individuals, when daily distractions pull us deeper into desire and escapism, pleasurably lived out through sugar, sex, and all things mind-altering?
Focus is a rare commodity these days. As are avocados. Or humility - if you’re Donald Trump. As 20-something year olds unable to overcome our desires for worldly, meaningless obsessions, we flounder around existence, a slave to the things we ‘think' we love. Often these are the very things that make us fat, depressed, lonely, exhausted, and give us a bad case of Loser Complex on a Sunday night. I can bare testimony to all of the above. Hi Tequila. Oh, hi memory-loss, have you seen my finances this morning? Oh and my left shoe... and my toenail. I lost them all ‘loving myself’.
How do we build inner structure, to overcome the desires that are slowly eroding our true identity?
How do we bare fruit, instead of lugging around self-hatred?
Building inner structure comes from focused attention, in alignment with true identity. Seemingly impossible with the business of today. That, and we live in a world where changing things about yourself can be extremely difficult. It’s 'hood mentality' worldwide. As soon as we leave the group norm, some hater tries to suck us back into their spirit of poverty. Anything for conformity. Think about the times you've tried to dress, eat or speak differently. It ain’t easy out there on the road to living who you truly are.
The easiest time in the year to assess how your choices are affecting the quality of your life and give yourself the time to build your inner structure, is by practicing lent. Huh? You know, the tradition of giving something up for 40 days, based on Jesus in the desert, telling the devil to jog on.
But how does this apply 2000 years later, where fasting is a get-thin-fad, and David Blaine starved himself in a glass box for 44 days, just for gees?
A weak structure holds no water. An unwatered plant bares no fruit. Without inner structure, Jesus would have sold our lives for a watermelon and called it a day. Lent allows you the time to focus and build inner structure through choosing to give one "love" up. The next 40 days give you the opportunity to stop settling for mediocrity in your daily routine, and choose to experience what living is, free from the hold of a strong desire. That and the haters generally don't harass you for making a change if it's under the umbrella of Lent, or for Muslims, Ramadan (again, unless you’re Donald Trump).
Isn’t that what we all secretly want...The freedom to try a new way of doing something that’s good for us?
You experiment with a different path.
You overcome desires that rule you.
You prove to yourself that you can focus.
You strengthen your self-discipline.
You build inner structure, which puts distance between you and your former weakness.