Sunday, April 4, 2010


Today, many are celebrating Easter. For Christians, it's the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ 3 days after his death. I was raised in a Buddhist country, Thailand, by a very devout Catholic mother. I remember going to church, religiously, every Sunday - Holy Redeemer Church in Bangkok, Thailand. I remember Easter week ... I remember having to go to church on Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday and then again on Sunday. As a kid, I don't think I really understood what all this was about or why we had to go to church so much. I remember Palm Sunday, the easter eggs, having to get dressed up (and how I hated that!), the chocolate -- yes, even in Thailand on the other side of our globe, we too celebrated with chocolate! So much of my going to church was because I was supposed to. So much of my adult life has been trying to make sense of who I am, what I believe, and how faith, spirituality and even organized religion fit, or don't fit, in my life. At the young age of 9 I was sexually molested by a deacon of the Catholic church and a close family friend. With all the news surrounding the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church, I understand the pain of carrying a secret. It took me almost 36 years to finally, completely free myself of that secret, that cross. Yet, i still found comfort, silently, in my belief that there is a God. I also believed (and still do) in Jesus Christ. I also believe in Buddha. I also believe that God takes many forms. I now also have learned to separate the human flaws of priests and deacons who wear the robe and in particular the one deacon who ripped me of my innocence while at the same time taught me how to pray the rosary. How do I as an adult come to terms with such conflicting messages, with God, with Jesus, with a Higher Power/Being, with pain and secrets ...  so much of what I was taught as a child is that I can only have this sacred relationship if I go to church, and if I believe in the scriptures or the bible ... I can't say I've ever read the bible. I can't say I believe in all that is written in the verses. But I do believe in God. I do believe God is within each and every one of us. Call me crazy, but yes, I do believe in miracles.

I don't celebrate Easter anymore, at least not the way many do. Not because I don't believe in the resurrection of Christ. Truth is, I went through the motions of "celebrating" Easter for many, many years as a child. It didn't carry as much meaning as it does for me this Easter morning - this morning I reflect on what Christ/God means to me .... silently, quietly at our dining room table. I pray every morning. I meditate every morning. I write every morning. And every morning, and every night, I thank God for the gift of another day.

The heaviest cross I have had to carry is the secret of my sexual abuse. I have set myself free from that secret. This is my first Easter where I no longer carry that secret in my heart. Resurrection means "to rise from the dead". In many ways, I feel like I am being re-born. This is a new year. And as the sun emerges over the horizon, I welcome with open arms all that is yet to be.

Easter for me is about being born again. It's about new beginnings. No easter eggs or chocolate bunnies for me this year. Instead, my life. As my dog Ahnung would say to me "mom ... that's a pretty good trade..... now where's my treat??"

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