"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly"- Buddha.
This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Perel. Insightful, compassionate, intelligent, funny, and loving (among much, much more), Perel has inspired and motivated me during my time at the EDU. She is a beautiful woman and has so much to offer to the world, and I look forward to her successes as she recreates a life for herself at home. Perel, I miss you!
As the high holy day arrives, I look back on the past year and recall my accomplishments and proudest moments as well as my no-so-proud moments and mistakes. I loved, cared for, and gave to others with genuine empathy. However, I also hurt, betrayed, and lied to others and to myself. I ask those whom I have harmed in any way to forgive me and I thank those whom have stayed by my side through thick and thin (no pun intended!). I've mentioned it before and will again, I have the most incredible family and friends anyone could ask for and I'm not sure they realize how grateful and appreciative I am for their commitment to our relationship, despite my faults. I also want to thank those who once were but are no longer a part of my life. I have learned so much from each and every person in my life and I would not be the person I am today without you. I especially want to apologize to those I may have hurt or offended. I hope you can forgive me as I am constantly working to be a better person. Yes, I realize I'm not perfect and I'm learning that it's impossible to ever reach an omnipotent status-- that's what God is for, right?
My mind processes thoughts in extremities, which only prompts self-inflicting harm. As I feel stuck in the recovery process, I tend to go backwards before forward. It's like stretching a rubber band. As it's pulled apart it stretches until it won't any further, then it snaps back. Why am I stuck? I'm not genuinely motivated, and I can admit that now. It's taken four failed weekends to accept this with embarrassment and disappointment in myself. Wait, back up. I didn't 'fail' per say, I struggled. Another example of extreme thinking relates to my thoughts in extremities, including the "should" and expectations. I should have done better during the weekend. I should be motivated to get better. I should be farther along in the recovery process. I should ask others to forgive my mistakes. I think it's time to challenge this thought through self interrogation (go with it):
Interrogator in myself: What standard do I compare my expectations with? Certainly, not God's.
Negative-Nancy in myself: But I've been working so hard and I'm getting nowhere.
Interrogator: You've made great progress, you're just too hard on yourself and over analyze.
Negative-Nancy: Why do I not want to get better? Why am I not further along in the recovery process?
Interrogator: What makes your case so special and unique? Why should you be making greater progress than the other girls? What sets your case apart from the rest?
Negative-Nancy: I don't know. Because I feel guilty and angry at myself for having the disorder and frustrated I'm not motivated to get rid of Ed-- for good.
Interrogator: Yet, you don't blame others for their disorders. You don't believe they purposefully brought Ed into their lives.
Why are our own minds so illogical? We can see progress in others, recognize their disillusioned thoughts, and give advice, yet for some reason we have trouble practicing what we're preaching. For some reason we are too hard on ourselves.
This Yom Kippur, I will not only ask others to forgive me but I will forgive myself. I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I will work on acceptance as I strive for self-love and inner peace. I will try to not over-exaggerate or over-analyze my mistakes and faults. I will also ask God to forgive me for the mistakes I will make during the upcoming year. And lastly, I will make a promise to myself. I vow to diligently work on awareness and try to not fret about the past or worry about the future. I will strive to forget the "shoulds" and focus on the "what is."
Chag Sameach to my fellow Jews. I hope you have a safe and easy fast tomorrow.