Friday, April 22, 2005


It’s the season for Jews to bring family and friends together around the table. Pesach/Passover requires a very interesting process of preparation. The emphasis of the holiday is one of cleansing. While this manifests by the clearing of certain foods from the home, it also takes one on an introspective journey.

While I do not run a strictly observant Jewish home by any means, I believe I do run a traditional home. The spirituality of Pesach is where it’s at for me. The idea of getting down and into the deepest and darkest corner of a closet to find a piece of “Chametz” is in itself a form of meditation and introspection. It is in those moments where I find the means with which to go inside of myself. In those quiet, solitary places, shifts take place, I let go, I gain clarity and I make space for the new.

These past few weeks have been very interesting for me. I don’t know if it is because it was recently my birthday and my planets might have aligned in a particularly unique order, but there has been a wave of realization passing through my life. In a very gentle and subtle way, I feel like profound things have happened. I am aware of a new inner peace, I feel like there are just some things that I now know, which I might have been confused about for the longest time. There has been a subliminal surrender.

As I have had a thought, so the universe has responded with something that has made me stop and say, “wow, that is exactly what I have just been thinking about!” For no glaringly obvious reason, for the first time in close on 7 years, I suddenly started “hearing” myself with anything concerning my stepchildren. Suddenly, as if never before, I became aware of how so much of my time and energy is spent on them. By time and energy, I don’t mean in terms of hands on taking care of them, as they are now 16 and 20 years old and pretty much do their own thing, but more in terms of how much I think about them, what they do or particularly don’t do, what my husband does or does not do in response to how I think everyone should be behaving. The light suddenly went on. I honestly GOT in the true sense of the word, they are whom they are, they will do what they do, and so be it. I experienced a sense of freedom and relief, like I have not done in a very long time. I have tried for so many years to be the perfect stepmother. In that same moment, I got that I am the perfect stepmother, if I wasn’t, they would have a different stepmother. I saw that in spite of how hard I try to offer them the fruits of my life experience, they would never embrace it, as my birth son will. Enough trying! I reminded myself how firmly I believe that there is no such thing as ‘trying’. You are either doing something, or you are not. In a conversation with my cousin later that same week, I shared these thoughts with her and she told me how when she was at a similar stage in her life and wanting to know she was being the best mother she could possibly be, someone wise had said simply this to her, “just be clear of your intention and know that one day they will hear your voice. You may not even be there - but your voice will be clear to them and bam - It all changed for me!”

I had shared with my cousin how the only time I see Daniel in a light where he appears to be anything less than the magical being I know him to be, is in our disagreements about his children. As I really don’t want to see him in that light, because he is not that person to me at all, I need to shift my focus. The universe could not have presented me with any better proof that I have successfully made this shift, than in the words my cousin shared with me. Although this conversation took place on Yahoo Messenger because we are in two different countries, the moment was so intense for me, which I just burst into tears. Tears of great relief, tears of that incredible feeling I get when I really surrender and relinquish all control. I have also come to learn that when I relinquish that control that is ironically when I am most in control. Control of where I want to be, how I want to be, and without concerning myself with the ways of others.
There is a school of thought that says the history of the Jews can be summarized to one brief sentence, “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” I wish everyone a meaningful and happy Pesach.