I have had trouble with overdrinking for some time. I decided to use the opportunity of Lent to let go of this habit. I have done several thirty day “dry-outs” when I’ve had to bear down on myself, and say: “You can’t drink this weekend! You can’t have just one more drink!”, white-knuckling through the process.
When I chose to give up the word ‘can’t’ last week, at the same time that I chose to give up alcohol, I was unable to use the mantra to which I was accustomed. I realized I’d have to say something else to myself besides “You can’t!” over and over again. But what would I say instead, to keep myself on the path of abstinence I had chosen for Lent?
I realized that I need not think of the problem in terms of words. I could let a silence occur, and make room for God. When I began to think of alcohol this time, I just tried to be still and feel myself longing for something more than a constant struggle to calm anxieties. With that longing came a sense that not only did I want peace, but that peace was wanted for me.