It’s almost Passover, and for me this always makes me feel squeezed. Actually, it just makes me more aware of the areas of my life that give me that sense of the walls closing in or getting tight. You don’t have to be Jewish to understand this even though Passover is a Jewish holiday.
Passover commemorates the biblical story of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt and their passage through the Red Sea. Each Passover Jews retell this story at a seder and ask a variety of questions about the story in an attempt to recall the meaning of the events and make it feel as if they are reliving them as well. One question often asked is “What narrow places are you experiencing right now?” This relates to the Israelites passage out of Egypt, which is seen as a passage through a “narrow place.” The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which often is translated as “narrow place.” Also, the Israelites passage to freedom and nationhood through the Red Sea, whose waters part to allow them to escape the pursuing Egyptians, is seen as moving through a narrow place almost like the birth canal.
So, with Passover just over two weeks away, I feel the squeeze beginning. Much like contractions or birth pains, I’m aware of the areas of my life where I am being forced to move through the narrow space, the birth canal. In one or two areas, this year I feel a bit like I’m a breech baby–stuck, unable or unwilling to be born.
Yet, I know no one is going to come along and pull or cut me out. Nor will the waters part or get wider without me making that happen. It’s up to me to allow the contractions to turn me and push me out into the life I want. It’s up to me to create the changes that will cause the waters to part and allow me to move through to my goals(s).
Or I can endure the pain of staying where I am. Contraction after contraction. Hour after hour. Day after day. Month after month.
The choice is mine: remain where I am or travel. I can allow myself to move through the narrow place, the birth canal, and be born. I can allow myself, like the Israelites, to experience freedom, to have a new life, simply by allowing the narrow place to push me forward.
So, what about you? Do you know where your narrow places are? Do you feel the squeeze? Will you continue feeling squeezed, or will you find a way to pass through the narrow place to freedom?