Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. It is time for a lent meditation.
I am using this period of Lent to conduct a self-examination, a lent meditation. For me it will be a form of meditation on myself—physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. For you it will be an opportunity, perhaps, to conduct your own self-examination.
In my writing I often use a three-fold analysis as a way of coming to terms with how I look at myself and my life. In this series of meditations, or reflections, I will be asking three questions over the forty days.
The first is ‘Am I Aware?‘ Do I really know myself? Do I understand myself?
This may seem like a simplistic question but I know how much I have not acknowledged myself in the past. I know how much I have hidden beneath a facade that I thought would acceptable to others. I want to dig below that facade and find the truth. Of course, that begs the question, ‘What is the truth?’
The second question is ‘Am I Accepting?‘ Once I have what I see as the truth, do I accept it? Am I willing to take this truth into my life and let it be me?
This is a crucial question because if I continue to not accept what or who I am then I will continue to conceal my true self. I, like many people, indulge in activities to blunt the edge of my life, whether it is alcohol or dominance. The question is can I let go of those practices and just let my life be?
The third question is ‘Am I Authentic?‘ Does my outward life embody my inner life? Do I treat other people as I treat myself? Do I live the life I desire?
This is a more difficult question to answer because It is easy for me to conceal the truth from myself, it is easy to think everything is OK. While I am willing to let go of what other people think of me, I want to know that I am, at least, revealing my true self. How do I discover this?
This week I have confirmed for myself that I may be diabetic. I have signs, such as numb toes and high blood sugar, that have made me sit up and determine to look at myself in a more serious way. I have started a programme of changing my lifestyle, not because it is Lent, but because my future depends on it. This causes me to think about my body and my physical life in a deeper way. I will be looking into that in more detail.
I will also be delving into my intellectual life. This mainly shows itself through my writing. I realise that I think about this more than I do it. I have books in the pipeline not being finished. Do I understand why this is and what is going on here. My intellectual abilities have always been important to me, where can I take them.
Emotionally my life has been a roller-coater ride, much more scary than any ride I have taken. I think that I have dealt with the emotional issues in my past, yet this week I was triggered by a personal event in the past that I thought had disappeared. Why? What is behind this, deep down?
I like to think I lead a spiritual life, but what does that mean? Do I understand what it means to be spiritual, let alone how to live it? This is going to be the most fascination part of this journey.
Join me everyday, except Sundays, on this journey through Lent and through this exploration. Just achieving it is going to be a stretch for me although I know it is possible. I have done it before, several years ago and it still resonates with me and others. You can see the result here.
This previous journey came together as part of my book, ‘Journey to the Core of the Masculine‘.
- How aware are you?
- Do you accept what you are like?
- Are you authentic in how you live?
Image Credit: Flickr/Samuel John (Creative Commons)