Because you are smart and you love chocolate, you may be thinking, “How absurd to be happy without chocolate” or even better, “Why would anyone choose to be without chocolate in the first place?” On most days I agree! But today isn’t most days.
I abstain from chocolate during Lent. When I was a kid, I would walk right by the corner store, which was actually the front room of a family’s home, that sold the penny candy I adored. Instead, I would take my pennies to the container at school that collected money for the poor. So did all of my friends. I learned three important lessons from this ritual.
I can give up something I love and I’ll be OK. I loved those Swedish Fish candies. To not eat them or watermelon Jolly Ranchers or Atomic Fire Balls was a big thing to a little kid. As an adult I’ve needed to give up much that I have loved. Relocations have torn me from cherished people and places, and miscarriage has broken my heart, for examples. Yet, I knew I would survive the loss. Grieving and time heal.
Although I was a poor kid, I learned that there were others worse off than me who needed my help. It is a bitter-sweet lesson to know that while I don’t have everything I want, there are people who don’t have what they need. And a little kid donating change can help. Imagine how much a generous adult can help others.
There are seasons in life to help keep it interesting. While I don’t recall loving Lent (or Advent) as a kid I definitely remember loving Easter and Christmas. The eager anticipation of difficulties being lifted! Of celebrations and gifts! Of candy! Instead of trying to avoid sacrifices, losses, and grieving, I saw their connection to abundance, gain, and joy! To this day, I prefer a life of ups and downs and zigs and zags to a bland existence of monotony.
So for forty days I’ll be happy without chocolate. And on Easter morning, you can guess what will be in my basket.
I would love to hear about your childhood and how you learned about sacrifice. Or share anything else you related to here. And tell me about your favorite candy, if you don’t mind 🙂
Sending my very best to you on this special day ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc