Today is Good Friday. I’m mindful of it because I grew up in the Christian/Proestant/Presbyterian lineage. I am not much of a Christian (so to speak) anymore. But that’s another story…
Holidays – holy-days – in any religion are event markers. In the case of Good Friday, we mark the death of Christ. But holy days are also symbolic- they are days of intense focus on an important issue, idea, or practice. Yom Kippur, for instance, is a day of reflection and repentance. It is also a day to take stock of where one has been, spiritually and relationally, over the past year and make course corrections for the future.
Because holy days are symbolic they hold the potential for many things. All symbols are faceted- point them in this direction, they reflect light this way. Point them in that direction, the light reflects differently.
The symbolism of Good Friday is to let go. To let die what needs to die.
It is a day of surrender.
Even more than that, it is a day to surrender our suffering.
(This is a Buddhist-y perspective of Good Friday.)
The idea and practice of surrendering our suffering is pretty fucking important.
There is something we all suffer with. A psycho-spiritual thing that we grapple with.
It is also known as The Pain in My Heart or The Pain in My Head.
The fuzzy, tangled, bit we can’t seem to figure out that hangs around our necks and does not leave our mind at peace.
On Good Friday, it’s time to let go of that suffering, if only for three days.
Today, Friday, we take that suffering down from our internal cross and we let it rest.
We put the suffering in a safe, dry, sacred, dark space.
And we let it alone.
One of three things is going to happen when you let your suffering off the hook of your attention.
1- It is going to turn into something else after three days.
(Maybe it will suddenly float away or become an opportunity or the suffering will learn to sit quietly.)
2- We will see it differently.
(It may become a direction finder or we may be able to laugh at it or the suffering will turn a different color.)
3- We will have rest.
(At the very least, if you take down your suffering for three days, you get three days to rest. And three days of rest might lead to any number of amazing things. Or, just rest- which is amazing enough, yes?)
Today, my Good Friday practice is to let go of the suffering from not knowing the answer. This one problem, I can never decide- do I go this way, or that? And because I can’t decide, I suffer. I get stuck. I feel guilty and stupid. I’m going to let this one ride for a few days.
Good Friday is a time to take three days off from your troubles. Not to figure them out. Not to forget them completely. But to let them be still for a while.
Sunday, you can peek in on them again.
But- I’m willing to bet!- you’ll find something different when you go to take them back.