Emotional Liberation

OC_0318_KIDDISH_1_EmotionalWE HAVE LOTS of food throwing and wild rapping among other untraditional activities to keep the little (and big) ones interested and awake.
Between the crazy stuff, and the text of the Haggadah, we get personal: We remind ourselves to recognize our personal “Egypts,” and feel hopeful that G-d will help us to be free from bondage in our lives.
In his book ‘Non-Violent Communication,’ Marshall Rosenberg writes about the stages of emotional slavery to emotional liberation.
In the first stage, we are enslaved:
Every relationship feels like a burden, as we carry the idea that we need to make everyone happy. We do not recognize, value or communicate our own needs clearly.
Any giving, in this stage, is out of fear, guilt or the desire to relieve ourselves of the urgent, overwhelming heaviness of another’s unhappiness.
In the second stage, we cast off the burden of that responsibility, sometimes angrily (with a sense that we’ve been taken advantage of). We then become enslaved to our own needs and feelings
We hold a “That’s your problem!” attitude regarding others and become unkind when relating to their feelings. We disregard the value of caring for another.
Both stages 1 and 2 represent the classic teenage struggle, and the struggle of adults who never outgrew their adolescence. To be fair, these stages are also where, even basically healthy adults go every once in a while, when we’re tired and overextended.
Stage three, emotional liberation, comes when we have learned to take responsibility for our own happiness, and we clearly express ourselves in a way that shows respect and concern for others. Our giving, at this stage, comes from a choice to be compassionate. We are free to care for ourselves and others thoughtfully, genuinely, joyfully.
Each Jewish festival overflows with a particular energy of opportunity. Passover offers the opportunity for liberation from that which holds us back from being our better selves.
This is a perfect time to assess and work on our emotional freedom and be living role models of responsible, compassionate living for our children.
Wishing you a thoughtful, genuine, joyful and liberating Passover!!!

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