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Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming.’

These beautiful words by Elie Wiesel expressed my Easter Weekend. I had some real thinking, loving and dreaming to do.

I embraced a lot of night, which (I made sure) continued during the days. I took the time to find my ‘inner self’ again and was shocked by the revelations. How could I have lost myself so badly? I had been very good – too good – at compartmentalising. It almost seemed I had lost the keys to some of my compartments. Fortunately, during the Easter Weekend nights I found the keys again.

Though raised an atheist, I am a strong believer of the beauty of ‘restful times’, something religion teaches us so well. I’m a total convert of ‘Religion for Atheists’ (Alain de Botton’s book, in which he describes very inspirationally what the secular world can learn from religion). Whether one calls it prayer, meditation or shamanic exercise, this taking time to think and not think, allows oneself to find oneself again.

I took time to slow down and reflect upon life. This was very necessary. I had been unpleasantly surprised by myself recently and how I had forgotten certain lessons of life. That is obviously why religions suggest regular times for prayer and to go to the house of worship. I had not even opened my ‘calm app’ for ages.

The Easter Weekend came with beautiful moments that facilitated my reconnecting with ‘self’. Bach’s Matthaeus Passion in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw opened my senses, with the music entering my veins and the narrative reminding me what it takes to lead a meaningful life.

An evocative article in a Dutch newspaper on ‘Forgiveness’ made me remember that I can not only forgive those around me, but also myself. We can all be caught by ‘a system’. Leading fast lives and being caught in hierarchies can lead to unawareness. As such many people don’t realise (or don’t want to see) the existence of a system. The Easter Weekend teaches me not to fulminate at this, but to forgive.

I don’t call myself religious, but spiritual and would further want to embrace many of the rituals that religions offer us.

So I embrace the night, because ‘at night everything is more intense, more true. The echo of words that have been spoken during the day takes on a new and deeper meaning’.

 

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