Why Is Lent So Hard For Me As A Perfectionist?
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The Struggles of Perfectionists During Lent

To those who have been dreading the start of Lent

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The Struggles of Perfectionists During Lent

Lent has officially arrived. A time of penance, sacrifice, purification, and reflection. However, for someone dealing with religious scrupulosity, perfectionism, depression or anxiety, Lent might just cause some waves of pressure for them to have a "life-changing" Lent with the added sacrifices during this season. Just walking into churches and hearing about sin and mercy on repeat is enough to make anyone feel unworthy-especially the ones who tend to hang onto those words instead of focusing on God's peace and kindness and compassion.

To everyone who struggles with these things, I am with you. Lent is a ridiculously hard time for us. Everyone asks, "What are you going to sacrifice for 40 days?" Ahhhh. My hearts falls with more high expectations of myself, wondering if Lent will fix my brokenness if I just follow the rules of fasting and prayer and sacrifice. Lent is supposed to be a time when we are letting God's merciful light shine a bit more into the darker parts of our lives-the addictions, failures, shame, fear, confusion, doubts. I am VERY aware of this, but my mind twists it into something heavy and unattainable. There's this cloud-like pressure to have the perfect sacrifices or try to do as many sacrifices as possible since I know I'm not perfect. This pressure to have deep spiritual experiences with God. And I spiral into thinking that I'm just not doing enough if I don't have this type of experience. These thoughts seem irrational said out loud, but they are secretly very real in perfectionistic, anxious minds.

This Lent, I am re-framing how I want Lent to look like. What I need to remember: You're not going through Lent alone to prove to God you love Him. He already loves you completely. He's not sitting up there with His arms crossed, throwing down judgmental comments about how you didn't properly refuse that cookie. He is full of kindness and acceptance. It's not about you doing these sacrifices and additions on your own. The point could be to rely on Him and see his power in your weakness as you chase the empty promises here on earth. Maybe this Lent you would allow Him to carry something for you-one of your closely held burdens that you won't let anyone else touch. Now that would be a worthwhile sacrifice.

Let's remind ourselves that perfection and rules aren't necessary for our walk with God. Let's embrace the still peace offered to our hearts from Him during this season as we root out things that keep us from the light-filled life He wants for us. We aren't alone this Lent.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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