Hello readers! I hope that you are having a magnificent high holy days! I have been beyond blessed.
For any of my readers who are learning about the feasts, I’ll briefly explain to you what’s going on. Last week Jews from all over the world observed Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year or Feasts of Trumpets. The next holiday is Yom Kippur. This is a time of fasting, repentance, and reflection. After that we celebrate Sukkot and I will explain that to you in several weeks. This is an intimate time of seeking G-d.
Between the time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we have a ceremomy called Tashlikh. At this ceremomy you physically cast your sins into a body of water using bread. It is an easy task but yet sentimental.
As anyone who observes the feasts does, I have been reflecting about the lifestyle I have led this past year. Many of my friends have told me that I have changed this year. I have been able to see a difference myself. The truth is, all of my life, but especially the past four years of my life, has been a roller coaster! I have changed so much because life required me to. I have done some things that I didn’t think I would ever do (good and bad) and people have done and said things to me that I would never have dreamt of. I have gotten to know some amazing individuals and have physically and emotionally said goodbye to some of them. If I compare last year to the past three, life hasn’t really changed that much, but I have.
What I have done differently sounds simple but is yet so complex at the same time. The first thing that I have done is realized that the way others have hurt me was not my fault. I still recognize what others have done to me was wrong but I forgiven them, and more importantly I have forgiven myself. I no longer carry those burdens of the pain of questioning ‘why me?’ I can now answer that question of ‘why me?’ because I am strong, that’s why. I look back on the past sins I’ve committed and don’t look at them as regrets but opportunities to learn from my mistakes because I cannot ‘go back’ and undo what I have already done. Honestly, I am not sure if I would want to because I think overcoming my mistakes has helped shape who I have become.
The next part seems simple and it is. I am learning not to compare my abilities, looks, and testimony to others. Girls compare themselves to other girls constantly! We always compare the physical beauty of others but when we do that we deny the G-d given beauty that we have individualy. We physically don’t compare to anyone else. Why don’t we see this as being SPECIAL instead of always trying to measure up to the physical ‘standard’ of beauty?
I love fashion but when I go shopping I don’t look at the pictures of the models hung on the walls and windows. When I do that I unconsciously start to compare myself to that picture, but that is crazy to do because the picture isn’t even REAL. That picture has digital alterations! My dad is a graphic artist and photographer and I know what photoshopped pictures consist of. I am my dad’s practice model and sometimes he adds the photos of me on social media. Most of the time someone will comment something along the lines of, “Your daughter is beautiful.” Let me tell you something, almost every picture that he adds of me has been digitally enhanced.
I stay away from media that can be harmful or triggering to my walk with G-d or mental health. If I am tired of being down all of the time (because of a chemical imbalance), how in the world would it be a good idea to watch media that can trigger worse thoughts? As much as I love watching lovey dovey dramas, I can’t do that on some days. I have lastly learned how to say no to helping others when I can’t handle it. It is hard for me to do but in years past when I have gone into deep anxiety/depression it was when I was trying to ‘save’ everyone. It became too much to deal with. I can pray, but sometimes I just have to take a step back and say, “I’m sorry but I can’t be there for you this time.”
Here is my short list. I want to thank everyone who has prayed for me and helped get me to the place that I am today. I cannot list everyone by name because honestly I have no idea who has prayed. For the first time in a long time, I am proud of the way I am walking with G-d. I have not been living a perfect life but He is helping me strive to be the best that can become. I challenge you to reflect on the person that you were a year ago and compare it to the one that you are today. Be blessed.