I am not very religious. I have my own special blend of spirituality but it doesn’t really fall under any organized religion. This however, has never stopped me from celebrating all major Christian holidays, and Easter is one of them.
I love ham and chocolate and parties and the Easter bunny. I love dyeing eggs and then hunting for them. I love Martha Stewart’s crafts for Easter specials. (I am aware that those really have nothing to do with the origins of Easter but I love them anyway.) I realized as I was putting the finishing touches on my “eggs disguised as bunnies and chicks” centerpiece that I have no idea why people celebrate Easter. I immediately asked my good friend Mimi. Mimi, who despite being devoutly Catholic, I still love tremendously, and even more amazing is that despite me being devoutly confused, she loves me tremendously too. Anyway she sent me back an email explaining Easter to me.
Turns out (as many of you will already know) that according to the Christians it is the day everyone realized that Jesus had gone ahead and done what he said he would. He rose from the dead in order that we would all be forgiven for our sins. As Mimi so eloquently put it, “he took a big one for the team”. I think that might be the best way to put it. That being said, it seemed like this week should be the week to forgive. I mean Jesus made it possible for all of us to be forgiven so maybe we could do a little helping out with the giant task and forgive a little too. Even if you don’t celebrate Easter or you are an atheist/agnostic/Muslim/Buddhist or other Religion that I have not mentioned you could still benefit from forgiveness.
Have you ever held a grudge so long that it actually made your chest hurt? Or been so mad that it consumed your thoughts and you couldn’t concentrate on anything else? Have you ever avoided situations or experiences because someone you were mad at might have been there? Have you ever messed up on something and felt unable to let yourself off? Have you ever stayed mad at yourself or someone else for so long that you ended up forgetting why you were mad in the first place? I have. I have been so mad that I felt the anger rising up in my chest and it actually felt like I might explode. I have messed up so many times, on a test, on a diet, on a deadline and then I have beaten myself up until I felt completely deflated and depressed and upset. How many of you know that feeling?
In every situation when I felt mad, or angry, or regretful or distraught, me holding onto that emotion didn’t do anybody a lick of good. You know what it did? It made me feel worse, though I didn’t always know it at the time. When an ex broke my heart and I sat crying for days, I was ecstatic the moment the anger kicked in and I finally stopped sniffling. The anger felt so much better than the sad. Little did I know how good it was going to feel when I finally forgave him. That was the moment when my chest let go and I realized that I hadn’t been using my lungs to their full capacity. Breathing tends to be much easier when you aren’t upset.
This whole forgiveness thing works really well with small petty stuff too. If someone cuts you off on the highway, you could spend the rest of your commute cursing the heavens, or you could relax, put on some tunes and say to yourself, “it’s cool, mistakes happen, I forgive you green Honda with the WWJD bumper sticker.”
Because that is exactly what Jesus would do.
Be Good to your Body, it’s where you Live.