Many Christians take part in the Lenten season, giving up something during the 40 days before Easter. The 40-day period represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and resisting the devil's temptations. While many Christians give up something they love—such as sweets, meat or a hobby—during Lent, Dr. Robin has a different approach to the season: No matter what your religion or beliefs, you should identify something in your own life that you don't like about yourself and give it up. "Not food, but maybe self-blame or shame or hatred or criticism or bitterness," Dr. Robin says.
If you are shy, try to break out of your shell and reject self-consciousness. If you have made a decision you regret, let it go, Dr. Robin says. "You are so attached right now to something about yourself that isn't good about you—that you don't like, that you probably beat yourself up over—and that is what I want you to give up this Lenten season," she says.
Giving up something you don't like about yourself for the next 40 days doesn't have to have anything to do with religion, Dr. Robin says. "What is required is that you are a human being and you are simply tired of living your life burdened with some form of self-hatred and self-loathing."
Published on March 21, 2007