With this lovely long weekend upon us and the sun shining outside, my tea here by my side, in my bed…..well, it’s easy to think things are pretty good.
And they are, of course. I’m hugely lucky to have the freedom to not work on any given day, when so many must work each day, just to survive.
But my week has been anything but easy. Complicated decision, being over-busy, financial blows and exhaustion, all played into my mini-meltdown last night. After one of those experiences you read about, where people start crying in their yoga class, (which actually isn’t hugely uncommon for me, but last night it was heavier and more about being overwhelmed by life), and then kinda losing it when yet another expensive mechanical thing stopped working in my home…..it just feels like everything is about to burst – I’m squashing too much into my days, too much into my head to think through, trying to get too much out of my financial resources and pushing my body to do more than it wants to.
So my inner parent must step in because the “kids have quit playing nice”.
I love the idea of the inner parent, because it’s what we all need. The healthy, well-balanced parent can determine exactly how much freedom the kids should have before their immaturity will begin to threaten their safety, health and spiritual well-being.
Then she steps in and takes care of the kids.
So too, when my inner parent steps in, because my crazy mind, my emotional heart and my tired body are all starting to lose it. This is mini meltdown territory and I need that well-balanced parent to set the boundaries and get everyone back to safety.
The first things she does is usually to cancel whatever I had planned. And then she puts me to bed. More sleep is pretty much the essential starting point for parenting grow ups. We really don’t do that for ourselves well.
But this morning, gorgeous Good Friday morning, she’s awoken with a perfect, spiritually-focused challenge for me to undertake this weekend.
The Easter Weekend Challenge.
I know not everyone cares for religion, but the Easter weekend story is one of beauty and miracle, so stay with me here.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, Jesus, up until this point in the story, had been clearly painted as the one who’ll save the world (though not in the way most people had expected – he was saving it through love, grace and forgiveness, not swords, fists and power). But about a week ago, as the story goes, he started to murmur to his close followers that things were gonna get grim and look like defeat, but they shouldn’t worry, because it was all part of the plan.
Then he rides into Jerusalem, a city with a reputation as a hot bed of religious significance, (even still is today), and by Friday (which came to be known as Good Friday) he’d been given a somewhat questionable trial and is now hanging on a cross, dying.
So much for saving the world.
Or…….maybe it’s what actually saved the world. Everything Jesus did seemed to run counter to the expectations of religious teachers and devout believers, as well as his close band of followers. He was building a love-based empire not a power-based one, which had challenged what they thought would save them, and the world, over and over again.
So when the thing we think will save us actually, willingly, dies, what do we do? Panic,
Give up hope.
Mini melt down??? Yes…probably that one.
But, quite conveniently, we already know the miraculous and beautiful, love-filled end of this Easter story….
What seemed like the way out of “this mess”, actually had to die in order to become the way out of the mess.
So, this Good Friday, I’m writing down everything in my life that is of any value, any importance.
Anything I think is saving me from what I fear, hate or don’t want to experience.
Anything that I cling to because I don’t want to feel the loss of losing it, whether that’s loneliness, failure, resignation.
Anything that is a crutch to help me drown out things, like too much tv, too much food or alcohol, too much busyness, spending, facebook….whatever the crutch is.
I’m writing down everything of any significance in my life – people, things, activities, habits. All of it.
I’m then giving thanks for a life so full and so blessed, to have ALL of this in it.
And then, until Sunday morning, I’m laying it all in the grave. I’m surrendering it to the Divine, to kill off, if it’s not spiritually helpful.
I will ask:
Let me not hold on to a saviour of my own making.
Let me surrender what I think I need, what I believe to be true,
in order that I may be shown what I truly need and what is really true.
The Grave is a great symbol of the earth taking what we offer and doing unseen transformations to it.
That which needs to die will be decayed and fed back to the earth, regenerating it, so that it might give life to other beings.
That which holds the seeds of something new will be broken down and opened up. New sprouts will take root and grow.
And that which does not need to die, that which is beautiful, nourishing and good, will be resurrected, as the Easter story tells us, by the Divine for the highest good of us and the world.
So who’s with me on this Easter Weekend Challenge?
Good Friday is good for a reason. It gives us a yearly ritual of allowing divine guidance to take all that we have and are, and transform it all, miraculously and beautifully.
I’d love you to come along on the challenge this Easter weekend. I’ve created a customised series of worksheets which you can download if you want to actively participate.
1. List everything in your life of any significance.
2. Do something symbolic to “lay it in the grave”.
(maybe you take a copy and burn or bury the original – you’ll need a copy of Sunday! Or maybe you pray through the list with a prayer of surrender for each item. Or maybe you put it in a dark box, to lay it in the grave for the next two days – whatever works for you).
3. You wait. You ponder. You feel the feelings of surrendering all of your life. The loss, the fear, the loneliness and grief, the lightness and freedom….whatever comes up, embrace and seek divine comfort. All is not lost, all is not gone – the grave is transforming your life in the unseen places.
The Easter story doesn’t end till the resurrection comes.
I’ll be back tomorrow with Saturday’s challenge step.