Well, Lent’s been a strange one this year. I always give up: crisps, chocolate, sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks. This year, add smoking. But this year… in hospital, I broke on chocolate, because someone had bought everyone Cheer Up Chocolates and I felt like I should engage. And I have broken on cake, though homemade cake seems less sinful, because making it was a social and possibly saving thing (making cake with X has saved me from self-harm and alcohol a few times). For Good Friday I am fasting, which necessitates abstinence from alcohol. So I feel that… the absolutism involved in Lent has been broken, but then, cake has never been a life-saver before. The act of baking, the social engagement involved with it, the joy of doing something with someone, has been important in keeping my routines, in exchanging bad habits for better ones. In making somebody else happy as well as myself. So maybe it isn’t as black and white as it sometimes seems? I think The Being prefers my safety and the effort of not harming, to my lack of oral engagement with sweet baked goods. I think The Being values life, and cake is not a rejection of life, while my drinking and self-harm often are. I think The Being accepts that the kindness of accepting things that make others happy is okay with what I have done- I have resisted crisps and biscuits because their denial hurts nobody, whereas failing to accept the gift of proffered friendship would have. And so, yes, I have broken Lent a few times.
But The Being is a utilitarian. The Being wants what is best, and self-denial isn’t always that.