Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season in the Christian calendar. For many, it is a time of reflection and fasting, to give up something. It’s a time to test one’s self-discipline or take up a way to better one’s self. It’s a time to remember and to repent.


Like fellowship (which I wrote about already in another blog post), the word repentance is heavily laden with Christian connotations and is an idea some in the secular world tend to avoid. There are usually some associations with self-loathing and guilt and blame with that very word. It is a loaded word for some.

But what does repent mean?

To repent, according to the dictionary, means to feel regret or remorse and to express that regret or remorse in a sincere way. We repent when we hurt others. We say we are sorry. We try not to do it again.

But the word also means “to have a change of mind,” from the Greek μετάνοια (metanoia). Conversely, it can also be used to mean “to have a change of heart.” And in this season of reflection, what a wonderful idea that is. How can we have a change of heart? How can we change our mindsets? How can we find ways to better ourselves? What can we give up that is keeping us from changing the world?

Like I stated in a blog post last Lenten season, I tend to check my sweet tooth during this season, giving up sugary things in an effort to perhaps break the habit. But I also try to take up some sort of practice that will help to change my mindset. Last year, I came out of my comfort zone in a huge way by accepting a more public position at my church instead of hiding in the shadows as my introverted self had always done. The change of heart and mind has helped my growth, both as a person and as a writer. I have been trying to give up the fears inside me, the ones brought on by voices I have internalized over the years, and have come to embrace this change within me. It’s a hard process, one I am still working on.

But there is still so much left to change, and this season is a period to reflect upon that. Whether you decide to observe by giving something up, changing your ways, or taking on a new practice, find a way to get out whatever keeps you from having a change of heart or mind.

Here are some ideas on what can be changed:

Instead of hatred and division, choose to love.

Instead of pessimism, choose to hope.

Instead of violence and strife, choose to exude peace.

Instead of animosity and discouragement, choose to be joyful.

In a world full of all of the above, choose to be kind.

I know I am trying to do this. The bracelets that make up the blog post graphic are ones I have made to help me focus on these ideas in my daily life. And while I know I will never be perfect and will always have some remorse for the wrongs I do, sometimes on a daily basis, I strive to continue to change my mind and my heart for the better. It’s not easy and it will always be flawed, but then, so am I.

Repent. Change. Find your ways to make this wonderful world a better place. It’s part of the magic of the story of life. It’s part of the magic we continue to write.

Stay magical.

I know I will continue to try.

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And as always, #writeyourownstory

3 thoughts on “Repent

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