Being “in-between” is painful.
And that’s how I feel at this time of year. I write to you the week before Passover, in the middle of cleaning out the Chometz in our lives. Yes, not just the Chometz in our kitchen, but in our lives.
Francis Scott Keys wrote the words “land of the free, home of the brave,” which were incorporated into the American national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. He was on to something much deeper than just breaking away from British tyranny, for when one understands what true freedom is, you realize it takes a lot of personal courage to achieve it.
The Torah teaches us that one who is truly free is one who realizes their potential. Anything holding us back from being at our best is the Chometz we must rid ourselves of: bad habits, character traits, people who don’t lift us but bring us down… The opportunity to go to freedom is in the air right now, and we must grab it– the wind of freedom is at our backs– don’t miss this opportunity!
And we have to accept — and embrace — that the road to freedom is not straight and can be painful. Whether you are on the road to physical, emotional, or spiritual health, being “in-between” is the hardest. When you are not eating junk, but you are not at your goal weight; when you are keeping kosher in, but not out; when you manage to get out of bed, but still want to go back and escape from the pain… Life’s journey is not easy, especially when you are still not at your destination– but it is so, so worth it.
How do we get through it? Don’t forget to look back and see how far you have come! Yes, you are not at the goal line yet, but you are headed in the right direction. Take pleasure and give yourself a hug — you are awesome!
Knowing that you can be more and taking the time to reflect and make real decisions to cut the ball and chain that is holding you back is what Passover is all about.
And now back to cleaning and shedding all that we don’t need or want… in every way.