As a child, my much-older sister often called me “stupid.” My parents’ silence seemed to imply agreement. “Stupid” didn’t denote “unintelligent,” but an emotionally fiery mixture of foolish, wrong, and totally worthless. “Stupid” scalded me and made me feel desperate. Over time, I learned to think “stupid” whenever I made a mistake, when I felt socially inadequate, when I feared rejection.
Thank God, the Brothers invited me to fast from “stupid.” I had not realized how much power the very word held over me. Fasting from “stupid” is a tremendous boost; it requires me to examine and reframe. Maybe my idea was “impractical.” Perhaps I was “mistaken,” even “misunderstood.” Possibly, I was just “being human.” No destructive fire there.
I believe that by abstaining from “stupid” I honor God by learning to accept that I am His handiwork, just as I am. I want to keep this fast forever!