Day One - Ash Wednesday.
Dying to things of the ego and pursuing the things of the spirit
Here we are in the middle of the week in the middle of the winter with Christmas and New Year’s long gone and looking forward to spring and Easter.
In the dreariness of mid winter we are tired of our old life and it dawns on us that in our present and future life we could find a better way. Perhaps it is time to renew our search for that which really matters deep down in our hearts. It is time for a renewal of interest and focus in that which we consciously or unconsciously yearn for: peace and bliss.
In our search we come to realize that peace and bliss are not to be found in the things of the ego. The idols which society holds up to us as the source of happiness we have come to realize as false: money, power, status, romantic love, hedonistic pleasures. We have come to recognize the lies and have decided to turn away so we can search for something more substantive. We cannot invest time and energy in our search if we are distracted and innervated by pursuit of things counterfeit and transient.
And so at lent we decide to deliberately give up the pursuit of these earthly things of the ego and focus our attention on the spiritual qualities of the virtues. With this decision to turn our attention from the things of the ego to the things of the spirit what will I pursue: honesty instead of pretense and disingenuousness, kindness instead of selfishness, unconditional positive regard instead of judgmentalism, faith in what matters instead of distraction and preoccupation with mood altering substances and activities?
On Ash Wednesday, I make a commitment to die to the ways of the ego and pursue life in the ways of the Spirit This lent I will change my focus from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit and see where this new path takes me.