*Disclaimer: This was written in two separate sittings, but I loved it so much that I decided not to change the time identifiers. Enjoy!
This is my second written attempt at starting this blog. I came up with the name for it several months ago and even announced it at a social gathering, a.k.a. Shabbos dinner. Of course, with the mention that it’s a 24/6 blog, meaning that I take Shabbos off from all work, including using electricity and putting pen to paper. So the question stands as to why I am even starting this blog now, in the middle of a holiday (called “chol hamoed,” festival weekdays where one can use electricity) where I restrict myself to peeled vegetables, chicken, meat, fish, oil, salt and some hard, burnt cracker we affectionately call matzah.
So the question goes back to whether I have had a blog previously. Why yes, yes I have. I have had a blog about my travails through a nursing program, about my journey through Yiddishkeit/Judaism, and now I have a blog where I think I have enough gumption to try and tell someone else how to “dig” their soul. What I do have is a liking for writing, a knack for expressing emotion and some keen observations about life through the lens of many different kaleidoscopes.
I was in another social setting yesterday (so no, not Shabbos, as it wasn’t Saturday yesterday but rather Tuesday) and the conversation was about realizing that I am not all powerful, that I don’t run this world and that maybe I don’t have all of the answers. Of course, this wasn’t an intervention on my narcissism, which I think we all should have a little bit of, or maybe we could call it “self-esteem,” but I like to be extreme. This was a conversation about our lives in general and how awesome it is to realize that the All Powerful is G-d, the Infinite Being, and that He runs the world and we can ask Him for help when we need it and when we don’t. Our relationship with Him should always be kindled, even when our lives are going amazingly. Actually, especially then! We can thank the Infinite for giving us all of these brachos.
During this week of the Jewish holiday of Pesach, or Passover, is a week of new found freedom, and not in the sense of having time to do things, but rather freedom from what keeps us from reaching our potential that the Infinite has granted us. We clean our houses for weeks, some even started around Chanukah, which is in the winter. Cleaning our homes of chometz is supposed to arouse us to clean the chometz of our souls – our egos. We become slaves to our egos, thinking that we have this world wrapped around our pinky finger and that whatever we say goes. Of course, our relationships with our own egos is different depending on the person. But the point of this spiritual cleansing is “right-sizing” ourselves. Whether we think too little or too much of ourselves, we take this time to think just enough about ourselves while being able to let in G-d and understand His greatness.
It’s so much easier said than done, but it’s completely necessary. We need to take a look at ourselves and how much inflation, or leavening (what we aren’t allowed to do to our food over Pesach), has gone on in our egos. The goal is to not have one, but that takes a lot of work and, for many, is unattainable but we can still do the work. This includes meditation, learning, helping someone else and whatever else you can think of that allows you to think of how to help others with the Eternal message being passed around and not our own message.
I really enjoy being able to enter this “Land of Deflated Egos” once a year when Pesach rolls around. But my question is this – what prevents us from keeping our egos down and letting His message come out? Why is it the world according to Chana Sara and not the world experienced by Chana Sara? Do you see the difference? One I am in the center of the world and the next is where I am part of the world. That’s what I strive to be – a part of the world, helping to enhance it in any way I can according to my strengths.
This year, as Pesach has just ended, I am going to strive to not make this land the land of make believe, but rather a land that is visited year round, the land that I can call my home. By stepping back and letting go, I am allowing myself to influence the world around me rather than to control the world around me. I am only me, I am only the messenger.