What is fasting?
‘The core of the fast is the so called spiritual fast, in which we are to abstain from all sins of the tongue (judging others, speaking badly, gossiping etc.), sins of the heart (envy, hate, anger, greed, narcissism, wanting what is not ours and most of all pride), sins of our mind (bad thoughts, speaking without thinking), sins of our will (laziness, stubbornness). We have to understand that if we keep the spiritual fast, the material one is much easier. The spiritual one is above the material one, because God states that “ What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:11)
I am happy that I will be fasting! Confident, inspired, motivated. Having read tons of literature on the benefits of a fast and the miracles that occur.
In reality the hard part is starting and the first few days of the fast, until you change your way of eating. You get over it the first week and then it turns into a habit, you do it without thinking. That’s my case, but that is not the interesting part…
You think everything is fine, life goes on, you feel good about the fact that you are doing the best thing for yourself. You put effort into feeling good – both physically and mentally and suddenly there are so many different things happening. Things that you never expected would.
You meet up with friends. Of course you start talking about someone. What are they like, what they said , what they did… if before I was a part of the gossip machine, now I stay quiet and keep thinking that I am out of place. I want to say something, but I can’t. Is it so hard to speak only nice things? It turns out once you start to think before you speak, it’s not that easy. I noticed I prefer staying quiet at first. Then I tried turning my thoughts around – once I was thinking something bad, I said the opposite thing. It became almost like a brain game. But not always as easy.
We go out with family friends. Again everybody is eating and drinking, speaking of their problems, talking about people, giving their opinion without anyone asking for it and you have to sit there and listen, without giving your opinion, because you are fasting. Staying quiet and trying to tune people out. But then what should it do in order to not be bored? I started watching people’s faces – their expressions, mimics, when they something – good or bad. It is fascinating how people light up when there is fresh gossip, when they speak ill of their country, the weather, their boss or .. their husband/wife.
In the next moment you meet someone who says ‘why should I fast? I am a good person. I haven’t done anything bad, people who have sinned should fast’
And I just leave without explaining. There is no point. I just observe. Learn.
And then you just stop hearing everybody and everything. You listen to yourself only. And now what? That is where the hard part comes. Almost like a film strip, you see situations, places, conversations, dreams and you are the main star. You start seeing things from a distance.
Another point of view – you see how many mistakes you make daily, without even realizing it, just because you are in a hurry and live by habit. You see how many simple things bother you pointlessly and how many important things you let pass you by. I saw mine. But everyone has to see theirs for themselves.
And of course things escalate every day you decide you are going to resist. Temptation after temptation. Sin after sin. Passion after passion. All the things you have always feared are rising up. Work problems – you try to be honest and do your job. Nice try. The moment people see a person making an honest living they start thinking something’s up. Nothing is UP, people. There ARE good things that are not scams and getting by. Yes, but without them you are out of the game, you seem inadequate in the scenery. It is not accepted to do your job without bribes and connections. You are not in style.
Problems with communication. Everybody is staring at you like you are from another planet, just because you are silent and listening. You are not on their frequency – not gossiping, not drinking, not eating. You hear thing like ‘she is not doing well’ even from your closest people. Or ‘We are not as righteous as you are. Sorry about that.’
You try to not take notice, just because you have decided to test yourself, but the temptations never sleep. Learn.
In that moment you need support. Someone that doesn’t reproach you and tell you that you are not okay. Or the other side – to watch over you all the time and point out every mistake you make. Amazing!
Of course you start getting sensual propositions, which anyone can hardly resist. The Jesus Christ Passions. Where were all these things before? Are you kidding me? When I am fasting…
In reality the point isn’t to feel guilty. The opposite. You should be conscious and see the point of everything. And why,God? Why does he send us all those trials just now? What should we notice? When do we get over ourselves? Isn’t that exactly the personal evolvement and the concept of perfecting ourselves? So popular nowadays. Thousands of courses, retreats and life couches – and all you have to do is fast.
I have decided to fast and do things right (according to me) and just now I get things thrown my way? Of course! God is always beside the brave ones. You have to do what YOU think is right. To eat fearlessly and not eat fearlessly. To speak and be silent bravely. To want or not want. To give and receive. That is what is important for you.
You should have some kind of a position. You have to define yourself. You have to walk bravely in your own direction, no matter the opinions of the others. You have to choose yourself.
The world is unknown and far away in that exact moment! But very , very close to the God in you!
The compensation of the SOUL is indescribable!