Passing Over

Sometimes you just gotta start over.

For the past few days I found myself toiling over my pre-Passover (Pesach) greetings. I had a theme for the email set, but when I put pen to paper it came out clunky, awkward, and utterly non-compelling. I thought I knew what I wanted to say and exactly how to communicate it. And I did! But that was the problem. I thought I was in control; I had an idea that I was stuck on and I was stuck on it.

I’d start a paragraph and jump to another. Cut from one place and paste to another. My words were losing cadence and life. Try as I might, I couldn’t revive the splintered and now overweight email.

The theme was to be about the ego and how its riddance is the first step toward personal transcendence. But instead of communicating the message, I was exercising its opposite intent. I was so caught up in communicating every sentence, every word, indeed every letter, with such precision and relevance that I lost the plot. My ego wouldn’t let me let go. I was holding on to a steering wheel that was never mine.

So instead, now I’m trying to practice not my crafty words, but the message I wanted them to convey: That in order to be free we must first be free of self. True self-expression can only come when we get out of our own way. So I hit Control+N and began anew - a fresh page, white space with infinite potential.

Generally, though, it’s not that easy. Change can be an arduous journey with seemingly insurmountable obstacles – pitfalls and pit-bulls.

So we employ strategy: I’ll add this; get rid of that. I’ll cut here; paste there. This for today; that for tomorrow. But for all our reckoning, we end as shreds on our own cutting floor – overanalyzed and deconstructed; therapy leaving us not just broke, but broken.

But Pesach means to pass over, commemorating how G-d “skipped” over the homes of the Jews when plaguing the Egyptian first-born. That same non-linear energy is renewed in potent form each year on Passover and is accessible to every Jew regardless of observance or spiritual development year-round.

Pesach affords us the opportunity to tap into a higher energy, one not limited by the usual constraints of in-step progress. It enables us to skip along the path of self-liberation, making leaps and bounds in our forward growth.

Year round we can get caught up in strategy, but Pesach comes once a year to tell us: Enough wrestling with your self. Stop trying to subdue, mold and channel. Enough with the sophisticated self-help doctrines.

Blockage? Obstacle? Formidable foe? Just pass over.

Originally, I tried to go linear – outlining my thoughts, strategizing on how to reveal them and focusing on how you, the reader, would perceive my words. It has worked in the past and it will work again.

But sometimes you just need to pass over.

Wishing you and yours a Kosher and joyous pass over!

Saadya Notik