Our culture tells us that if we want to be free, we must acquire or do more.
If you work a regular job, you might believe that freedom will come when you become your own boss.
Rarely does this grant people the freedom they seek.
Studies of human behavior teach us that people will do more to avoid a loss than to acquire something new. The more we have, the more we want. When we reach a certain level — whether comfort, money, status — we fear losing it.
This becoems a problem when we desire change. Change requires us to let go of old ways of being, of attachments to our ways of life, in order to embrace new ways.
When we become prisoners of our acquisitions; trapped by the trappings of our lives, restrained by the golden handcuffs, we are unable to embrace change.
Freedom comes from releasing these attachments, from the willingness to let go and start over.
It’s easier to let go when we remember that nothing is permanent.
This is a central lesson of the fall season and of the holiday of Sukkot, which we celebrate this week. All of nature is in the process of releasing and letting go, so that it can become something new. The Sukkah itself is a symbol of impermanence; easy to take down when it’s time to move on, knowing that we can always rebuild again.