This afternoon I made an executive call and ended my fast. I celebrated with Scott and Grace. We shared a heavy coffee and a block of chocolate. The chocolate was lovely, the coffee was ho-hum. I have two issues with coffee at the moment. Firstly, the caffeine does me no favours. Secondly, the presence of dairy concerns me as it is not the wonderchild of a superfood and according to my reading, causes the body extra work in its digestion.
Coffee is so insidious though. It felt so normal to drink it again and I thought it hardly seems like I stopped for 20 days. Then upon reflection I realised it wasn’t 20 days. It took me about 5 to wean myself off, so I really only stopped for about 15 days. An hour or so after that coffee, I found myself thinking that I’d really like another one of those. I really had to pull myself up or I would have just marched out to the kitchen on some kind of autopilot and made one. [sigh] Habits don’t die easy.
There was some guilt associated with ending the fast early. And there was even more at introducing dairy to my vegan fast last weekend. I apologise for not blogging about it but I’ve been going through a lot of personal/work challenges in the past week, not to mention struggling to cope with this fast. While the first half of the fast was spiritual, the second half was just holding on. Adding diary to the fast felt like a cop out to keep myself sane and try to help myself to stick with the fast.
Looking back, my fast was far from perfect. But I learned something from my imperfect attempt. It was that there was value, even in my imperfection. The fast showed me that I could control what I ate, I could control my reactions. I learned that I could use alternatives to help me cope – especially with the major disappointment of not winning the BHAG house.
Towards the end of the fast my attitude stank. I was tired and ready for it to be finished. I agonised for the last week with guilt for introducing diary and then guilt for finishing early. It was almost as if I was conceding defeat this afternoon by ending it early. In a way, I was.
I have experienced the great GRACE of God in the past few hours as I dwelled on my imperfection. It’s like God is telling me I value your efforts. I’m glad you tried. It’s not all or nothing. There is great value in what you’ve done. You’ve learned lessons in coping, lessons about yourself,… you’ve trusted me. You’ve been humble and you’ve been humbled.
The revelation that there was value in imperfection inspired me. I instantly started vaccuuming and cleaning the bathroom because it didn’t matter if it was perfect or complete anymore. What matttered was that I make an effort. After two hours cleaning and scrubbing, I felt fantastic.
I learned something and I believe God broke the spirit of ‘”Perfectionism” off my life.
Hallelujah and Amen.