Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Promises.

I am mostly a bad Catholic. I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-birth control, have engaged in pre-marital sex, think priests should be able to have sex if they want to, don't believe people who commit suicide will go to hell (I'm glad they've loosened their stance on this), etc. I do not regularly go to church, haven't been to confession since it was required for my confirmation, and cannot remember how to pray the Rosary.  If the Catholic church reads this, they'll probably revoke my membership.

I am, without a doubt, a spiritual person, but I am agnostic in a lot of ways. I always used to get aggravated at people who acted like they were somehow superior because they went to church every week but who were often unkind, lacking compassion, and self-serving. What's that all about? Just because you go to church you think you are better than people who don't, but at the same time you're kind of a horrible person?  That does not fly with me. I think spirituality is a natural and organic thing. Maybe you like to have a moment to reflect on your spirituality when you're exercising, or driving in your car, or on the train. Just because you're not in a labeled "house of worship" doesn't make your worship any less powerful or meaningful as someone who does go to church.

All that aside, I firmly embrace Lenten sacrifice every year. I'm generally on a continual quest for self-improvement and I find the spirit of the season a great motivator. That, coupled with my own spiritual development over the past year, has encouraged me to blog about my experiences during Lent this year.  I am going to attempt to sacrifice something that is really at the root of both my personality and, regrettably, my problems, so this could be a lot more challenging than say, giving up chocolate or Facebook or cheese (things I've successfully accomplished in the past.)

My friends, I'm giving up procrastination for Lent.

Yes, I know it's vague and I know the best goals are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely.)  I teach small group communication, I could recite that bidness in my sleep.  Saying I'm "giving up procrastination" is hard because everyone might have a different definition of what constitutes "procrastination" (for instance, am I procrastinating on cleaning through my papers or do I legitimately not have time to get to them yet?) I understand there will be things that I consider procrastination (thinking "I should take out my trash..." but not taking out the trash until the next day) that other people will be like "Dude, lighten up!" and I'm okay with that gray area. But let's be real: we know when we are truly procrastinating. We are all wise and thoughtful enough to know when we are wasting time on meaningless tasks because the other shit that is more important is usually more difficult/labor intensive/hard to accomplish.  Procrastination is, at times, a blessing or protective measure, but there are far too many times in my life when my natural inclination toward procrastination is just getting in my own damn way. This Lenten "sacrifice" (I am sacrificing comfort, since this could, at times, be a painful, eye-opening endeavor) will hopefully allow me the opportunity to identify barriers that are preventing me from being the best I can be, both socially, professionally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I can't think of anything more spiritual than that.


Jess said...

We are sister "bad Catholics" it would seem. I've always said that I'm a "liberal Catholic!". Good luck with your Lenten challenge.

Kristen said...

Thank you! Is a "bad Catholic" better than a "good (insert other Christian religion here)"? I'm doubtful, but I bet many ppl in the Catholic church would say it's so. Thanks for reading and commenting!