A Self-Care Lenten Ritual of renewal and reflection
As a pastor, I enjoy creating spaces for spiritual growth to occur within my own life and to try and help others in their own spiritual journeys as well. Whether in my own life or helping others, I enjoy seeing and helping people connect with faith in one way or another. I am not a stickler on how, because faith is experienced in a primarily personal manner (though communal experiences often personify individual experiences). However, I wanted an opportunity to help connect self-care as a lived practice with the rituals of the church. Even if you are not a practitioner of the Christian faith, or struggle with the label of Christianity, I invite you to find some space for this connection of reflection and renewal in this season. While themes will be spiritual and more specifically Christian in nature, my hope is that this would be an opportunity to connect with self in light of the great manner of the divine around us.
Therefore, I present:
“A Lenten Journey of Care”
In the Christian tradition, Lent is a season of preparation. The time of year we find ourselves “gearing up” towards the celebration of Easter. This spiritual season was developed through the history of the church. It is neither a practice established in scripture nor is there a specific year that one can point to as “the first Lent.” However, it is a season that developed from a time of intentional connection with spiritual disciplines and faith-building in the time leading up to Easter. Occupying the forty days (not including Sundays) between Ash Wednesday (this year on February 22) and Easter (this year on April 9), Lent has traditionally been a time of reflection and renewal for people of the Christian faith.
For this Lenten season, I wanted to take an opportunity to consider more deeply those ideas of reflection and renewal, and to create a space for a “Lent of Care”…that is a lent where we take intentional time to reflect on self-care in our lives. Yes, we establish the love that God has for us, but do we ground ourselves in that same manner of unconditional love? Do we use that manner of love that we know for ourselves to then love others? While we know the first step is to know God’s love for us, we cannot truly unlock the love we can truly have for others until we learn to love and care for ourselves.
The Active Faith Network is centered around these ideas of self-care and building a theology of self-care together. So it seems only natural that during the season Christians use for fasting and maturing in faith, we use this time to grow in how we care for ourselves.
Each Wednesday I have invited different people to offer a reflection on a piece of this idea of self-care: creation, breath, mind, body, presence, time, and grief. Each writer brings a personal reflection of self and a reflection for renewal in their space.