Easter is the observance (not holiday) of the resurrection of Christ. As a Nichiren Buddhist that grew up Baptist, I think about resurrection a little differently these days.
Every spiritual practice speaks to resurrection in different ways. For the purposes of this article, I’d like you to take religion out of the equation and think about the things in your life that you would like to resurrect. What in your life has died and needs to come back to life? Is your FAITH strong enough to resurrect the real YOU?
I grew up being told to grin and bare it. That made me believe that life is supposed to be hard. So when I hated every job I ever had, when relationships inevitably failed, when I was sad, I heard “grin and bare it.” For the better part of my adult life, that is how I lived. Living that life with Anxiety Panic Disorder with Depression made sense so why fight it. So….I didn’t – Until I did! I woke up one day and after years of observating other people around me, I decided, I want to know what happy feels like. The difference for me is I actually don’t remember being a happy kid. I remember being ambitious but not necessarily happy so what was I going to resurrect? I resurrected my true SPIRIT! Today, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I am singing, writing, speaking, teaching, acting, and even exploring areas of my life that I never thought to explore. My spirit is full and happy.
At the core of any spiritual practice, it is your SPIRIT that is pure. Your SPIRIT that is authentic happy. Your SPIRIT that lives. You live a human life but we all search for SPIRITUAL joy, and peace, and balance. The IDEA of all goodness and gratefulness in all things.
Like the lotus flower that thrives in mud; Nichiren Buddhists believe that the “bad” stuff is what makes you stronger. That doesn’t mean to go in search of the bad stuff but when things happen, that is when you ignite your Buddha nature. Christianity asks believers to fall on faith. There is nothing new in Dogma; we all know the stories and the scriptures. Now it’s time to turn the mirror onto you.
I often ask you to HEAR YOUR TRUTH. What do you miss about yourself? Did you used to laugh more? Did you used to trust more? Did you see a different life than the one you are living? Did someone tell you that you can’t do something because of your life condition, your age, your responsibilities? Do you have faith in YOU?
If the answer is yes – great! Then start to fight for your SPIRIT! Take time to really remember or think about what brings you joy that is not external. That’s right…It can’t be your kids, your spouse, your career, your material possessions. What, if you only had yourself, would bring you joy? What feeds your spirit? On this day of resurrection, resurrect YOU! Take one step, and then another, and then another.
However, if the answer is no – then, I have faith that that’s just how you feel today. All I ask of you is that you get help. Talk to a trusted friend. Someone you can be completely transparent with. See a therapist. If it is not covered in your insurance, there are lots of places that work on a sliding scale. Today, just decide to go in search of happy.
Mark 16:6 – He is not here; he has risen.
Daisaku Ikeda said, “Leave behind the passive dreaming of a rose-tinted future. The energy of happiness exists in living today with roots sunk firmly in reality’s soil.”
Look at your reality and dare to envision the reality you want.
If you’re still not sure you can do it, here are a few success stories:
- At age 30 Oprah Winfrey was between jobs.
- Vera Wang decided she wanted to be a designer after her wedding at 40 years old.
- Tim and Nina Zagat were both 51-year-old lawyers when they published their first collection of restaurant reviews under the Zagat name, which eventually became a mark of culinary authority.
- After struggling with financial difficulties, partial mental handicap and death of her mother Susan Boyle became a famous singer at the age of 47.
- Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at age 78.
Enough said…Now Go! Be! Do!
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
Ashe and Amen