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Give up? Or Give More? // #WW4D

Although I am not really the religious type, I was raised Catholic and am familiar with some of the traditions such as Ash Wednesday being the beginning of Lent. I know that it is usually sometime in Feb or March and that Catholics attempt to give something up for 40 days and 40 nights. But that's as much as I remember. Don't judge me!

Yesterday I went to the gym and I noticed people with ashes on their forehead. Oh crap, is it Lent already? I didn't think too much of it but as the day went on, I kept thinking of ideas on what to give up. I've tried giving up things for Lent when I catch the beginning of it, not so much for the religious aspect of it, but for the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone. 

In the past I've tried giving up some pretty cliche things like meat, cursing and alcohol, all of which I failed miserably at. Mostly because of lack of self control, and drinking was always hard to give up since my birthday would always fall somewhere in the middle of Lent. One year I thought, why don't I give more rather than give up something? One year I tried giving more time to the gym but let's face it.. My self-discipline was SHOT. I lost interest in Lent because I started to think it was impossible for me to give up or give more to something for that long. I know, sad right?

Well this year, since I caught it at the very beginning this time around, I am determined to try again. But I want to give up something unique, something I had never done before and would truly better myself and the world around me. Luckily I thought of the perfect thing.

I've decided to give up negativity and the word hate. Not going to lie, I've been a real negative Nancy. This year alone I noticed that I talk a lot about the things I hate, more than the things I love. I'm sure I will get caught slippin' hating on something but I'm challenging myself to neutralize any negative statement with something positive. For example, if I accidentally say something like, "I hate this traffic!" (this is a negative statement I say almost all the time in traffic) then I would negate it by saying something like, " I hate this traffic but I'm glad I'm not in the accident or the car that broke down that's causing this traffic. I hope the affected car is OK." 

So in addition to giving up negativity, I am challenging myself to give more positivity. Give compliments when I normally wouldn't. Acknowledge how beautiful the day was or can be.. I know it may sound cheesy but just in today alone, I've seen a massive difference in energy within myself and my surroundings. I normally go into Lent half-assed but this time, I am so determined to finish strong. It reminded me why I started this blog in the first place, to always pay it forward and bring more positive light into the world. So grateful for that reminder.

Curious, do you guys celebrate Lent? If so, what are you giving up or giving more of? Don't know yet? Let me know in the comments below and maybe we can try giving up negativity together.. ;) 

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