Monday, April 21, 2014

Showing Up on Easter


Yesterday was Easter and I am generally a fan. We neglected to do the Easter Bunny for our kids, partly because everyone was worn out from a total of four rounds of hunting for (and bickering over) plastic eggs. Also partly because I am deeply spiritual, even religious, in my own progressive-hippie-non-traditional way, and I simply find the Easter Bunny uninspiring.

Following on its pagan roots, Easter is about the never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. It is about rising from the ashes, in big and small ways, over and over and over again. At our church yesterday, this reading from Victoria Weinstein of PeaceBang particularly blew me away:
"The stone has got to be rolled back from the tomb again and again, every year. Roll up your sleeves.

He's not coming back, you know. Christ is not coming back unless it is we who rise for him, we who lay healing hands on the reviled and rejected like he and all the saints did--we who cry for justice in their insistent voices--we who love and we who serve...

And so it is you and I who must feast with them, must say the grace and pass the food and set them free from prison and treat each one so tenderly as though just this morning she or he made the personal effort to make it back from heaven, or from hell but certainly from death to be by our side."
Wow. What would it look like, to treat each person we encounter as if they had just returned from death, or at least a long journey, or a life-threatening illness? How much joy could we share by telling the truth about all the small deaths and rebirths happening in our lives, every day? Would we, finally, become gentler with ourselves and each other? Would we then embody the love we all so desperately seek?

This morning I'm emerging from a rough week of anxiety laced with depression. At least I think I'm emerging, it's still too early to say. Yesterday afternoon found me taking an emergency nap to stave off escalating inner tension and sadness. Meanwhile, my husband was building a go-cart with our two kids, because he is awesome, and because he was making room for me to have all the feelings.

I felt better after the nap and a glass of wine, though I drank it with some guilt at the knowledge that alcohol only postpones my anxiety. I felt better still after a long Facetime call with my parents, my original touchstones and beloved friends. Then I was able to show up, here in north Florida with my family on this Easter. I rode the newly constructed go-cart down the "big hill" with my kids, and then put them to bed with a calm heart. I even had enough energy left to help "eat the bad dreams" to settle the three-year-old to sleep.

I'm proud of rallying last night. Against the grand backdrop of Easter, it's not much. But in the interest of being gentler with myself, I choose to see this as one of many small moments of rebirth, in which I choose to show up for my husband, my kids, my life--sometimes even with the gratitude they deserve. By telling this small truth, I make it so.

Photo credit

4 comments:

  1. Katherine, this is beautiful and I am honored to be part of your story of this Easter.

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    1. Thank you so much!! Grateful for your work.

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  2. I do not take your efforts lightly. My mom struggled with such anxiety and depression, that it caused her to never try. I would have been so happy if she could have just gotten up out of bed to put me to bed, but she chose not to try and do even the smallest things. In her eyes, it might have been small, but in my eyes, it would have been huge! Thank you so much for calling on your support system, and doing what you could, to show up for your kids. P.S., I love Barron. Please tell him thank you for being such a great support to my dear friend.

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    1. Oh my dear. My heart hurts for your mom and for you, for those moments when she could not show up. Thank you for so bravely supporting me with these words. I am so grateful for our friendship, and so proud of the mom you have become! We have to get our families together in real life one of these days, it would be epic. Love.

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