What do you do when you can’t turn back? This week we experience our redemption and yet it isn’t quite as we would have imagined it. Freedom can sometimes feel that way. This past weekend I was in Orlando with 100 people from my team learning all about freedom. I know we were all impregnated so to speak with new light and wisdom but the real test is what happens when we return home. Armed with all good intentions, it is all to easy to drift back to what we were.
So too is it the same with the Israelites on their way out of Egypt in this week’s reading, Beshalach: Exodus 13:17 – 17:16. Here they are ‘free’ after the Passover and wandering in the desert when the Egyptians come for them. Picture 600,000 people being literally hunted down by an army of people to take them back to what they once were: slaves. The Israelites found themselves trapped between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. Literally trapped. Who was fearful? Who was bold? Who wanted to turn and fight? Who wanted to go back? Which would you be? Stuck. Trapped.
Birth: A New Beginning
When confronted with freedom and redemption, we are often thrown a curve ball. We feel trapped and unsure how to proceed. Some pray. Some go back. Some fight. Some move ahead not only in faith but in the trust of their vision. But what if we compare this story to childbirth. How does this change things? You can’t go back. You can’t just pray. You can’t fight (well you can…but it doesn’t really help!). You can only PUSH forward. The baby has to come OUT. At one point in this reading Moses tells the people to wait and G-d will redeem them. To which G-d replies something like: Dude (Moses)?! Why are you just standing there?! PUSH the people forward!
What an amazing way to think about the times when we are on the precipice of redemption and freedom and we choose to do nothing with it. We succumb to our fears and simply stew on it and then slowly it drifts away from us as we settle back not so dramatically in to our slavery again.
Instead what if we PUSHED? What if we moved ahead because there was literally no other way to go but forward? And so it was with the Israelites. They dove (or were pushed) right into the sea and then and only then did the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea occur. It was their faith and trust in their vision of redemption in partnership with G-d that ultimately caused the miracle.
Every day we run into the same walls. We feel TRAPPED and stuck. We feel disappointed in our little failures along the way. Or maybe it isn’t like what we imagined at all. It’s hard. We feel as if we are ever enslaved by our coping mechanisms that numb us to our true purpose and calling. What is your coping mechanism? Is it to numb yourself by wasting time? Is it to numb yourself by eating? Is it to numb yourself by pushing others away and keeping them at a distance so they can’t hurt you?
I believe prior to who I am now, I used to fight. I didn’t push ahead, but instead fought those around me. Fighting keeps others from hurting you but in the process you hurt everyone around you.
It’s amazing to think of this like a birth. There is literally no other option but to PUSH. If we simply PUSH ahead and TRUST in our vision that our proverbial Red Sea will part and produce a path for us, we will find our true release from slavery and true freedom on the other side. All of our coping mechanisms keep us from creating that vision and then the path ahead seems so foggy and unknown. It wasn’t unknown for Miriam. In Beshalach, we learn that everyone bursts out in song together (somehow 600,000 people all knew the same song and same tune at just the right moment). And guess who brought the instruments? Miriam. She had a vision for the redemption and it definitely included tambourines! So she made them and brought them with her and when it was time, she shared them with other women to play. How amazing is that? No only did she have a vision, she made it happen. She didn’t just pray that vision would come to pass. She made the instruments and carried them with her to ensure the vision happened the way she foresaw it. We are truly blessed in all that we DO not all that we THINK or PRAY.
Below are some oils we can use to help bring us to a place where we are somewhat comfortable PUSHing forward…a place where we can move away from past disappointments, from the negative forces seeking to pull us back into oblivion, and to a place of vision. With vision comes a plan. With a plan comes activities to carry out. Will there be missteps and failures along the way? Most definitely – clearly there were many in this week’s reading…but at some point, redemption will come!
Oils to add to your prayers
- Joy for Disappointment. The other side of being disappointed is Freedom. Say “I trust my vision” while applying a drop of Joy to your chest.
- Gathering for being Enslaved. The other side is Release. Say “I am released” while applying Gathering to the top right side of the skull.
- Transformation for feeling Trapped. The other side is being Free. Say “I am Free” while applying Transformation to the diaphragm.