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Friday, February 15, 2013

Performance Anxiety

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  First day of Lent.  Time to reflect and take on new practices or let go of things that block us from knowing God and self.  40 days in the Wilderness.  And on and on it goes.  My Facebook wall and Twitter feed were abuzz with all sorts of ideas and practices upon which people are embarking this Lenten season.  I was intrigued and for a few hours, I was nearly trapped into pulling out of my own Lenten pledge to simply "Be" and respond in the moment this Lent.  Why is that, you may or may not ask?

I believe it is a deeply seeded anxiety I have that I must always be performing at the highest level and seeking to attain achievements that will prove my worth and justify my existence on this earth.  So, there is and was an enormous TEMPTATION for me to run out and sign up for an online Lenten retreat, make sure I have my camera with me each day to take a Lenten photograph, journal my thoughts and feelings, read everyone's online Lenten reflection, and on and on and on.  However, I caught myself in the nick of time.  My inner voice finally yelled at me to STOP!   I realize that I have a commitment and I need to stick to it.

After all, this is not about anyone else.  Lent, more than any other season, really does challenge us to say, "this is all about me!"  Me and Thee.  So, I stand by my challenge and discipline to hang with the moment, to respond to each challenge, joy, problem, defeat, victory, etc. with a thoughtful, prayerful and accepting attitude.  I am going to walk through my Lenten desert one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day.  It's really all any of us can do.  I'll let all the cool kids outdo me with their Lenten disciplines this year.  I think this attitudinal shift will be more than enough challenge for me.  Hopefully when the challenge is too great, some angels will come and attend to me. 

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