This is an inspiring post that I found. Read and enjoy and please visit the blog that I found it on.
At the beginning of 2010, I decided to do something simple, yet in some ways profound, in order to help overcome some of my anxiety. I gave up caffeine. Now, I know this may seem trivial to some, but for me, it was a HUGE deal! I realized that by not having caffeine, I had to let myself be tired when I was tired. I always noticed a severe tightening in my chest not occurring as frequently. In a sense, a year and almost two months later, I feel a little more sober. I noticed that in not having caffeine to keep me pumped up, I was in a small way not feeding my anxiousness. I also noticed that my mind was a little clearer and other negative habits and behaviors of mine were brought to my attention. I could start to honestly look at myself and sort out where some of this anxiousness was truly coming from, now that I could not blame it on caffeine.
In same ways, I view giving up caffeine as a fast (one that will probably be a life long fast). Fasting is so difficult, because us humans are so incredibly weak, but, I am starting to see that the fruits of it are entirely worth it! In one of our Lady’s messages in Medjugorje, Mary states to the visionaries, “Through fasting and prayer, one can stop wars, one can suspend the laws of nature.” Wow! How amazing these rewards are! I think Mary means that through fasting, we can stop the wars also within ourselves, we can work towards overcoming our own self occupation and start surrendering ourselves to God. As Fr. Slavko Barbaric states, “it is by prayer, of course that we attach ourselves to God, but it is by fasting that we detach ourselves from the world.”
Part of my new goals for 2011 have been to start fasting once a week. Some weeks have been better than others, but I am determined to keep trying. I noticed last week, during one of my better fasting days, that it was very difficult, but I knew that it was a way to carry my cross that day and bare the slight inconvenience of hunger, a sacrifice for God that would turn into a later spiritual fruit and grace. When I awoke the next morning though, I felt a sense of peace, energy and I noticed later in the week when I was met with difficulty, I was a little more patient, my responses to others were more gentle and I even started in my prayers to take time not to speak, but sit in silence and listen.