Each year, as Passover approaches, I evaluate my sense of personal freedom. I compare it to my levels of freedom and enslavement from the year before. Both are a result of my own perception of my experiences.
Perception is everything. Take 2020, during the lockdowns, for example. Some people felt free. They were free to sleep later without driving time, free to dress comfortably, free from social anxieties and from overscheduled activities. Others felt free from guilt in watching TV or doing puzzles.
After mandates and lockdowns were lifted, many felt more restricted by having to conform to new rules at work, language shifts in society, and concerns with increased violence.
As I ask myself, I ask you, what defines “freedom” in life? Do you feel more or less free than you did last Passover? What enslaves you and what action is necessary to feel free, again?
It’s important to notice expansion or restriction in your body, mind, and spirit when considering a course of action. When there is expansiveness, there’s freedom to breathe deeply, dream fully, create flexibility and possibility. Restriction lets us know that it’s time for a change.
May you have a meaningful Passover and an expansive year of freedom.
Terry Segal is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in Energy Medicine, author and Judaic artist.