for me, today is all about passion. surrender. and trust.
- passion for a cause, or a belief, that is so strong that one is wiling to risk his or her life – literally or figuratively.
- surrender to a life of non-violence, peace-making, and love for others… instead of power, violence, greed, and love only for one’s self.
- and trust that, in all things – even the worst possible moments – good can arise, transformation is possible, and love ultimately wins… call it karma, call it faith, call it universal truth.
because i believe in these things (passion, surrender, and trust), i can face the darkness of today. the darkness of life. naive as it may sound, i know (not in a “i know more than you, you should believe me” kind of knowing, but it a “this is a very personal, from deep within my soul, unexplainable, spirit-driven, buddha-ish enlightenment” kinda knowing) that darkness does not win.
today, i am celebrating good friday. not a good & happy day in itself, but a day that looks ahead to sunday – the third day, a day to celebrate new life, new beginnings (hence the name “good” friday). in sweden today is called “långfredagen” = long friday (fits a little better, i think). it is a long day, if i allow myself a chance to reflect instead of pushing right on toward all the good stuff waiting for me on sunday. it’s typical of humans, though, to not want to face the darkness, the suffering, and the pain in our lives. but, i am one of those weirdos (call me emo or something) who wants to soak up today for all that it is. i’m not morbid. but, somewhere, somehow in my life, i learned that in order to fully understand & feel the joy in life, we must have the pain. light is only as bright as it is, when contrasted with the darkness. spring only seems so beautiful because we struggled through the dark, cold winter. get my drift? i don’t exactly understand this ying & yang, this balance between the black & white… it is a mystery. but, nevertheless, the balance is a beautiful mystery, i think.
for me, good friday is about remembering the passion, surrender, trust, and death of jesus. essentially, the day that God experienced exactly what we experience, as human beings: pain, suffering, betrayal, hopelessness, fear, abandonment, and death. whether one believes in jesus as being fully human & fully divine at the same time or not, i believe that there is no argument that this was a man who, according to the accounts we have, lived passionately his mission in life, staying true to himself at all times – spreading a message of love and hope. a man who surrendered his needs and wants, his fears and doubts to a higher purpose. a man who trusted in the power of love over anything else and faced his death; even though, in the end, he did not completely understand the suffering and abandonment he experienced. he passionately surrendered, & trusted anyway.
and there are so many others who have followed in his footsteps… martin luther king, jr. mother theresa. ghandi. but not only those we always think of… there are also many today (known & unknown) who put their lives on the line for a cause or a belief – facing violence, bullying, prison, even death. the protesters in egypt last year, those standing up against racial and/or sexual discrimination, the 99% protesters in the states, holocaust survivors, haitian women fighting for political & social equality, teenagers at my internship who have turned their lives around & now want to give back… the list goes on and on.
the point is, we don’t have to be someone famous or rich to change the world, to make a difference. in our everyday lives, we have a choice. will we live passionately, true to ourselves, surrendering our own lives, trusting in the power of love? or won’t we? will we open our eyes to see the possibilities and opportunities to share love, hope, justice, & peace all around us, or won’t we? just a smile, just an ear to listen, just a tiny gesture or love to someone in our family, to a friend, to a stranger.. that’s all it takes. we don’t have to be burned at the stake, but some of us will be. and we will be bullied. we will face violence. we will be surrounded by darkness. confusion. pain. suffering. it may be our own, or it may be another’s.
the question is, will we give up? or will we keep fighting? will we turn and run, afraid & pissed off? or will we remain steadfast & true to ourselves? will we live with passion & love… even to the point of death?*
quote of the day:
“you can choose understanding over anger, believing over nonbelieving, [non-violence over violence], action over inaction. it gives meaning to every choice we make.”
~ Yolanda King (human rights activist & Martin Luther King, Jr’s daughter).
*and by death, i mean literally (because some people do die for what they believe in) and figuratively (ex. dying to our plans so that we can live a more authentic life).
sending you peace & courage to make it through the darkness.