As Jews all over the world approach the High Holy Days, we are called upon to face ourselves in a metaphorical mirror and take stock of our lives in the past year. The image isn’t always pretty, but it is real. As I rewind the clock to September, 2013, I witness a woman whose life was on auto pilot; not particularly conscious. She buzzed and bopped about, slept little and worked much. Although most people would say that she was loving and attentive, she often felt disingenuous and tapped out emotionally, uncertain where she was going to muster the strength to do all she was called on to do. It took a series of health crises, that began around that time with an injured left knee. How could she ignore the clarion call to change her ways? Habit? Apparently so.
Rosh Hashanah is also called the Jewish New Year, the birth of the world, celebrating beginnings.
In order to honor beginnings, we also need to acknowledge endings. In the past year, I have come to peaceful completion with regard to worn out beliefs, unhealthy relationships; shedding the skin of fear and worry. I have re-created myself; what I would call a near whole life makeover. Keep in mind that we are all works in progress and turning over a new leaf is not a one and done endeavor.
Each day, I take stock and consider
where I am on the path and where I have taken missteps
how I interact with my fellow planetary dwellers.
at what points I might be hypocritical
ways I judge people
how I celebrate the gift of life to the fullest
ways I dim my light
how I sell myself short or sell my soul for love
opportunities for forgiveness
where I am true to my values
how I live as love incarnate
if I miss the mark (the Hebrew translation for the word ‘chet’ or sin) as in archery
how I hold a grudge
ways I feel envious of others’ success
times when I am harshly self critical and lacking compassion for myself
memories of regret, wishing I had done things differently
how I make amends and reclaim my innocence
Regardless of spiritual orientation, religious background or practice, we each have an opportunity for do-overs in each moment. How will you use yours?