S‘lichot is a Jewish holy day which provides a stopping point in the Hebrew calendar, to reflect (as many Jewish holy days do). The particular purpose of reflection on S’lichot, however, is one of forgiveness. On this day, one is to reflect on one’s deeds of the previous year and honestly assess how one has shown up in the world and where one might have transgressed or “missed the mark” in thought or deed. Following one’s reflection, it is then incumbent upon one to do teshuvah, or make amends for one’s actions by seeking forgiveness. Teshuvah also can be translated as “returning”. And in a very true sense, by seeking forgiveness, one is actually returning to the truth of who one is ~ a being of love.
In that light, I wrote a note of apology to my physiology for how poorly I have treated “me” over the past year. That was to be my entry for this week, and then, I decided I could probably circle a little closer to the “grit” of truth that is my life these days.
In truth, I struggle daily with my physical being. I used to think that it was merely my appearance that caused me grief, though that is certainly a large part of it, it is certainly not the whole of the story. I am learning that years of violating my own being with thoughts and words of disdain has cost me dearly. These thoughts and words go somewhere. As a result of my seemingly “harmless” jabs towards myself, now life is serving up a big dose of “Hello negative energy, I have found you in my flesh!” My body has aches and pains that have manifested from treating it as though it was “other”, not my own precious vessel.
How did I get here? Lugging a body around that feels like someone else’s? I believe I started out feigning mild words of humility when someone would complement me as a child. (I was taught not to let compliments go to my head.) I would deflect. Pushing the love away. But as time went on, I started to really believe these words I was saying about myself, and began to look at myself with very critical eyes.
And so, here I am today ~ at the beginning of an intentional journey of recovery, mending that which is broken with the only true salve available ~ love.
Step one ~ I am creating awareness around my behavior with the intention of minimizing the damaging thoughts and words I use toward myself.
How about you? Are you in?
With wishes for WholeIness,