Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Domonique Thompson shares her experience of fasting from complaints this Lent. In a continuation from her last blog, reflecting on her blessings, she shares her process of practicing gratitude this season.
Part of Lent is taking time to fast and sacrifice. When most people think of fasting, they often think of fasting from something food related. While that is not a bad thing, over the years that has been my constant default. I found that, for me, it didn’t leave much more room for God than if I were not to do the fast.
This year I sought to challenge myself and do something different. For this Lenten season, I am fasting from complaining. This is almost a continuation of my previous blog on the cold. Instead of complaining I want to rewrite the narrative. I want to not put so much weight on the negative and rather count my graces. To find something positive in that interaction.
With this being the third week of Lent, it’s been HARD! I’ve noticed more and more how much I actually complained! When you are cognizant of something you then become hyperaware of that thing! I’ve been using the method of “I’m grateful for…” to counteract my complaining and it helps… sometimes. So far it has been a way for me to silently pray to God for grace and to pray for the person that was the object of my complaint. It has been a positive experience overall, meaning that I focus more on where God is in the moment rather than how it makes me feel in that moment.
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows so far! I’ve noticed that I keep things bottled up more often and will bite my tongue if I begin to complain. I’ve noticed that I find it difficult to distinguish between complaining and just airing out my concerns with friends I trust and am comfortable with. In a way when you think about it, complaining is, in some ways, how we get things off our chest, how we express our grievances of the day and I often wonder where that line is. If something happens, I get into the trap of saying “It’s not so bad” which I know is diminishing my feelings and experiences. This is why Lent is 40 days and when you challenge yourself sometimes it’s not always easy; it is a journey.
Reflection: Continuing within these unprecedented times, have you challenged yourself this Lenten season? Have you tried not complaining in the past? If so, what are your tips!
Share your tips with me, if you’d like, in the comments below. I would love to hear them!