Of Exiles and Redemptions, part 2
Winter has finally subsided and with the coming of Spring comes a new me. I am poking my head out of my bubble to see if the world still exists. I have fallen off the face of the earth in preparation for the release of Shattered Illusions (!!!!!!!!). I have been living in an alternate reality, and it has suddenly occurred to me that there is a big, beautiful world out there. Hello world! Nice to see you again. It’s been a while.
Its been a long, difficult winter. I tend to hibernate in the winter, often forgetting my responsibilities. The winds and the snow were harsh and unforgiving this year, often leaving me running for cover. By the time I would defrost, the day would be done and my work would be pushed aside. Spring has the opposite effect on me. Though the warm weather tends to pull people away from their work and out into the sun, I find that Spring is the perfect time for me to begin again. With a little more than six weeks to the release of Shattered Illusions, I think I am finally ready to come out and embrace everything that is happening to me.
I am about to become a published author. I say it, but I cannot resonate with it. I try pinching myself, but it only causes my skin to turn blue. I have been waiting for this for…forever. Now it’s here, and I can hardly believe it. I want to laugh at the sheer miracle that it is and cry at the same time.
The holiday of Passover just passed (no pun intended), and I find myself returning to the questions regarding exile and redemption. What exactly does it mean to place oneself in exile and how exactly does one get out of it? I think back on the holiday itself, on the lessons that I learned during the eight days of matza induced tummy aches, and I am stumped. For better or for worse, everyone around me was, on one scale or another, drowning in their own personal exile. Be it debt, family matters, health issues or just plain stress from day to day life, I could see the lesson of the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt coming alive before my very eyes. As slaves in Egypt, the Jews had grown accustomed to their slavery. So much so, that when Moses came to take them out of exile, they told him to get a life. They were neck deep in misery, and though the solution was staring them all right in the face, they refused to open their eyes and take a look. So, how did they get out? By getting out of themselves.
Some of you may recall a post I wrote back in December about comfort zones and how they mess up our lives. A person’s creativity and ability to live a full life begins outside of their comfort zone. So, in a sense, a person’s comfort zone is their exile. When you stay within your little comfort bubble, where everything is familiar, you leave no room for growth or opportunity. Even if your level of comfort consists of icky, sticky, uncomfortable situations and self imposed labor, it feels much easier then actually getting up and getting out of yourself.
Make life about more than just you. Take the world around you and transform it for the sake of others. Do a good deed for your neighbor; smile at strangers; volunteer for a bigger purpose and don’t except anything in return. The first step of redemption is digging yourself out of the hole you dug around yourself and dedicating your time to others. When the world stops revolving around your comfort zone and draws in the needs of others, you may quickly break the chains that hold you down from reaching your ultimate goal.
Begin with something small. Whatever you choose, may it be the first step in redeeming yourself from your personal exile and into the land of freedom.