Yes, yes, I know I promised and I'm going to deliver.
Today is Day 1 of 30 Days of Truth. Consider this my Lenten Food Meditation...
But first...last night I got home only to find my check had arrived (huzzah!) and off I went AFTER CHOIR PRACTICE to go do a little late evening shopping. And ended up having 2--yes, 2--salads with chicken on them; one from Arby's (boo....) and one from Sonic (thumbs sorta up). And realized that for the same price I could have gone to the Brook and had a really great salad. Of course, I was able to sit in my car and read, but I could have read at the Brook, and not have had to contend with the styro cup o' water that...broke, leaving my trousers and the car wet but my mouth thirsty...The Arby's salad had chicken but it also had bacon in it, and I'm not consuming a great deal of pork these days. The Sonic salad has more lettuce and a yummy grilled piece of chicken...I loved it. Anyhoodle, I had plenty to eat and it's good to shock your body with a few extra calories or it thinks it's heading for starvation...
And this morning, Fage yogurt with the requisite blueberries, walnuts, agave nectar, and cashew butter. The blueberries for antioxidents, the walnuts for Omega-3 fatty acids, the agave for a "better" sweetener, and the cashew butter for...for goodness sake! Because it's so, so good...
All right, here goes with item #1 of 30 Days of Truth:
Something You Hate About Yourself.
Already, I'm not likin' this...I try not to use the word "hate" in reference to people but particulary in reference to myself. Let's make it "Something you deeply dislike about yourself."
I dislike my tendency to be critical. I grew up with some critical people, and I can be the worst in terms of a really negative, critical attitude. With that comes a tendency to...gossip and backbite and "talk ugly" about people. I sure wish this were not the case, but I have struggled with it my entire life. You can only imagine my shock when I realized that I have been a practicing Christian for almost 42 years (I'd love to say "since 10 years before my birth, making me a mere 32" but that would be a terrible lie...) and this MAJOR area hasn't really changed. So...that's why I am concentrating on it during Lent. I need God's help, because I have felt the lash of vicious words myself, and I do not like it. And yet, I have criticized and judged and talked about people in the past. I find it mean-spirited of me, and lacking in character. I really, really dislike this. Add to that a tendency sometimes to sneer at people (privately of course...) who lack what the Great Weltha considers sufficient education, culture, good manners, good grammar, ability to dress oneself, the list could go on for weeks, and it makes me one not-so-lovely individual. Years ago, I watched an HBO presentation on Winston Churchill [my hero] entitled "The Gathering Storm"--it was a dramatization of Churchill and his life during the "wilderness years" when he was in political exile in the 30s. At one point, he takes his youngest child, Mary, to a music hall to see his older daughter, Sara, perform. He notes the man she later marries, Vic Oliver, and refers to him as "common as dirt."
There are times I have referred to people as "common as dirt." Generally I do this with a peevish expression and dripping contempt in my voice.
Yes, I "deeply dislike this" about myself.
Fortunately, the "30 Days" get better or I could not handle it. Believe me when I say that I am singularly ashamed of being this way, and I also am helpless to conquer this--or even want to--on my own. Many people are not familiar with Lenten practices, but the whole point is to allow God to search us and work with us. It's not about "giving up chocolate." It's a time to focus and lie still under the surgeon's scalpel...
I laughingly say, "All right, I traded in the swearing for not criticizing and not complaining," but the truth is that when I swear, for the very most part it is not directed at anyone. It's more a punctuation mark (a rude one, that's true) in my vocabulary or a way to express how I feel when a box of 24 cans of Fancy Feast bursts open and the 24 heavy little cans rain down on my thin-skinned foot...but for the most part, my swearing is an "outward" thing. The criticism and the complaining--those are inward things. This season, we are dealing with some inward things...much harder, I find. "Giving up chocolate" or other items of that ilk are easy...outward things are easier; inward things that mold and define my character are much more difficult for me.
And the irony is that for the very most part, I have "given up" chocolate...I've had it once since I started The Big Bus Ride To Thinosity, and will probably have some more soon...but I don't have to have it....
Segueing neatly out of my dark confession, I have found a recipe for Dark Chocolate Parfait that I am going to try because it's a vegan recipe using cocoa and soy products and it's supposed to be...wonderful. Simply wonderful. I'm all over that.
I may try it this weekend--we'll see. If it's good, I am SO gonna post the recipe!
Tomorrow, Day 2 of 30 Days of Truth:
Something You Have To Forgive Yourself Or Someone Else For
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