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Lent: Sinner Style

I'm giving up being a jerk for Lent.

I am going to stop being a jerk for Lent.

I’ve had a long, storied history with the liturgical season.

One year, I gave up sweets.  I lost eight pounds. Another year, I gave up beer.  I almost didn’t make it through.

This year, my ever-wise boyfriend suggested that we do something that will be difficult, but that also might make us change for the better, as people. We opted to stop cursing.

But later, as I watched the line of people walk up the aisle of St. Matt’s to get their ashes, I wondered if they were giving something up for Lent; why were they doing it?  Were they going to succeed?  And then it struck me, out of the blue: that giving up cursing just wasn’t enough…. I am going to stop being a jerk for Lent.

Now, I’m not really a jerk. I volunteer at church.  I help old ladies put groceries in their cars or take back their carts at grocery stores. I smile at people when I see them on the street. I’m good to all of the little critters (kids) in my life.  I’m a good daughter.  I care about other people.  

But, I’m kind of a jerk.  The first thing I do when I get together with my friends is talk about other people negatively. I hang up on loved ones when I get angry(including my senior citizen father, which is terrible) more than I should.  I don’t call my friends back. I care too much about what others think about me, what I have, what I should have. I can be a spoiled brat. I don’t always appreciate my boyfriend, who always seems to appreciate me.

So, what I am really going to do for Lent is STOP.

Stop and think before I speak.  Stop and question if I really need to put someone down, or if I should just keep my mouth shut.  Stop and think through my actions, and how it will affect others. Stop at the end of the day and ask myself, what did I do to not be a jerk? To make days more pleasant for those around me? To make sure my loved ones know that I appreciate them? I’m just going to stop.

I figured that chronicling this journey would help me to stay on track. Which is going to happen on Patch.

To start…

Today, after I picked up some little critters at school and was getting extremely frustrated with their lack of ability to listen to anything I said. After expressing my exasperation more than once and finally calming down, one of them asked what I was giving up for Lent.

“I’m giving up being mean,” I said.

There was a long silence.

“Um….I hate to break it to you,” the little critter said. “But you’re being kind of mean right now. Maybe you should give up something else.”

This is going to be a long Lent.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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