Good Friday and Easter always intrigued me. While growing up, Good Friday’s story was only about Christ’s crucifixion and his resurrection. We are led to observe the history or a story in adoration of the character. I have been seeking to understand the spirit of the story and how we process this information conditioned to us. It is a ritualistic process, with a long checklist, mundane prayers, dietary restrictions and concluding in a social celebration. There were several questions that came up in my mind. There was a curiosity to know why are we fasting? Why is it called Good Friday and not bad Friday?
Thankfully, early adulthood threw in new insights into the rituals. Bread, a sweet side dish, bitter gourd juice, and a dramatically choreographed midnight mass were WTF moments rather than awe or inspiration. The questions I had continued to be unanswered.
Rituals in the Philippines can be even more triggering. There are self-inflicting rituals like the Lashing during Muharram or the Shoolam Kuthu (body piercing) in south Indian temples etc. A warning on the links. it contains distressing visuals. These would be taboo for a lot of you. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
We grew up understand lent is about sacrificing what we love most. But to whom? Why? What will it change? And then few years back someone threw a spanner into the ritual of Lent. There was a huge printed poster outside a Church. It read, “Lent isn’t about eating or not eating but about giving up the cravings that control you.“ It inspired new insights. To me this was about making a choice to be Equanimous. Let the craving or aversions not control you. Be in a state of acceptance.
While passing through middle age, I have begun to resonate with yet another dimension. You are an outcome of the choices we make. And some of those choices turn into burdens we carry forever. These are damages that we hold on to and continue to put ourselves through punishments with no end in sight. Use the period of lent to reflect upon them. Identify the burdens you are willing to let go. 46 days of lent is a lot of time to productively achieve this.
The Good Friday
Good Friday is the day for you to be in heightened pain from reflecting on those burdening thoughts. It would kill you. Rest a bit. Wait for your resurrection. Be patient. Make this about you. It is important to reflect on how are you experiencing it and not about someone in history. You have 2 days in that week to let go of the burden. Recuperate well. Use the Holy Saturday to continue breathing out those burdening thoughts.
Easter it is
As Sunday dawns, prepare for your moment of celebration. Easter is here again. Rise again from your death of burdening choices. Be in a state of lightness and cleanness. Become sorted in your mind. Three things that is coming up for me to stop doing:
- Stop being in a state of punishment.
- Stop telling your self that you are not good enough.
- Quit being in the victim mode of life.
Own your path, breathe and be in a state of kindness. Show kindness and love to your self and to those around you. Enjoy a wonderful meal and the social connections in the celebration.
The Easter Magic is within
It is the opportunity to start afresh. A new lease of life unbound by the chains of your past. Step forward without guilt, shame, fear, or any other thoughts that limit you from experiencing the authenticity to yourself. Meet your expectations of yourself. Stake your space for rebirth and live it well. The magic light is from within you. Not from out there. Your rebirth happens in this one life, not after you go six feet under.
The choice to make a festival religious is one way to enjoy it. In my view the story sold is bullshit. Faith is a funny thing. The comfort is always to place it outside. The solutions are also expected to come from outside. Build faith in yourself. You may have a role model from religion. Experience your magical spirit from within you and the stairway to heaven will come to you.
Wishing you the best of Easter spirit this season. Let your rebirth happen.