It’s a busy time for religions. It is holy week for Christians, Passover for Jews and Ramadan for Muslims.
Each holiday has a special meaning for its followers, the resurrection of Christ for Christians, the exodus from Egypt and the journey to freedom for Jews, and the revelation of the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed, to Muslims.
Each of these holidays may be different in their historical underpinnings, but the overarching theme is something that brings us all together. It is a time for pausing and reflecting on our lives and considering how our presence fits into the larger fabric of both our spiritual and secular communities.
Religious and spiritual beliefs are an important aspect of resilience. Faith and belief of goodness in the world provides fuel to the fire that keeps us going when times get tough. One research study indicated that family caregivers helping patients with dementia experienced less depression when they were involved in activities such as prayer and attending religious services.
Of course, hanging out with family and friends during this time also supports our resilience. Coming out of the winter months, these holidays provide us the time to get together s and share the adventures of our winter season and prepare for the rebirth that is spring.
There is also an aspect of resilience that has to do with the miracle and mystery of how things usually work out, even after the most trying of experiences. I often refer to it as our survival mechanism but there is also a faith element that comes up, much like we know the sun will rise and set in the sky.
I’ll be joining some friends for the first night of Passover later today, while others of you will be attending your evening iftar and still others of you are getting ready for Easter Sunday. It is indeed a time to be with others, reflect on our lives and strengthen our resilience.
© Richard Citrin 2023