"Lenten FAIL" or "Well, maybe not"

I am stuck feeling like I failed at Lent this year.  That statement betrays so much of the broken theology ingrained in my soul, but I feel like every year I look forward to Lent as a contemplative, challenging time for my faith to be strengthen, and this year has been a let down.  My (misguided) attitude toward Lent is as a 40-day spiritual boot camp.  This year though, I feel like so much has been going on, that Lenten disciplines were all pushed into the background.  That is, until I think about how selfish my Lenten disciplines sounded in the first place, and I have to remember what I really wanted out of running and not drinking anyway.

I have been training for the Holy Saturday Half Marathon (formally known as T.D.M.), and thinking about it, training has actually been going ok.  I have made some major progress in accepting my body as a part of me, and not a traitorous villain.  Let me explain. 

My notion of 'me-ness' has always lived somewhere in the area of my head.  I think this is because in my life I primarily experience the world through my senses of sight, sound, and taste.  Yet, when I watch a dancer, I get this impression that she knows exactly where her arms are going, that her body is something more than just the vessel of her brain.  I long for that, to inhabit my body, and not just throw my feet in a general direction and hope they agree it would be a good placement.  Being isolated from your body also makes it very easy to see as an enemy.  If you don't like what you see in the mirror, there is something to be mad at.  And if you feel no ownership of your body, then why would you care for it anyway?  It's escapism at it most extreme. 
Through the training process I have been learning to respect my body in a new way and am starting to see it as part of me, not an enemy of me.   That is huge for me.  It's very exciting, and is helping my understand my relationship to God as Creator in a much deeper way.  I just need more reflection time with that.
Okay, so no fail there.

The other part, not drinking for Lent.  Well, to be honest, it probably just that I was drinking more than I should have on the front side of Lent, and it was a convenient way to throw the brakes on and give my liver a break.  I cheated when I went out to Long Island for a mini-vacation, and then again for St. Patrick's Day, and then for Third Thursdays, and then for my mom's visit to town.  It seems like why even try anymore.  Oh, I also cheated Wednesday with the rest of the church staff when we went to the bar for Eric's birthday.  Giving up alcohol didn't cause me to reflect or pray more this year; it was a poorly chosen "sacrifice" from the beginning.  I did it for me.

So maybe I didn't "fail" per say, that's too harsh and assessment; I must remember to let myself be a human.  Maybe I just came the realization that I forgot all about what Lent is. 

Here's to a contemplative and challenging Holy Week.

Also, my car died last night.  RIP Suzuki Esteem.  I loved you and you were good to me.

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