It’s that time of the year in the Jewish Calendar where we are asked to reflect on the year that has passed and set our intentions, for whom we strive to be in the year to come.
I love this time of year and the forced pause to give thought to how I am showing up in this world. In everyday life we don’t always have time to stop and take stock.
We move along every day by our task list, our commitments, our priorities. More often then not our own wants, needs and priorities get shoved aside. Sometimes we don’t even realize we have them, we are so busy getting through the day and fulfilling everyone else’s needs.
One of the big themes of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is forgiveness. We are given an opportunity to be forgiven for all our transgressions by God and by our fellow man/woman. Being forgiven by God is the easy part. The hardest part is forgiving and being forgiven by our fellow humans.
But today I don’t want to talk about the challenges of forgiving others when we feel we have been wronged, about the difficulty we all have said we are sorry or even about asking you to notice where you may be harboring a grudge against your daughter unknowingly and the effect on your relationship (but remind me to do that sometime). Today I want to remind you to forgive yourself.
I know that for me, more than anyone could ever be hard on me, I am truly my biggest critic. I see all my flaws and all the ways I am not good enough. I see all the hopes and dreams I have yet to make a reality and I am hard on myself in a way no one else would dare to, for the mistakes I make and the choices I should have made.
Over the years I have gotten better it is one of the goals I have set for myself. I am here to tell you – it takes a lot of work. A lot of work that is completely worth it.
As I learn to be compassionate with myself, I learn to compassionate to others. As I learn to accept my flaws and limitations I learn to accept them in others.
By taking the time and making the investment in my coaches (yes, I have more than one) I am investing in me, as a result everyone around me is benefiting. They are getting to see the wonderful version of me, not the only angry version of me who to be honest did not even know she was angry.
One of the ways I have changed is I start my morning, before I move, go to the bathroom or even open my eyes, with listing all the many things I am grateful for. It does not take longer and it means when I do take that first step of the day, I have set the tone for how I want to show up. Do I have set backs- yes, many, does it matter – no. Why? Because if I don’t keep trying and keep shifting I will be the version of myself I don’t want to be!
So today I invite you to start by forgiving yourself, as I will be forgiving myself today. For all the ways you have showed up differently than you wanted, for the things you have said and done you wish you had not and for the fact the you are still on a journey- we all are.
Find a chance today to connect with your daughter, share with her how we are all imperfect, forgive her for not always getting it right and invite her to forgive you for not always being perfect- this is where real change happens.
Wishing those celebrating a Gmar Chatima Tova (being sealed in the book of life- feel free to ask if you want an explanation) and for all of us a great chance to find forgiveness for ourselves and others.