What a wonderful opportunity we are given at this time of year – Easter and Passover – to reflect on the lessons of each… the illusion of death – and a consideration of bondage… of prisons… both external – and those of our own creation.
I have been thinking quite a bit about “resurrection”… in all its forms. All of the ways we rise up from what appears to be certain death… The ways in which we survive the crucifixions visited upon us…
I am thinking today of how we transcend the myriad “little deaths” that threaten to crush our hearts and break our spirits. The pain of heartbreak… of hopelessness… of illnesses physical and mental… the crushing weight of despair.
Easter reminds us that what appears to be “the death of us” – is often an illusion – whether it’s the death of a relationship, the death of our view of ourselves – or, given the times, what appears to be the death of democratic ideals. Crucifixion in all its forms need not be final… but simply a stop along the way to Resurrection… a gateway to rebirth and transcendence.
Doing what I do, I have a unique vantage point to hear people’s journeys… to not only bear witness to their pain… but to also rejoice in the ways in which people survive.
And people do survive. And give birth to themselves all over again.
Whatever your crucifixion was – or is – or appears to be… whether it is a broken heart – or a broken spirit – you are still here.
We are all here – having survived – what seemed – at the time – the certainty of a kind of death.
Resurrection is yours to claim.
It is your birthright.
I think also today of the power of Passover – and the contemplation of bondage and freedom… Bondage in all its forms… physical, yes… but also the bondage of spirit… in prisons of hatred, of shame, of self-loathing. In prisons of bigotry and cruelty. The bondage of closing your heart – to “the other” – and to yourself.
In what prisons are you holding people captive?
In what prisons do you hold yourself?
Passover reminds us that freedom, true – and lasting freedom – comes from within. You are carrying the key to your cell.
As Viktor Frankl said: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Happy Easter. Chag Pesach sameach.