“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” —Pope Francis
Whether you are Christian or not, or devout or not, you are probably aware that we have entered Lent, a season of spiritual growth and self-examination, which often includes fasting and a tradition of giving something up (even though this is pretty short-lived for some of us).
Your Girly Thoughts . . . and Lent?
Pope Francis speaks about Lent as an opportunity to not have life as usual, to awaken from our “lethargy” that says we cannot change. We can consider expanding that reawakening to include not having our usual thinking about ourselves.
So, how do you usually think about yourself? Of course you have many positive thoughts about yourself, and they’re great. But there are also those other thoughts, those that are less than positive, that I’ve named girly thoughts. Lent can be a great time to give up that toxic way of thinking.
How About Giving Up a Girly Thought or Two . . . Just for Lent?
Yes, during this time of self-reflection, consider changing your thinking, especially your girly thoughts like I’m fat, or I have to make nice at work. You could decide to totally give up a girly thought, or if that seems too difficult, you could choose one girly thought and refuse to think it for just a limited period of time, like for the Lenten season.
So, instead of giving up a specific girly thought forever, you could give it up for now, see how it feels, and if you miss it so very much, you can come back to it later and start beating yourself up with this girly thought all over again.
Consider this time-limited practice as a kind of experiment that not only helps you direct your thinking into more positive directions, but also can have an ongoing payoff:
You begin to feel better about yourself as you stop finding fault with yourself, and you start to appreciate your very special qualities, particularly those that are not in the mainstream, like your wacky sense of humor, your long red hair, your ability to dance and move unlike your friends.
How to begin? Reflect on your thinking and change what you say to you about you! This is, after all, what this season of reflection is all about; a time of quiet to prepare for greatness.
For now, every time you slip up and find yourself thinking your specific girly thought, let it be a reminder that you do not need to continue to do to yourself what society does to you! You can begin to step into your power and your personal greatness.
I invite you to take a moment and watch my video blog where I talk to you about your girly thoughts and Lent.
You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my latest book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.