It’s one week until Pesach (Passover). In seven days from now, my family and I will sit down at our beautiful holiday table in our shiny, polished home to celebrate the Festival of Freedom.
As we, and Jews around the globe, retell the story of our exodus from Egypt, we are commanded by G-d to see ourselves as leaving the slavery of Egypt and entering a new reality – that of a free People.
That’s not an easy feat.
We live in the Age of Abundance. Almost anything we could ever need or want is available at the click of a mouse (for a price, of course). We instantaneously connect with people thousands of miles away with Facebook and WhatsApp. And if ever you have a question, no problem – “just google it.”
Life. is. easy.
Some have even knick-named this generation the Age of Entitlement.
In such an environment, how can we possibly understand what it means to exit slavery?
It might take a little creativity. But if you stay with me, I think we can do it.
Let’s take a deeper look at Entitlement.
Entitlement is the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something. This is reality for babies and young children. They cry when they want to eat, have their diapers changed or be held. They don’t want to share their toys. And whatever they do want, they want it now. The world of a young child is narrow. And she is the center of it.
As children grow and mature, they hopefully learn to look beyond their narrow boundaries, becoming responsible, taking initiative and developing the ability to empathize with and show respect for others. Moreover, a maturing person transitions from “I deserve” to “I am so grateful for what I have.”
Gratitude is the antidote to entitlement.
Gratitude is expansive, energizing and optimistic.
Entitlement is negative, narrow, heavy and dark.
Gratitude is the beauty of a sunset, the chirping of the birds, the myriad colors, shapes, sizes and fragrances of the flowers.
Entitlement is it’s not enough, it’s never enough, and I deserve more. Or better. Or both.
Gratitude is calm, peaceful and flowing.
Entitlement is pouty face, stomping feet and tantrums.
Gratitude is in control.
Entitlement is out of control.
Entitlement is slavery.
Gratitude is freedom.
And if we’re willing to pay attention to our thoughts, feelings and actions we can notice all the ways in which we keep ourselves stuck in entitlement.
And we can let them go.
Choosing instead to express gratitude and appreciation to the One Above, Who takes care of us and continues to sustain us every day.
And this my friends is how we emerge from slavery and enter freedom.
I had the honor of joining my friend Health Coach Lily Aronin on her podcast last week. We talked about making changes with both our money and our health. How change is a process that takes time. And how addressing our deeper inner needs leads to long term success. I also shared my big money mistake (hint: it cost me $50K!).
Tune in to the podcast here.
Sending you dear blessings for gratitude, freedom and good health this year.
Chag Sameach (Happy Holidays).