Thoughts for The Days of Awe
Many of us are familiar that during this time of year the Jewish people across the globe are discussing, reflecting and embarking upon on the journey of forgiveness. We are asked to step up to the plate as individuals and as a collective and acknowledge that we have (where we have?) fallen short, missed the mark, hurt someone…..you get the picture.
The rabbis tell us that it really isn’t enough to go to those around us and say “please forgive me if I have hurt you in any way” — that when we truly ask for forgiveness, acknowledging what it is we’ve actually done –becomes the true catalyst for healing and growth.
But, what if we are hurting people and we don’t realize it?
What if there are those around us that are consistently (or occasionally) negatively impacted by our choices, and they don’t have the ability to tell us? Or, the last straw just hasn’t been broken yet….and all it would take is that one last time before all hell breaks loose?
Since this is the season, I too have been reflecting on my own life, choices, relationships, behavior patterns and so on. I don’t know if I have ever felt the true impact that the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur can have. I’m sure having a brand new life, in a brand new community, with a brand new reality has something to do with seeing things…a little more clearly perhaps?? Whatever the case may be…I have finally realized how I have been negatively impacting the people I love and care about most. It wasn’t completely a shock to me as I figured it out….but nonetheless; I’m still spinning in the freshly birthed awareness of my actions. Before I go any further with the details, I would like to publicly apologize to my beautiful husband Yosef, for it is him who probably feels the impact the most. I ask for your forgiveness and I am sorry that I have ever caused you any moments of pain.
The realization is….I love too much.
I love some of the people (and animals) in my life so much, that I actually attach to them – I bind myself around them into a tight hold where pushing me away becomes almost impossible. I won’t, in fact, let you let me go. I will not let you leave me.
I noticed that when I hold my cat, I squeeze him so close to me (for fear that he’d rather just jump out of my arms) that he’s not even able to enjoy being held. I notice that I am so invested into my partner’s life, that I breathe down (not all, but most) of his every move – needing to know every detail of every little thing. Why? Because I love….and I am afraid of losing any part of him.
As I sit on this, I realize that my biggest fear is that I won’t be (or that I am not) loved by others. I have always tried, for so much of my life, to fit in, please others and be the hero – almost as though I am afraid I won’t be noticed, acknowledged or liked by just being me.
I know that last sentence might sound crazy to many of you who know me….but the truth is, I’ve been living from such a deep place of fear for so much of my life, I’m not sure that I’ve really known HOW to be fully me. And hey….THIS is a GREAT thing. I’m really happy to have made this realization – and see one of the ways in which I am imperfect. I am thrilled and ready to begin learning and growing from this experience.
I hold too closely, I squeeze to tight, – and it makes me stiff in my entire body.
So…my lesson this season? (One of the many, in truth) Is to simply – let go.
If people don’t want to be around me…if my cat doesn’t want to be in my arms…..if someone doesn’t want to sit with me or the person in line isn’t interested in making small talk about the great organic selection – SO WHAT!?! What do I have to prove? I am getting another hefty, delicious dose of the “LOVE YOUR SELF, SISTER!” medicine that I really need. I am also having flash backs of being the last one chosen (for multiple years) during sports games (when your scary PE teacher had kid “coaches” pick teams) – I shiver at the memories. But hey! I’ve never been a fast runner….nor hard player, so….good on them, I wouldn’t have picked me first either!
Wow, I feel like I can breathe again…like I just released a huge weight. To finally have some peace about my obsessiveness, stubbornness, control-freak issues that I have, and finally learn where in which to change my ways. Through this, I can live a more sensitive, FAITH BASED, joyous life and that feels incredible. These words are barely scratching the surface of how I really feel….but I thank you for reading them, and hope perhaps that they can offer a little insight for you.
May we all be strengthened this new year….to live brighter, fuller, and more peaceful lives.