Moving towards freedom

Languages of Freedom

by Dr. David Sanders

It surprises me whenever I ask a couple if they know their “love language” and I am met with a blank stare. It becomes a welcome opportunity for me to enumerate the languages, and for them, to share with each other what is their preferred way of showing and receiving love.


In the Kabbalah Experience Haggadah (the Passover  Seder ‘curriculum guide’) there are five languages of freedom and five words that speak of the opposite—the state of remaining stuck in the past. Freeing oneself from “slavery” takes on the meaning of releasing yourself from your thoughts, feelings and actions that hold you back.

Those words form the acronym CHIRP: Comforts, Habits, Identity, Resentments and Regrets and Procrastination.

Even though it is last, let me address procrastination first, lest I leave it for last and don’t get to it. Crastin is a Latin word which means tomorrow. So a PRO-crastinator is someone who is adept at putting things off. We need to always be monitoring the tendency to put things off so that those tasks don’t become off-putting. The Passover ritual that relates to our freedom from procrastination is symbolized in eating Matzah—the un-bread made from dough that was not allowed to take its time to become leavened.


Our comforts and habits are what we are accustomed to from our pasts but each has its own flavor—its own hold on us to not try something new, to innovate or take risks.  On the Seder plate there is comfort food to partake (haroset) and there is food that has a hard shell (egg) each respectively reflecting our challenges with experimentation and the freedom of the unknown.


Resentments and regrets can eat away at us, so we eat bitter herbs such as horseradish root or wasabi, to confront the pain we cause ourselves by remaining with an R&R that is the opposite of rest and relaxation.


Finally, and often the most challenging to freeing ourselves from the past is the sense of our identity—“this is who am so don’t ask me to look at that!”


A Passover seder’s framing question– “Why is this night different than other nights?” can be answered in the unravelling of one’s allegiance to not change, to re-consider that who you think you are is not so sacrosanct or unassailable. To attain freedom one must be willing to examine what one is most afraid to let go of, to lose one’s bearings, to enter the sea and not know what awaits you. Coming to an awareness of who we are and our full potential is the spiritual work of Passover, the work of an anti-crastinator.

1 Comment

Myra Rieger · March 30, 2023 at 8:47 pm

David, Your article was very well written, and I liked reading it all!!! I find myself procrastinating and I really am trying to stop the habit!!!
Wishing you a wonderful Seder with your family and friends! My very best to all!!! Thank you so much!!!
Hugs to you!!!!Myra

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