October 3, 2011 | 11:33 pm
Posted by Lia Mandelbaum
For thousands of years, Jews around the globe have gathered with their communities to celebrate, observe and honor the sanctity of the High Holidays. For me, I believe that it is such an incredibly powerful time, where I gather with fellow Jews to welcome in the new year with great optimism and observe and reflect on who we are as individuals, and how we may have fallen short of being honest, kind, and honoring our dignity. While I appreciate the opportunity to walk through this process together as a community, I also feel that it is incredibly important to make this mindfulness a daily practice, and not just during the High Holidays. Being present and aware of how I engage and make an impact in my daily life is what I believe to be a life long commitment.
What had once been a huge gaping hole in my soul, each day, as I participate in my commitment to seek truth, gets filled with a sense of aliveness and love that truly cannot be described by words. Words would not do it justice. What I know is that I have experienced a taste of aliveness that I cannot get enough of that flows through my life by committing to be rigorously honest with myself. Although there are parts of situations and myself that are incredibly tough to face, I believe with every fiber in my being that it is absolutely worth walking through fear and the desire to remain in the dark. There had been a time where my unawareness imprisoned me, and I will never let myself become trapped by despair again. I had no idea who I was. These days, I am aware of my character through what my actions display.
I was thinking about how I wish I could go back in time, during some of my darkest days, to encourage myself to not feel defeated, and tell myself to have the hope that things can and will get better. The problem is that it is so tough to comprehend and pull oneself out of the darkness, because it is a process that one has to walk through to truly understand. I do think however that we have an amazing opportunity during the High Holidays, to connect with the person that we were a year ago during the last high holidays, and use our observations and wisdom to tell them that change and growth are always possible, as long as you are alive. I need to make sure to remind the present Lia, that my life is going to unfold in ways that I cannot predict, and that all I can truly do is be aware and observe the journey, live with integrity and from a place of love. I can reflect upon the times when I didn’t handle situations or interactions with others well, and acknowledge that I now know better and can handle things with more integrity and dignity.
As we enter the New Year, it is thrilling to truly know that I have an amazingly beautiful journey ahead of me, no matter what tests and struggles come my way.
Shana Tova!! May your High Holidays be transformative, enlightening, uplifting and joyous.
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