I looked over each garment carefully. Our new home would have less closet space, and that meant I had to make a selection. There were a few items that I spent more time on. The grey pleated skirt, for instance. I hadn't worn it in years and yet this skirt has always managed to come with me, from home to home and move to move. I hadn't been able to give it away in the past. It represented the size that I used to be, the size that I tell myself I'll be again. I gave it a hard look and then my husband encouraged me, "Yeah, let go and give it away." I did it. I threw the size two skirt in the big bag for clothes to donate. I felt a tremendous sense of relief.

Thank G‑d, I no longer have hours to spend perfecting my bodyWhen I was in college, I spent hours exercising. The majority of my diet consisted of fruits and vegetables, and I had to make a conscious effort not to get thinner than size two. When I was newly married, the two was steady until I realized that I needed to add more to my diet. The two became a four and when I, at last, had children, the four became a six. I'm not sure what size I am now, but I'm always trying to get back down to that two. And I can't. It's like I'm enslaved to that size, a size which is, and probably always was, unhealthy for me. I'm very active and exercise, but, thank G‑d, I no longer have hours to spend perfecting my body and as a woman who has spent the past three-and-a-half years pregnant or nursing, I realize that I can't survive unless I also eat a variety of proteins, carbs and even some fats.

When G‑d chose a leader to take the nation of Israel out of Egypt, He didn't choose an ordinary Israelite, He didn't even choose a leader or elder from among the enslaved Hebrew nation. He chose a free man who had grown up in the palace of the Egyptian king. The commentators explain that He did this because a slave will always see himself as a slave, and a person raised among royalty will always see himself as a royal leader. Only a free man could bring a nation to freedom.

In preparation for the lamb offering that was to be eaten on the night preceding the Exodus (Seder night), G‑d commanded the Jews to tie lambs to their front doorposts. The Jews complied. This was a very courageous act that demonstrated their complete faith and trust in G‑d. The lamb was one of the divinities of the Egyptians, their masters. To see lambs tied and ready for slaughter was considered a great provocation for the Egyptians. The Jews had no idea how the Egyptians would react and could only expect the worst, and yet they did it. Here was their first act of freedom, of throwing off their chains of their enslaved perception. The way a person perceives himself is how others perceive him as well. They waited to see what would happen. But there was nothing; the Egyptians didn't react. Even though they were still in Egypt, the Egyptian masters no longer had power over the Jews because the Jews didn't give them that power.

Passover cleaning is more than just getting rid of any leaven foods. It's also more than spring cleaning. The mystics explain that when you physically clean your home for Passover you are symbolically doing a spiritual cleaning, as well. As one cleans out the cupboards, one simultaneously cleans out one's mind, one's heart, and one's thoughts. As one cleans, one removes the shackles – chain by chain – of those self-destructive images that hold us back and keep us enslaved. All the preparations involved before Passover enables one to arrive at Passover as a free person.

On Seder night, we sit like royalty and celebrate our freedomOn Seder night, we sit like royalty and celebrate our freedom. Jews did this even in the darkest times when they were forced to do Seders in secrecy, or behind prison gates and in concentration camps. Physically, they were enslaved and yet, they celebrated their freedom. They celebrated the freedom that comes when you perceive yourself as free, and when you don't allow anyone to enslave your soul or your heart.

When I let go of that skirt, is was as though I was letting go of the past and accepting myself as I am in the present. It allowed me to be happy with the way I am, and not as a slave to what society dictates I need to be. For me, it was an act of bravery, and really, I feel free.