Thank you, that was really helpful. I think (and hope) I understood what you explained. it’s funny, because i’m very much so a person who understand that the American mentality of seeing results and judging success is not the way it should work. Yet I suppose my problem is that I put a lot of pressure on myself and I get nervous that I won’t be able to get the true meaning out of Pesach…that my head will become occupied with other, less consequential matters. So I felt like I needed a defined course of action to direct me.

I guess it doesn’t necessarily work that way, especially with freeing oneself, which is such an internal process that external actions might not suffice, as you said. I think I need more time to sit and simply think about it. I have been working on freeing myself for over a year, and boy, does it take time. I wonder what type of freedom we can achieve within this short period of time before Pesach. Is it possible or is it more of a reminder?; an awakening to begin this process for the rest of the year and our lives? If so, I should worry because I’m ahead of the game! (that doesn’t mean that i don’t still have work to do!).

It makes a lot of sense how you put it, about how you’re enslaved to something. Most people think of it the other way around- that when you do what you want, you’re free, and when you have to force yourself to do something, its being enslaved. But it’s not so- when its not what you really want, rather it’s what you don’t want causing you to do something you do want, you become enslaved, but then you free yourself of that prison, rise above that situation, you’re free. did i get it? i don’t know if what i wrote makes so much sense, but it does to me so i guess that’s what matters!

About what you said about breaking patterns…i agree, we must be able, because certain people are able to do it. i don’t know if it’s that we haven’t received it..i think it’s more that we haven’t discovered it yet. actually, maybe it is also receiving, because you have to be open in order to receive something. perhaps it is that we don’t want to change ourselves so we’re not open, or fully open. so that’s the first step- to truly want to free ourselves from our bad patterns, desires and inclinations.

i’ll just keep striving, and that’s all that long as i keep walking forwards… it’s not about how far i get. i still have a concern that i won’t be able to get into the right mindset on pesach. i find it difficult to force myself into a certain state just because it’s a specific time i’m supposed to feel something….it’s sort of unnatural and not easy to do.

i would respond to your email better but i’m falling asleep (jet lag…i just got “home” yesterday), so i hope it was coherent.

thank you again

You’re the BEST! You’ve got so much more than you have any idea. Yes, you ‘got it’. You’re already ‘on the bus’. Think of it as if you’ve got a ball of twine all entangled and you’re in the process of disentangling it. You know how you struggle to find the right ‘pull’ and struggle and struggle and things get tighter, then all of a sudden a bit of a breakthrough and things begin to flow and develope and you’re on a roll until the next group of tight entanglements. etc. etc. etc. So you’re on your way.

Some other thoughts: You’re only 18, what do you expect of yourself. Try and experience of the freedom of self acceptence. As far being in the right frame of mind? You’re doing your spiritual bedikat chametz. That’s what all this communication is about. Be here now, plugged into the moment, plugged into what’s percolating up and through you and trust that when Seder comes you’ll be ‘there’, also. And of course, talk to HaShem. Daven to be ‘there.’

You’re really fine. You identify and articulate hard to reach inner places quite well. So enough of the self doubt. Just be doing the work as you already are. So far, it looks really good on you. As far as understanding that freedom comes from being able to rise and choose to do that which you don’t want? You’re right on. How empowered and even somewhat self-satisfied do you feel as a result? It’s not what you overcame, it’s THAT you overcame! and it lets you know that you can trust yourself to be able to do it when you need and especially when you want to.

Keep on keeping on. Be proud of yourself.