I look forward to Lent every year.
That’s sort of a weird thing to say since Lent is so sacrificial, right? Lent is the time when we set aside some of the things we reaaaaally enjoy so that we can remember that a) our souls shouldn’t be slaves to our bodies and b) God suffered and died for us.
In Lenten pasts, I’ve given up: Facebook, complaining (epic fail, by the way), the radio and sweets. So, I wanted to try something different this year. I want to really use Lent to “give up” my vices and to cultivate virtue.
This year for Lent I’m giving up pride and I’m taking up humility.
Pride is the motha of all sins (and it’s a sneaky little motha)! All of the women in my life do a really good job of beating ourselves up. We think we straight up suuuuuck at one thing (or many things) in our life. So, since we know and acknowledge our weaknesses, doesn’t it sound counter intuitive to say that we are also incredibly prideful? Not really.
Because, for women especially, pride pretends to not be pride. It disguises itself as self consciousness or self doubt. You see, humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. And we’re not really thinking of ourselves less when we wallow in all of the things we do terribly, are we?
The truth is, you can ABSOLUTELY be both humble and confident. (Don’t ask me how, my legal name is actually Diana Bigfatpride Vallette.)
Humble People Accept Compliments
So, my Lenten penance is this: I’m going to accept compliments.
Plot twist. Yup, you read that right. I’m going to accept compliments to grow in humility. (Ya didn’t see that one coming, eh?)
When someone compliments us, we feel like we have to deflect, right? We have to explain why we’re actually NOT that great. We do this for many reasons, but the biggest one is this: we don’t want the complimenter to think we agree with them! We want to APPEAR humble, and, unfortunately for this gal, wanting to appear humble isn’t humble at all.
When we start arguing with someone about how we actually don’t have great hair and we’re actually not that crafty and we actually suck at living out the faith (even though we have a whole blog devoted to it. Ahem.) all we’ve done is taken a 10 second compliment and twisted it into a 5 minute back and forth. That’s not really thinking of ourselves less, is it?
So, how do we grow in humility? We say “thank you,” and nothing else outwardly, and then interiorly, we say to God “that’s all you, Lord.” We remind ourselves that God made us. He made our beautiful eyes and our beautiful singing voices and when people compliment us they’re really just complimenting God THROUGH us.
Self doubt, at its very core, is prideful because pride isn’t only inflated self worth, it’s thinking about ourselves over and over and over. (My hand is all the way up in the air right now, by the way.) So, this year for Lent, instead of giving up some THING that you love or enjoy, give up the vices that keep you from really knowing, loving and serving God.
- The Litany of Humility is a great, beautiful prayer that I’ll be praying daily throughout Lent. Anyone else want to join me? You can save the above picture to your phone for easy access.
- My favorite Lenten work book is sold out, but, you can sign up for Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever here.