In addition to celebrating Valentine’s Day, today many Christians also observe Ash Wednesday (the first day of the Lenten season). When I was a child, the nuns would suggest during Lent our class give up candy or cookies or sodas or all deserts. The disciple to realize this was fierce to an elementary aged child but nevertheless self-discipline was learned. As an adult, I’ve learned to use this time to act as a catalyst to exert more effort to help others; in effect modifying personal behaviors that I know in my heart can help me to make the lives of those I encounter more pleasant as well as my own.
This Lenten season, I will give up keeping kind words that should be spoken aloud to others; I will put a concerted effort to find the good in others and acknowledge it or express encouragement. Speaking for myself, I commend the obvious or grand gestures of others; but the little things I usually make a mental celebration without saying aloud my gratitude for small acts of kindness or shy away from compliments to avoid it being taken the wrong way. I may notice a beautiful hairstyle; a compliment would be nice… this may be a new style she took a leap of faith with. The delivery person who covers my packages in my absence to ensure my items remained dry from the rain until I returned home…a call with a follow-up letter to his/her place of employment commending their efforts is not too much to ask…it would probably be refreshing to get a compliment instead of a complaint. My son clears the dishwasher putting the dishes away before leaving to start his day…a call to say “Thanks” or even a text would be nice. It is Nice to be Nice!
So, starting today, I am going to celebrate others with truthful compliments and acknowledgments, saying aloud those words whether written or verbal that could brighten someone’s day; because my friend at the end of the day I will have witnessed the fact that the little things do truly mean so much for both the receiver and the giver!
In all honesty, their kind gesture (no matter what size I may deem it to be) has also helped me be a better happier person. If I want to really help others I can reach out and do the same…goodwill is not only in December it really should be every day.
Valentines Day and Ash Wednesday being on the same day is no dilemma for me; it’s an opportunity to enhance my self-discipline developed and refined through the years, to give up holding back compliments (let go of that behavior) but instead to share love on a higher level by grace! I say by grace because each day we have life it is by the kind grace of God!
The Lenten Season…can it also be a 40 Day Plan of Positive Lifestyle Modification? If you observe the Lenten Season, what will you do over the next 40 days? Rhetorical Questions.
Wishing you Good Health & Wellness!