Whether you’re a Jew, Christian, Muslim, Agnostic or Pantheist, this is the season of birth and fertility. Today marks the first day of Passover, the Jewish people’s commemoration of their Israelite forbearers’ escape from the constrictions of slavery into freedom. It is followed five days later by Easter, a similar story about being unencumbered by the physical body.
A week ago, I saw the first purple crocus in my garden. Its golden eye winked at me as I bent down to cup the first sign of spring in my hands. I might have winced instead at the drab brown earth and grass, weary of winter’s frozen grasp. I chose to see the flower. We each have the power to make a choice in every moment.
The night before I had had a difficult phone conversation with one of my sons. We are teaching each other what it means to co-create a relationship. Old wounds die hard. It takes a conscious decision to evolve into a new place of mutual respect, boundaries, and loving intent. His recent visit home had brought up old resentments of not being seen or respected. He told me how unsafe he felt when his father and I kept changing our expectations of him. As a result, he didn’t get the rest he came for. We talked it through to a place of compromise, and developed a strategy for sharing our expectations ahead of time before the next visit.
When I got off the phone, my first inclination was to cry and call a friend. But I didn’t. I had promised myself to get caught up on emails and other work, for this was my only night alone. I knew if I didn’t follow through I would wake up the next morning with the same ball and chain around my ankle. I ignored the residual feelings of sadness and regret, and focused. In that moment I chose the path of inner freedom.
The next morning I woke up feeling freer and lighter than I had in months. I had listened to my son’s feelings, played back what I heard instead of getting defensive, and had walked in the unfamiliar landscape of co-creation. Afterwards, I wrote 78 emails, whittling my list from 152 to 21!
We all have the power to choose how we frame a picture. We can see brown grass or a purple crocus. We can hang up the phone and go back to old feelings of guilt and sadness, or commend ourselves for moving forward.
Choosing is a form of exodus from internal enslavement. Choosing in every moment is the opportunity for resurrection from destructive patterns.
Happy rising, in whatever way you choose to celebrate spring.
- What choice have you made recently that shifted your perspective?
- What is your own definition of freedom?