To be clear, I do NOT write these posts for accolades or praise. Though we all love to get those and often feed off them, that is not what drives me. Where I do find joy is when people can identify with something I said, find commonality with it, and then share a similar experience that they have had. After all, that is what being human is all about… connecting, sharing, feeling safe to do so, and then learning, growing and evolving.
The reason that Ben and I started this was to be on a journey of growth and learning… to be on the path… to explore Judaism from two different perspectives and places on that path. This blog feeds my soul and connects me to Judaism and Hashem, and hopefully to you. With that said, and perhaps it is because of the time of year, I do have to say that I was a bit envious of Ben’s post last week, and especially the positive and overwhelming response to it. Wow, so and so loves Ben’s post. Wow, look at who is sharing the post. Wow, look at those numbers. So yes, I was envious. And for that, I ask for forgiveness. It’s not one of my finer qualities and I strive to reduce it and hopefully eliminate it.
The other side of that, is that I get to share this blog with Ben. I get to learn from his posts just as much as you do. And last week’s post was amazing. It put a lot in perspective for me and added to things I had just learned and needed to take into this period. So instead of envy, I say this with joy and gratitude, thank you, Ben!
And so that is the lesson of this time of year. And THAT is what this time of year is all about. We have control over our thoughts. We have control over how we react to things. We have little to no control over events and how and when things happen, but we do control our response. I just did a thought transformation, and took envy and turned it into gratitude. Is that easy? Heck, no. Do I always do it? Heck, no. But that is what I want inscribed in my brain and on my heart this year, as I am inscribed in the book of life.
I want a year of excellent health, but I also want a year of growth and moving forward. We need to recognize our “flaws” or “weaknesses” and not make the same mistakes we continue to make. Regret is not healthy, but if we keep having the same regrets because we keep making the same mistakes, then that is the lesson. STOP! Transform those thoughts to something positive. Change the way we behave. Trust in Hashem and learn. And yes, when I say “we” I mean “me.”
Allow yourself to feel how icky bad behavior is, remember it, sit with it… Acknowledge it, recognize it, change it, and return! Return to who you were and want to be. It’s all in there! You have all the pieces.The other thing I want and pray for is clarity. I am in a whirlwind right now, trying to figure out my future… where I live, what I do, and so much more, and as of now, I have no clear answers. Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld told me that praying for clarity is important and a great thing to ask Hashem for. But he also said that I must not paralyze myself while I am waiting for that clarity. Moving forward is key, and sometimes we must move with the information that is in front of us, in the here and now.
Okay, so… what is the point of this train of thought post/ramble?
One, we have the power to transform our thoughts, and instead of dwelling on the ones that are negative, we can turn them around. With Ben and his post, I took envy and turned it to gratitude and appreciation.
Two, we need to acknowledge our mistakes and issues and do all we can to deal with them. And a big part of this is to connect with Hashem, to put our trust in Hashem and know that He is here to help us. And at the same time, we must NOT stand still and dwell, but move forward, out of the past and into the present.
Three, we must ask for forgiveness, and we MUST forgive others, including ourselves. Stop beating yourself up, stop having regrets when they can be eliminated by change and action.And finally, just as I want all of us to be inscribed in the book of life, I want us to all inscribe self love and joy and connection on our hearts. May our hearts be inscribed on others, and others inscribed on our hearts. Allow us to be trusting and open and loving, with those who deserve it… and know that we deserve it, too. Hashem did miraculous things by creating each and every one of us. We are all complete. We have everything we need already inside of us, thanks to Hashem. We just need to see it, and feel it, and know it, and carry it in our brains and in our hearts.