In one of my undergraduate clinical psychology courses, my professor pointed out how, as human beings, we attach ourselves to materials: to food, to clothes, to books. These things, he told us, were manifestations of love. We replaced love with tangible things, filling an empty void in our lives.
Of course he was a batshit crazy, new-age psychologist. But he had a point. In fact, he compared it to Lent, how people have to sacrifice something on which they are so dependent that it actually pains them to do so. My friends always give up things like chocolate, fast food, cursing. One (a very nasty one with whom I’ve since stopped hanging out) gave up cheating on her boyfriend, a very trying experience for her.
I’ve never been religious, though I love many aspects of religion. Including, and especially, this one. I’ve never actually participated due to the lack of religion (remind me that I need to relay the story of the time my grandmother tried to convince me on religion by taking me to “The Christian Clown Act”, in which I helped to magically build an “Ark of Faith”) But I love the general idea of Lent. My college professor used to try to convince us to fast so that we could understand what a dependency on something material felt like. It never worked on hungry college students, but again I see the point.
I want to try an experiment, though not to the lengths of fasting (how do they DO it during Ramadan?) I’m not sure if I’ve written about this on here, but I’m lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant. Which, when combined with vegetarianism, leads to a well-rounded diet. And being intolerant? Makes me crave it a thousand times more (I have that personality- If it’s bad for me, I want it more). And I’ve started to realize just how much I rely on bread products, rather than being balanced with all of the food groups (sans meat).
That being said, I want to see how long I can last without bread or bread products. No Cheerios for breakfast, no pasta for dinners. My own little non-religion version of Lent (is that sacrilegious?) I actually talked about this with my grandmother on the phone today (who, by the way, is a stoic Episcopalian, pearls and all), and her response? “Maybe it will help you see the light on God.”
I’ll bet she’s voting for Huckabee.