I was meant to give up biscuits for Lent this year.
The plan was solid: I ate plenty of biscuits before, I told everyone I knew and I made a good start.
Five days in, I was really tired after a long day. I reasoned that just one wouldn't hurt (by which I obviously mean more than one).
I also argued that I’m not a Christian, so no one would really care whether of not I observed Lent. After all, the last time I did it, I was in my teens.
But the more I thought about the biscuits, I realised that this wasn’t about Jesus. It was about me making a commitment to myself. I said I was going to do something and then, for whatever reason, I was going to become Cookie Monster again.
When we makes commitments to ourself and keep them, we build self-worth. We feel good about ourselves. We build self-esteem. We begin to find reasons why we shouldn’t take sh*t from people.
I was going to give that up for a biscuit? Really?
But I really didn’t care about Jesus in the desert anymore. And it was a long time ago anyway. There were better things to dig my heels in about: practicing my meditations, drinking plenty of water, being present with my kids. The biscuits were irrevelevant. And I had enough self-worth to know that.
So, as I contemplated opening a packet of something simply delightful from the larder, I wondered about this sudden obsession. If I wasn’t obsessing about biscuits, what would I be obsessing about?
I imagined sitting and eating the biscuits I so desperately craved. After eating three, how would I feel? (Poor Christ was totally out of the picture by now).
I knew that after the initial high, I would probably be looking for something else to take the edge off. Yes, I would need to find a reliable escape from that nagging feeling of uneasiness that I have been known to be gripped by.
Aw crap. I would eat the biscuits and wouldn’t have solved anything.
The good news was, I didn’t want a biscuit anymore.
The bad news was, there was no running away from that icky feeling.
“This too shall pass.”
That’s all I needed to remember; that it takes just 20 minutes for an emotion to pass. After that, it’ll be something new. Maybe that’s why the biscuits fell out of my head as quickly as they came in.
I was so proud of myself.
And then I had a biscuit.