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Monday, September 26, 2011
Gathering Light V
This week I am gathering light as I reflect upon my life.
Several blogging friends have written messages to me suggesting that I have nothing to ask forgiveness for. I thank you for your words of kindness, and realize I should have shared the explanation that follows in the first gathering light post. Part of the preparation for the holy days is to ask for forgiveness, selichah.
I have made mistakes, made unfair judgments of others and myself as well. I have said things I regret, and have refrained from speaking up when it would have been better if I had spoken. I have been harsh when gentleness was what was needed most. In Jewish tradition it is a spiritual practice to publicly and personally ask for forgiveness for any hurt we have caused knowingly or unknowingly. Not only do we ask for forgiveness, we agree to forgive others, and ourselves, set an intention and take action to change and of course ask God to forgive us for all the times we have "missed the mark."
Elohai n'shama shenata'ta bi t'hora hi.
God, the soul you placed in me is pure.
While the soul the Holy Blessed One placed in me (and you) is pure, my heart is not, not in all moments, and neither is my mind. Unkind thoughts and emotions pass through me the same as they do any other human being. There are most certainly times when I behave in ways that are not compassionate, when I am thoughtless and not as aware or caring as I could be. Please understand that this is not about me being “down” or “hard” on myself, it is a tradition of self-reflection and direct action that I value.
“… compassion means being sensitive to another person's soul; it requires remembering that each one of us—however coarse and imperfect we may be on the outside—is endowed with a perfect Divine soul on the inside. And second, compassion means transcending our own comfort zone out of love for another.” ~Rabbi Simon Jacobson
This week while continuing to gather light, I have also been consciously shining it into the dark spaces, the uncomfortable places within, so that I may soften, grow, and draw nearer to the Root of Compassion, the One who nurtures my pure essence and birthed all that is, was, will be.
May we all be blessed with the strength, courage and wisdom to recognize when we are wrong, to say I'm sorry with an open, honest heart, and to do our best to make the changes necessary to repair what we have broken.