Wishing all our friends who celebrate a very Happy Easter! Many of you might not know, that I spent much of my growing up years immersed in the Greek Orthodox church. My dad was a chanter and taught catechism classes, so I had a front row seat to all things Christianity. Though I attended church at first to follow my father’s wishes, after time I felt deeply connected to the stories of Jesus. He was my very first teacher.
My favorite week of the year was Holy Week. I would voluntarily spend every night at church attending services. My dad would teach me about the traditions, symbolism, and meaning of it all. There was always something about the story of Jesus’ death and rebirth that touched me deeply. Looking back on it now, I believe the story of Jesus’ life, crucifixion, forgiveness, and resurrection was the first true depiction for me on how to find purpose in pain and suffering.
Even if you are not a practicing Christian, I think we can take the lessons of this holiday and apply it to our lives now. The recent weeks for me have felt painful. I have witnessed the suffering of people I know and love, of strangers, and even within myself.
Pain, suffering, and difficult times are simply a part of life. It is what we do with it that makes all the difference. Though it can be difficult, I believe feeling it can have a beautiful purpose. With awareness and patience we can uncover pain’s purpose.
I’ve put together some simple thoughtful reminders for moving through pain, feeling your feelings, and finding purpose. I hope these serve you in your times of need.
1. Cultivate a strong relationship with yourself; become self aware.
2. Track your life’s peaks and valleys. Know that there will be good times and bad.
3. In difficult situations, ask yourself what is the moment teaching you.
4. Throw away the timeline, and remember that life isn’t linear. You do not have to follow anyone else’s time frame.
5. Honor life’s endings, and prepare for something new. Every ending means a new beginning.
6. Trust that all will unfold as it should, and that you are always being guided.
7. Have compassion for yourself and others because you never know what someone else is going through.
8. Remember you are not alone.
9. Never be afraid to ask for help.
10. Use your strength to empower others.
We all go through painful periods. You are reading this, so it means that you have lived through anything that life has thrown at you. As with Jesus, the crucifixion led to resurrection and a massive teaching of compassion and forgiveness for all, and so do your painful periods serve as powerful, purposeful lessons for yourself and ultimately for the healing of the world.
Wishing you blessings where you need them always.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org