As a psychologist, I am always neutral and free from political and religious views when I look at other people. Everyone is free to decide on which grounds they live their life. Like for a doctor, for me, too, health and healing is the most important thing. In my work I use my knowledge that I acquired at the university and at other educational institutions and also from books, as well as on my own personal experiences and observations. Rituals can be a very supportive tool for a balanced lifestyle, at least that is how it is for me personally. I picked this one ritual on behalf of many others. Today, for Orthodox Greeks all over the world, Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Great Week (Holy Week), which offers a lot of knowledge and wisdom about transformation. If you look, free of institutional dogma and full of curiosity for the knowledge that has been passed on from generation to generation, at the traditions, you can find hope and strength and be sure that after a time of great pain there will also be beautiful change. Today on Palm Sunday, thousands of people celebrate the arrival of a man as "a king" into Jerusalem. On a material level, "being a king", having the crown on your head might be the highest goal for someone. But in the story this goal was not the ultimate goal. The seemingly highlight was in this case the start of a painful time, full of suffering. After Palm Sunday follows the last supper, the symbol for the parting of everything that was before and after that the painful crucifixion. For than, after 3 days of death, the resurrection sets in. But how did this man feel during this time? What about his relatives? They were experiencing certainly unspeakable pain, feeling probably hopeless. What knowledge do I gain from this tradition? Have you ever experienced unspeakable great pain and hopelessness? Yes, me too. Of course, because no matter what profession I have, I am also a human and pain and hopelessness, despair and worry are a normal part of every human life. All emotions make sense and are important. Those of you who know me have heard me say this many times. If you ask me, life is constant loss and a new beginning. Sometimes with small and sometimes with major changes. In order to be able to develop through life, old ways of life have to “die”, they wither so to speak and become soil in which something new can grow. We can be sure that something new, something transformed will emerge from it. This knowledge has been given to us from generation to generation. In many religions. I refer now to Holy Week, because I personally celebrate it today, because in my family I grew up with this tradition, not because it is better or worse than any other tradition. At this point I tend to be pragmatic: I use all the resources that are available to me in the here and now. And my family has shaped me with this one tradition. And so I use this "legend" if you want. Who can say for sure what happened in the past? As a psychologist, I learned in the first semester of my studies already, how the memory plays all kinds of tricks to people. That is why, for me the written word is always very subjective representation of events, from the perspective of this one person. That is not the point here. I want to focus on the hidden treasure, the knowledge and the message behind the message. Which is for me: everything is always changing and even during the gloomy time, the week full of betrayal, farewell, pain and sadness everything is always changing. Even during the 3 days in which everything seems to stand still. It feels like the end, but the change continues and something new begins, something more wonderful than before. We get up again, rise and experience a „heavenly“ feeling. It doesn't just go on, it continues on another, higher, "heavenly" level. For me personally, the “legend” of the big week gives me the certainty that countless people have experienced this so often. Again and again this process has been experienced and even a tradition for people worldwide was created. This as a reminder has helped me. This knowledge, this certainty supports me, strengthens my back, helps me right now, again today. Today when I think about the future with concern. Today when the fear, the betrayal and the pain overwhelm me, because I have to say goodbye. The "legend" of the great week, the Holy Week gives me hope. Hope, that after goodbye, fear and anger, better times will come - something new will be created. So let us wait and see what will happen after these 3 days of darkness. This annual ritual is a reliable support for me, to hold onto - and I am grateful for it. So sit with me, my dear, let us trust in the process
, let us sit patiently in the certainty that something new will emerge after this "wake".