As a child, I was raised as a non-denominational Christian who didn’t participate in Lent or any other Episcopalian or Catholic traditions. Lent was a completely foreign concept to me when entered into my undergraduate education at a Jesuit institution and also when I arrived in Los Angeles for the Episcopal Urban Intern Program (EUIP). Lent is something I never engaged in myself because I didn’t understand why someone decided to do it. Why would someone give up something they like to eat, or do or participate in for 40 days? I decided that talking with people about their reasons for engaging in Lent wasn’t the best way for me to gain an understanding of this experience. I decided to participate in Lent myself to gain an understanding through doing.

After a week of discernment I decided that for Lent I would give up the use of profanity. I realized that using profanity wasn’t the best way to verbally express myself. I also realized that I had started influencing those around me in using it more often, which is not a good thing. I began to realize that by being intentional about not using profanity and searching for better words to express myself, I began to start thinking before I speak and formulating what I wanted my words to convey. Thinking before I speak has never been one of my strongest qualities, as I tend to act on instinct. I have realized this is a habit I need to develop and Lent is the perfect opportunity to do that.

I don’t have the best understanding of Lent right now being the start of the season, but I am growing in my goal of changing how I verbally express myself. Each day has been a struggle and I have failed more times than I have succeeded but I refuse to give up. Each day is a new day for me to work towards my goal and each day I go without using profanity verbally is one step closer to not even thinking those words and being able to articulate myself more efficiently.

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