“We may stumble and fall, but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week.
As a child, I used to love going to church on Palm Sunday and trying to turn my palm into a crucifix or some type of animal. I also loved Holy Week because it usually meant I was out of school for Easter vacation.
These days when I go to church on Palm Sunday, though, I find myself really thinking about the significance of the day. I also find myself thinking about how fast the court of public opinion can change someone’s life, just as it did for Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, he was met with adoration. By Friday, he was dead on the cross. I mention this because if we spend our whole lives working for other people’s admiration and validation, it’s worth remembering that external validation can change on a moment’s notice.
External validation is fluid, fragile and ever-changing. What isn’t fluid, though, is one’s relationship with a higher power. That is what allowed Jesus Christ to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
What is constant in your life is you, and what is powerful is what’s within you. I was reminded of that this week when I heard Lauren London, the girlfriend of the late musician Nipsey Hussle, speak at his funeral in Los Angeles on Thursday.
She quoted Hussle as having said to her, “The game is going to test you, never fold. Stay ten toes down. It’s not on you, it’s in you. And what’s in you, they can’t take away.”
He was right. Life is a test. It was for Jesus Christ, it was for his mother Mary, and it is for each and every one of us.
Life will always test us. I know it has tested me, and I know it has tested you. On many occasions, I have found myself saying, “Wow, I didn’t see that coming.” Or, “Wow, I have no experience for how to deal with that.”
I have also found myself wondering at times, “Is there more coming?”
But over the years, I have also found great moments of awe and wonder and joy in life’s surprises. Time and again, these surprises have led to me discover strength within myself that I never knew existed.
I say all this to remind you that if your week starts out great, but hits a bump along the way, you can still rise again by the following Sunday.
Life will test you and it will surprise you, but you have everything you need to rise up and move forward with strength and courage. I love knowing this to be true. I love believing it.
So, enjoy Holy Week. You don’t have to be Catholic to do so. Actually, Catholics usually suffer through this week, but I’m not doing that anymore. Now I know that no matter what happens on any given day, the next day is a holy day that gives me another chance to rise up. I also know that I’ve got everything inside of me that I need to rise. So do you.
Dear God, please give me the strength to know that if I stumble or face setbacks, I can—and I will—rise again. Amen.
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