Time spent on this Lenten journey is a time for reflection. It’s a time for stretching and wandering around – circles, straight lines, hills and dales. It’s in and out. It’s holding on to endings and beginnings. It’s yes and no. It's both/and.
Letting go of our No in Lent is about paying attention and exploring possibilities. It's about stepping out in faith. No in Lent can be about journeying from something to something else. It is about our journeying from winter into spring. It is about releasing what has always been before. It’s about following nature’s lead and risking what just might come next. Anis Nin said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Letting go of no can be a way of searching for what has never been seen, about turning in a new direction. Releasing no is putting away the wall-building materials we have always used and the practices that have long-gone stale. It can be about stepping out and trying something brand new - like walking barefooted in the grass in early spring. No can bring possibilities, discoveries, new life. Letting go of No can save our spirits in this season.
Letting go of Yes in Lent is about no longer using practiced responses. It can be a time of no longer wanting to please or take care of another. It can bring introspection, thoughtful reflection and the claiming of your voice. It is about trusting instincts, honest interactions and prioritizing life’s experiences. It is about clarifying what matters most in this moment and coming to see what no longer matters as it did at one time. Letting go of Yes can bring new understandings, simplicity and affirmations. Letting go of Yes can save our spirits in this season.
How is it possible that we can go through this season letting go of both No and Yes? How can we not? Is this possible? Is this just double speaking? OR…is this inviting a more honest, clear and more fully human way of being in relationship with friends and family, coworkers and perfect strangers? Does it invite a fuller presence and participation in our days? Does it invite us to more fully answer when invited in?
I truly don’t know how you answer these questions. It’s been fun for me to wander around and wonder about letting go of both these sister-words for this season. As old as this phrase is – “then my `yes’ means `yes’ and my `no’ truly means `no’ " - then, this phrase still rings true. This Lenten season is not a time of over-committing or under-delivering. It can be instead about authentically showing up. Honestly. Fully present. Glad to be doing or being with. Me with no resentments, no “dad-gummits,” no “I wished I’da's…” Me. Awake. Present. Here. With you and whatever you have invited me to join. Heart open. Here.