With Good Friday tomorrow, Passover seders that evening and the next, Easter on Sunday and the true energy of spring finally upon us, it’s a ripe time to look at themes of oppression and deliverance.
During Passover, we Jews celebrate the release of our ancestors from slavery in Egypt long ago. The Hebrew word for Egypt, mitzrayim, is also translated as the narrow place.
Along with honoring our tribe by telling the ancient story, it’s also a wonderful time to look at larger themes of oppression — both outer and inner — and the narrow places in our own lives.
Those narrow places, once explored, are so often understood as self-imposed:
- The places where we hold back out of fear rather than speak up.
- The ways in which we turn our hurt feelings outward and hurt others, intentionally or unintentionally.
- The tight, mean ways we talk to ourselves in the privacy of our own minds.
- The grudge we are holding onto that is hurting us more than anyone.
- The habitual indulgences that keep us from feeling good about ourselves in sometimes subtle, insidious ways.
Open Up The Windows, Let Fresh Air and Light Flow Through
At the end of every seder, we open the door for the angel Elijah to come and bless the home. Especially at the end of a long winter, even on a chilly night, it is a way of heralding in fresh air and sacred protection as well as releasing the energy of bondage.
So I invite you, without shame or blame, to look inside yourself and notice your own narrow places. Revel in your humanity, and know that this is a potent pivot point in the yearly cycle.
Use the energy of this time to support you in clearing those narrow emotional states. Open a window or door; take in the fresh smells of our earth coming back to life as you allow new life into the narrow places in your heart.
I wish you a weekend of sacred journeying, loving community (or blessed solitude) and fertile awakening, whatever your tradition may be.