And yet, during these days of awe and reflection, the burden is on MY heart and soul. Many ask about the High Holidays and the significance. Today I begin to celebrate a new year and also reflect on the past year. The questions I ask of myself help me ask for forgiveness directly to those I have hurt, either “knowingly or unknowingly”. I try my hardest to ask for forgiveness for something I can take responsibility for and own up to as my part of a difficult situation. Believe me, nothing is harder to hear than the words IF I hurt you, I am sorry. IF says it all, it tells the listener you are still on the fence about your part of the pain.
Apologizing with full understanding of my part of the equation allows healing both for myself and perhaps the person that needed me to take the first step. Reliving the past year which was fraught with pain and death is not terribly pretty as to the people that I hurt along the way. And they all know it was not with intention, but I hurt them nonetheless. Letting them know my part is all I can do now to mend and heal.
As one ages, I suspect the 44 questions of the al chet prayer become far more serious and the reflections more difficult. As I read through the list, yet again, I may need to just print and keep this near me at all times. It is after all a wonderful guide for how to live a loving life.
Yes, overall it was a year of helping and loving to the best of my abilities in any given moment, and one I am grateful to have had. It was a year of strength and pain and tears of both sadness and joy. It was a year of a life fully lived. May we all seek to live a fuller life and include a daily practice of renewal.