As relentless and rigorous as reality is, there is an inherent generosity in its flow which is ridiculously remarkable.
What a ponderous and vague sentence that is for this late in the evening, Aruni!
Oh, dear readers, can I possibly keep this simple?
I’ve learned a lot in these past few weeks, and the Jewish High Holidays have been the backdrop for my insights.
In these ten days, during the profound journey we Jews take from Rosh Hashana, the New Year, to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, these Days of Awe have offered me much reflection. Heightened by the transition I find myself in (it’s all good, my friends—I am fine!), I have learned so much, simply walking day to day in the footsteps of the directives of these profound holidays.
My first reflection was about the nature of my sins, as these Holy Days ask us to do. That s-word has been such a hideous sticking point for me in the past. With its echoes of some medieval concept of right/wrong/good/bad, I, the aging hippy/new-age-seeker felt abused by the term and, for years, I was frozen in my own mental construct about it.
As I have slowly grown up and out of my own way (funny how my own concepts can keep me blocked!), I am now able to envision sin as a leaning away from my true nature, a turning away from that which is in alignment, that which is holy, that which is whole.
This reframe alone is a victory, right?
Secondly, as Gestalt therapy tells us, I remembered again that awareness is the cure. Becoming aware of our sins, the arenas in which we were out of alignment with Truth during the past year, opens the doorway to transformation. Similarly, in yoga, therapy, and Jewish liturgy, noticing with compassion connects us to divine possibility for change.
That’s remarkably generous, right?
And finally, the formula is clear; to repent, to be rewritten in that Book of Life, all we need do is lean in the opposite direction, to try again, to be willing to practice living in alignment, with compassion toward ourselves and others.
You guys, this is a bargain!
What a miracle. What a simple, generous request life asks of us.
Life does not ask us to get it right, but to practice!
To simply lean back toward Grace, toward Truth, toward Alignment.
Turning back to Wholeness.
That’s a pretty good deal, no?
Realizing that my disconnection from my heart and my own needs was not a mistake, but a step in my development—honoring and beginning to listen to my longing, with compassion for myself and others, I am realigned!
Here is my uber-secularized mapping of this process, from this aging hippy ‘s heart to yours:
- In the past year, what actions did you take that were connected, useful, and part of the Solution? Consider a few. Breathe.
- In the past year, what actions did you take that were less than clear, less than helpful, out of alignment with who you know yourself to truly be? Consider a few. Breathe.
- What steps are you willing to take (keep it super-simple!), to lean in the opposite direction? Breathe.
Presto! You are rewritten in the Book of Life. Life, in its kindness, is generously offering you a do-over, a chance to try this old human tap-dance once again.
Again and again, we get to practice.
Again and again, we get to muck our way through the human dilemma.
Again and again, we are offered wild forgiveness, massive compassion, and the giant thumbs up from the universe.
What a deal.
Dear Friends, let us enjoy the unfolding of these late September days. Let us watch their moments flow like water through our fingers. Let us befriend our human foibles, as we lean toward the divinity that we are with effortless patience and grand possibility. Let us relax into our precious, precious bodies.
Let’s allow it to be easy.
And please do keep in touch. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.