Passover, Renewal, and Springtime

This evening at sunset begins the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is a springtime festival celebrating the Jewish people's liberation from slavery in Egypt. But of course there is more to it than that. Passover invites an individual to take stock of their personal situation. Their stumbling blocks, their ego, and asks what are you a slave to?

The past few months I feel as though I had been hit with challenge after challenge. Every time I thought things had stabilized, I was hit with something else to throw me off balance. It seemed the harder I struggled, the less I accomplished. Like wheels spinning in the mud, going nowhere fast.

Getting out of that stuck situation required two things: a cathartic release of what had been pent up and then a swift kick in the ass. With that done, I was able to change my attitude and perspective. I opened myself up to the world again.

I realized that pursuing goals with negative attitude and energy will ensure that you never achieve them. We are all slaves to ego. These last few weeks I have been realizing my challenges and limitations with regards to ego. A slave to self-pity. Operating from that mental place was as counterproductive as trying to chop down a tree with a fish. 

None of what happened these last few months would have been nearly as difficult if it had not been for my own ego. I opened my eyes and understood it is time for a change in attitude. And that led to life blossoming before me.

One of the key activities before Passover begins is the search for Chametz (leavened bread).You go through the house, room by room, and search for any crumb that may be left.  It is said that Chametz represents the puffed up ego. So not only are you searching for the physical remnants of bread, but also for the negative energy of an ego moment, an angry moment, a regrettable moment.

Passover this year coincides with me signing a lease for a new apartment. So the activity of searching for Chametz has been elevated to a whole new level. I attacked the project on several levels: the search for Chametz, cleaning the apartment, packing, and analyzing what I own. It was a top to bottom clean out. Donating items that I did not really need. Discarding what was no longer usable by anyone. I was cleaning out the energy of my life. 

That is what this new apartment represents for me. A fresh start in a new place. New energy. Somewhere that is uniquely my own, a decision not influenced by anyone else. I walked in, and felt at home. 

I am letting new life, light, and energy enter my life. I am learning to liberate myself from ego and self-pity. I am learning to love without reservation. I am learning to pursue my goals with determination and positivity.

I do not think it is a coincidence that all of this occurred in the last week just as Passover is about to begin.

May the Passover Holiday
help us pass over all our challenges,

May the Holiday of Freedom
see us achieve true liberation from all our limitations,

May the Holiday of Matsot
strengthen our faith and dedication and

May the Holiday of Spring
bring us renewal and blessing
— Rabbi Mendel & Nehama Hendel of Chabad of Greece