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Easter, Rebirth, and Personal Growth

Easter, Rebirth, and Personal Growth

Although I don’t consider myself a member of any religion, I traveled from California to Ohio this weekend to celebrate Easter with my family.  It has me thinking about the idea of rebirth, and what that means in terms of personal growth.

I have been giving a lot of consideration lately to the idea that happiness is a choice.  The anxieties and negative thought patterns that have held me back in the past are, on one level, a choice.  This is something I have intellectually understood for some time but am only recently beginning to internalize on a deeper, emotional level.  I have not chosen, in the past, to move away from my anxieties because they were familiar.  Though I knew I would be more satisfied with my life and more confident if I could let go of the insecurities that were no longer serving me, I clung to my anxieties because I didn’t know who I would be without them.  In recent months, however, I have begun to truly feel the extent to which I have control over my emotional life.

If this new level of internalization leads me to finally make the changes I’ve been dreaming of for so long, it will, in  a sense, be a form of rebirth.  I will still be the same person, but a new incarnation of myself.  I will be a version of myself without the self-judgment and fear of uncertainty.  In personal growth, every time we come closer to understanding our true nature, every bit of self-acceptance we gain, constitutes a small-scale rebirth.

In Buddhism, there is the concept that we are always changing and evolving.  There is no single, solid core of being, like a soul in the familiar sense.  The parts of us that make up our being are referred to as skandhas and they include matter, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness.  These are not static, rather, they are ever evolving.

In non-Buddhist terms, I subscribe to the idea that we are composed essentially of our bodies, minds, actions, emotions, and states of consciousness, all of which are always changing.  Therefore, as we change and grow, we are constantly being reborn.

 

Read more: Easter, Holidays, Life, Mental Wellness, Spirit

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

17 comments

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3:52AM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thanks.

12:21PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

THANKS!

8:07AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

New beginnings and rebirths are good and powerful things, so long as you don't hold back from real change while waiting for one. If you have an experience of a new beginning, or cause one to manifest, that's great, embrace it and make your change. If that new beginning is a long time in coming, don't wait. Get out there and make things happen.

8:22PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Thank you, nice article.

7:18PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

Nice article, interesting about the rebirth.

7:15PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

These thoughts ring true for me as I went through my own rebirth after an illness. I am not the person I was before and now have taken my life to another more positive and produtive level. It feels so good to go through the transformation. I am happier and healthier and stronger. It just takes a realization!

4:26PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

i believe in a soul/spirit but i believe that it can be rebirth, i have gone through it myself once i over-came depression and a self-loathing mindset and focused on myself, who i was, and then i felt like i was re-born as another person. to me depression and other negative emotions weigh on your soul, causing it to weaken but rebirth frees yourself, or you soul/spirit of these weights and as a result it grows stronger

3:12PM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

...being happy is not a choice, if other things are preventing you from being happy, you can't just run from them and say okay I'm going to be happy now. -.-

10:07AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

thanks

9:46AM PDT on Apr 8, 2012

thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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