A Day of Atonement

This evening, at sundown, begins the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. This is a day of atonement, to have God forgive us for our transgressions against God. Many of us also reach out to ask those who we care about to forgive us as well. We ask for forgiveness for any hurt or pain we may have caused. We ask for forgiveness if we did not do enough to help someone who needed our help. We ask for forgiveness if we neglected to help. We ask for forgiveness.

On this Yom Kippur, I ask for all to live in a state of love, understanding and forgiveness. I have found that the divide of the country, the unrest of inequality and the shadow of over 200,000 deaths in a modern country have overcome so many conversations, and relationships. It is difficult to move through life living from the heart with all the conflict, and lack of listening to understand. Too often, people, me included, are focused on trying to convince others of their point of view. Too often, people, me included, are not nice about their opinion and say things that are hurtful or use a tone that is hurtful. I recently had someone say something so appalling on a social media post that I deleted the entire post. I did that because I didn’t want anyone to see what this person said. I didn’t want people that person loved to see the vile commentary. I no longer wanted to see it. I don’t want to change my opinion about the person, although it has permanently damaged how I feel. I have family who has posted things that completely hurt my heart, they have attacked in a vile way what I stand for. Yet, I am working to not only forgive that but to move on from it without letting them know what I feel.

All of this weighs on my heart as I move into this day of Atonement. I will ask God for forgiveness in my judgements of these individuals, in my anger toward these individuals and help me to love. But given the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, I am asking God to atone for taking my Dad when he wasn’t ready. I am asking forgiveness for all that I laid in God’s hands, for the times I chose not to believe in God, and for the times I lost faith.

To all of you, I ask for forgiveness, love and understanding. I ask that my moments where I have lacked good judgement, moments when I have said cruel things, moments when I chose to not be available, are forgiven, with the knowledge that I understand what I did or say. I understand the pain I may cause.

There are moments in life, especially in this challenging year, when you must look at yourself and remember who you strive to be and work to become to that person again. A person who you love when you look at your reflection and not a person with whom you struggle. I have cleaned up the relationship with myself, and do love who I have become. As I always say though, life is a Cha-Cha, you take steps forward, side-to-side and backwards. I ask that you forgive my backwards steps as I forgive my backwards steps and we continue this dance together.

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