Monday, 29 March 2010

Preparing for Pesach

Tonight's the night. From sunset tonight we get the opportunity to change: to remove our negative traits forever. Well, it clearly didn't work last year, not for me anyway. But this year I have attempted a little more preparation.

For the past couple of weeks I have been consumed with the task of completing an 'Ego Workshop', identifying my Ego: when and how do I react?

I could go on forever with all of my negative traits, but I was given a list of 12 to put in to order: which do I identify with the most, and which do I identify with the least. Only 12? Is that all? Well, that's a tough call, but not wanting to turn in something produced with half effort (PRIDE), I did my best and completed the sheets in my neatest handwriting.

Judgement came out on tops. I judge all of the time. I compare. I wondered whether anyone else was being as open as me with their answers. Because it's not easy to go this deep. And if you think it is, well, I'm not even going to say what I think of you. Oops, there I go again...

So, how to choose from the rest? Looking for Comfort: check. Distances from people: check. Depression: *sigh* I guess I can see those in myself. Others I couldn't really see as being me, but on reading the descriptions on how these traits show up in your thoughts, it was hard to choose between them (and no, indecisiveness was not on the list, and given that I filled out the sheets at the last minute, I was disappointed to see that procrastination wasn't there either. I mean, what kind of silly test is this? (Oh wait, Judgement again?)

The trait that I least identified with was "Abrasive" (which sat just above Anger and Rage). The description for 'Abrasive' was "Cynical, Rude and Agressive, Criticism and Tactless, Ignores"

I met with my teacher, after he had changed the time of our meeting twice at the last minute. He had forgotten all about the Ego Workshop. I mean, for heaven's sakes, what kind of treatment is this? Do I have to do all of the running here? (Oo, hello Entitlement)
I dug the carefully folded sheets out of my oversized handbag and winced as he glanced at the sheets and said "I cannot read your handwriting - read through it and explain what you have said"
Cannot read my handwriting? Cannot read my handwriting? MY lovely neat handwriting? (Hey, Pride! Good to see you again, thanks for popping by! And who's that you brought with you.. Oh Hi Anger! My, my, you move quickly!)

"So" he said after looking at my numbered list "Abrasive not something you see in yourself"
I replied, not at all abrasively.
"The ones that you see the least are the ones that are harder to remove. They are there at the bottom of the layers of the Ego. When you react in your usual way, you should be looking for traces of the concealed Ego - the root of the Ego - so that it can be exposed".

I mean, for goodness sakes, what kind of exercise is this? You ask for the obvious and then spin it all around on me. I give you my best answers and then you tell me that I should be trying to remove something that I don't even see? Ha. Well I doubt that will work. I'm not sure you've even thought it through. I thought all of this was based on wisdom 4,000 years old? And I'm not even being given credit for all of the hard work that I am doing. I think you are just making all of this stuff up.

Hmm... perhaps I need to re-order my list....

Anyhow, armed with my Big List of Things To Remove, I am heading in for the Seder dinner tonight, full of prayers, connections and meaning. And what is the one thing consuming my thoughts? Whether I will eat a larger spoonful of Maror (Horseradish - excruciatingly painful to chew, but as you keep chewing it turns sweet) than last year, and whether I will be able to eat a bigger spoonful than some of the other students.

I can only pray that tonight will be the last night that I carry quite so much Judgement and Pride.

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