Happy Easter

Today, I wished a dear friend, “Happy Easter,” and was met by a highly negative response, verbalized as, “I don’t celebrate Easter,” turning his back to me and walking away.

I get it. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I honor that in other people.

Over the course of my life, there are a few holidays that have special meaning for me and my family. In my life, there is a particular hierarchy of these holidays and in order, they have been,

1. Christmas
2. Fourth of July
3. Easter
4. Thanksgiving

The values of the celebration of these holidays decreased due to extreme trauma suffered by me and my family, but basically, the hierarchy remains in place, and as recovery continues, the overall value of these holidays remain as somewhat sacred tradition.

I must admit, when my friend abruptly shut down my friendly gesture of sharing something important to me, I was initially surprised and offended.

I thought of all the times that I supported my friend in the things that were important to him, that I could care less about. Always supportive, never rejecting him, his ideas, or the battles he chose to fight. Celebrating with him his wins and consoling him when struggling without judgment.

I was shocked at his response my simple, friendly salutation.

I was not imposing any belief, trying to convey any importance to the idea of it being Easter or any religious reference which may have been offensive.

Then I realized this was not about me. There was something within my friend which had been triggered by my, “Happy Easter,” and he responded appropriately based on his own inner wounds and fear. His response was not directed at me, even though I had initiated the phrase that triggered an inner child tantrum.

All things considered, he probably did an exceptional job of subduing the inner child’s outburst, had I taken it personally and decided to defend myself, the inner child’s ranting could have expressed itself as a full-on catastrophe.

So, I send love to my friend as he has the rest of the day to struggle with whatever his concerns are about his idea of Easter, and why he is unable to share in someone else’s joy during this (or any other) day that he may respond to negatively.

I understand that he, just like I am, is doing the best with what he has, and I allow him his own sacred space to work out the details, or not, without judgment.

For me, Easter remains to be one of my Top 4 holidays, and it does have spiritual significance for me.

I cannot speak for anyone else and bless you no matter what you think or believe because I believe in you.

I love you.

Living Dead and Resurrection

The day came when all was lost. Your hero, mentor, teacher, loved one, is gone. You struggle in vain for a way to make sense of it all. How could it be?

God! You mean to tell me it’s all come to this?! Nothing?!

What an injustice, a cosmic joke. You believed, you were all in, You played full out with everything you had, every skill, every talent, every hope, dream, and breath vested… all for not.

All is lost.

You are certainly justified in feeling dejected, abandoned and hurt. Nobody would deny your right to grieve over the loss, especially in these darkest of hours. So, please, take as long as it takes and act it out in any way you want. Everyone deals with loss in different ways. It’s okay, you are loved regardless of how you act out this most grievous sense of loss. This can be the incubation process, readying you for what is unseen but waiting for you not far off.

Then, three days later (or however long it takes), against all odds, something happens that totally escapes the realm of possibility or even imagination.

Once a year the return to life after a three-day death of Jesus Christ is celebrated. This is the undeniable power of our salvation that transcends disbelief or any thoughtful constraint which might give way to the idea that anything could be impossible.

There was a time when I never cried (at least not in the presence of any other person. I had overwhelming emotion and tears fell, but only in private). That was, until my son, Nathanial cured me of my suppressed tears while following the viewing of a film on our father/son date at the movies.

What was the film? E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Following the film, as the credits scrolled and everyone was leaving the theater, Nathanial and I sat very still in reverent silence, until my son broke the silence with a sincere, tearful, “Daddy, I didn’t want him to go.”

I replied, “I didn’t want him to go either,” as we hugged each other and let our tearful emotions flow as the credits continued to scroll by.

Ever since that moment, I have been apt to shed a tear at the most opportune (or inopportune) times, and all my efforts to hold them back, are pretty much in vain.

There are a great many instances that trigger a tearful emotive response, but the one that gets me every time is the moment of resurrection. This is that pivotal moment in Christianity, the unlimited power of that which is the foundation of everything we believe in. Whether belief as historical fact or motivational metaphor, in that moment our faith is renewed and even in our darkest hour, we believe and have faith in the dawn of a new day.

In my life’s work, I have been blessed to be in presence of friends and clients who are dead. By, “dead,” I am not referring to the state of deadness without heartbeat or brain function, but rather dead in the sense that there is no life in them. A sort of living dead where there is no joy. No reason to live, sense of contribution, or satisfaction from living another day. In a sense, all hope is lost.

What an honor it is to be in the presence of that very same person when they break through to the other side and with the heartfelt enthusiasm for love and life; coming back from the dead into a powerful living of life that surpasses their wildest dreams.

This is the moment I celebrate regularly, for I am blessed to be there. I also honor this very same moment in a well-written book, or photoplay usually accompanied with a tug at my heart-strings and a tear (or many, as the case may be).

There have been moments of resurrection in my life, leaving clear demarcations from a decline in quality of life and/or loss to a new-found zest for love and life with an exhilaration and determination unsurpassed.

It’s as if we were born with everything we could possibly need to achieve our highest and best, but it lays dormant, repressed by fear and a sense of unworthiness and a society structured to keep all our potential at bay, as we accept our simple lot in life within the box as a member of a community which can be easily managed and controlled.

But every once-in-a-while, against all odds, new life breaks through.

One day of the year, we gather in tandem to celebrate the Spring of new life and resurrection. On that day, amongst true believers, Everyone Agrees Salvation Transcends Everything Repressed.