Ambivalence and the February blues

Ambivalence is defined as:

1. uncertainty or fluctuation, esp. when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.

2. Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneouslydrawing him or her in opposite directions.

The February blues is another name for mild depression that is seasonal, particularly in the wintery Northern states in the middle of the school year.

Now I’m not in school anymore but I’m still feeling a bit of ambivalent Lenten blues.

And I’m starting to realize why the Church has Lent now.  Easter comes during the spring, when things start turning green and rabbits are having babies and everything is giving birth and “resurrecting” from the winter.  But Lent, oh Lent, starts right around the time the blues get the strongest.   Michigan doesn’t have very many sunny days in February.  We had a couple at the end of last week, but today we were dumped with about a half foot of snow.  The clouds have come back.

In many ways, Lent has been mirroring that.  There were some spiritually sunny days last week. Going to mass on Ash Wednesday, feeling as though I can and will do well with my Lenten resolutions.  Everything was pretty sunny.  And then the clouds came back.  And the ambivalence, the feelings of wanting to do well, but also wanting to do other things have set in.

So here’s a bit of encouragement.  If you haven’t gotten the Lenten blues yet, you will.  And when you do, remember that the clouds go away and the sun comes out.  And maybe you’ll falter a bit in your resolutions.  But you can always start anew.

This post is part of my Lenten series.  Click on the tag “Lent” to see more!


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