April 01, 2013


Whenever you complete a journey, it's good to reflect. My Lenten journey this year was profound for a myriad of reasons. This year, I undertook a major fast, forgoing all meat, dairy and alcohol. I was joined in the fast by my girlfriend, and I don't know that I could have done this alone. While I went in to this for spiritual reasons, I have to admit that I was also hoping for some health benefits and perhaps even some weight loss — but none of the great vegan miracles were visited upon me. My skin did not clear up (and I horrible eczema), my sinuses did not clear up (they are as clogged as ever!) and this is totally TMI, but I was a gassy MESS for the last 6 weeks. My stomach generally felt horrible and bloated and cramped. I'm attributing this to the consumption of too many whole grains — which I was eating in an effort to feel full — because I was always hungry. I ate a varied diet and tried lots of new things which was fun. I didn't find it too difficult to give up meat — there are quite a lot of substitutes and I enjoy beans despite the horrible gasiness they produce (and yes, I tried an OTC vegan product called 'gas stop' and it didn't work for me). I found it quite difficult to avoid eggs and butter. And cheese is absolutely a heavenly creation that belongs in my tummy. Mmmmm, cheese, how i missed you. And hummus, we are breaking up. I'm so over you.

I found myself obsessing so much about my dietary needs, it was actually more difficult to focus on my spiritual needs this Lent. The physical became the prime focus, particularly as my energy became seriously spotty and my iron levels dropped. As I got that more under control with supplementation, I was able to focus more on prayer. I finally felt connected and by the end of Lent, like I had achieved my prayer goals and received good confirmation from God that I was on the right track and in a good place.

There was stumbling along the way, which is good. Learning opportunities. I can get so caught up in own emotional pain that I miss the bigger picture. Or worse, that I start to sabotage the good around me. Progress is made when you see your own natural disposition to make these unhealthy choices and make different ones. Practice gratitude. Honor the ordinary and see it for the beautiful thing that it is, and allow yourself to experience joy and love.

I am absolutely immersed in love, and my gratitude for it overwhelms me, daily. I only wish I could find a voice, find words to properly reflect my joy. It's the kind of love that leaves me speechless. I can only breathe it in and out and just...surrender to it and reflect it as best as I can...but oh how I want to talk about it! Maybe there is the tiniest bit of fear that if I talk about it too much, well....
Maybe I am just so happy that I need to keep it just a little bit of a secret lest something happen to take that away.

The love and the joy in my life has always been a fleeting thing. I'm the happiest I've ever been. I'm starting to dream the loveliest dream into reality, so please, don't wake me.

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