I am second-guessing my Lenten intentions…
If you decide to give something up, how far do you go? How far SHOULD you go? How much is it supposed to hurt?
As a scrupulous person, I tend, anyway, to think about punishing myself and stuff like that.
I posted here a while ago the question that if you thought you “couldn’t” give something up, because it is too hard or would cause some negative effects for you, does that mean you HAVE to?
I asked this a priest too, I told him about how for one day on a Friday I gave up the studies I love doing and are a big “purpose” in my life right now, something I am working on, and realized how I got all depressed etc, and if that was a sign that I liked that hobby too much. He said no, it was a sign I chose to give up the wrong thing, that I shouldn’t cut back my joy of life. Hm. Maybe he said that because he knows I am scrupulous. Maybe he is right. I tend to think I have to go the hardest possible way. But didn’t mother Teresa say something like that too?
Anyway, I decided not to give up my studying for Lent because also because it would probably get me behind (I study by myself, so I COULD, if I wanted to, give it up. I am not at a school).
I decided to instead do what I did last year, give up the constant impulsive snacking I do sometimes. Which is a good thing, I think. And on Fridays no cappuccino foam on my coffee. Along witht he usual Friday thing I do all year.
But now I am worried I might not do enough. Maybe I should give up all hobbies during Lent and only concentrate on the scriptures. Not do anything I enjoy. But then I don’t think that would be good. And the priest I talked to also said that wasn’t what we were meant to do, it is ok to enjoy life, that God has given us, even during Lent.
Still I am confused.
Is it ok to do anything you enjoy during Lent, I may ask myself.
Is it ok to decide NOT to give something up?
Is it ok, for example, to decide you DON’T want to give up listening to music during Lent because you feel you need it for your spiritual well-being, and decide to do something else instead?
See, for me, there would probably be a little voice then, that says: A-ha, you love music too much, that’s why you don’t want to give it up, now you HAVE to give it up.
I decided to listen to the priest and just do something “regular”, like the constant snacking thing (I tend to eat a big part of my meal while I am preparing it, and I want to NOT do that; stuff like that.)
And now I wonder, am I doing enough?
Or should we anyway all give up what we love doing the most?
I thought about adding something too.
But I already pray the rosary daily andyway and make it to daily mass on many days of the week, so those aren’t options to add.