Today is the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim is a festive holiday as well as a creative one. People dress up (I joke it is Jewish Halloween, but it’s really quite different), gather for a big meal, distribute goody bags to their neighbors, and of course the story of Purim is read from the Megillah (Jews are the People of the Book, after all, so of course there are readings involved!)
There are many themes to Purim: topsy-turvy, a shift from mourning to celebration, and my favorite one: stepping up into your elevated role.
As Mordechai tells Queen Esther, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Megillat Esther 4:14)
Esther had a choice as to whether to bravely approach King Achashverosh to plead for the saving of the Jewish people.
Before that the king didn’t even know Esther herself was a Jew. She had to come out as who she was AND bravely step up for her nation.
Sometimes I am scared to stand up for what I believe in. Easier to remain on the sidelines, just let things play out. This message is strengthening because it beckons one to reach deep within oneself and actualize to one’s fullest potential.
Something that helps one be one’s greatest self is focusing on the good. Often I am pulled down by negative interactions with others or negative thoughts (or the negative thoughts triggered by a negative interaction!).
In the Purim story, Haman had much wealth and high status but he could not get over Mordechai not bowing down to him. That didn’t end well for him…
When we focus on the black dot instead of the vast white space behind it we get ourselves stuck. We feel hopeless. We get caught up in a negative tailspin and down the rabbit hole we go!
When we focus on the good, what is going right—the white space—we can promote good things. Think law of attraction or gratitude journal.
Focusing on the positive, on what we have rather than what we don’t, helps propel us toward bigger and better things and brings us closer to being our greatest selves.