September 29, 2017
Hello, my dear friends!
Last week, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah. There are so many beautiful symbolic messages for all of us in this Holy Day... especially for those in recovery. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe...a time to reflect on our actions from the past year, and to seek forgiveness from our HP. It is a time of repentance (sincere regret or remorse) and forgiveness of sins. It is interesting that the Hebrew word for sin is "chet" which is derived from an old archery term used when an archer "missed the mark". A critical part of Rosh Hashanah is making amends for our errors, our faults, and the hurts we have caused.
So...it's a time to take an inventory, admit our wrongs, seek forgiveness, make amends...in a sincere, meaningful, sacred way...in the "Presence of G-d.” It is asking for, and offering, forgiveness. And finally, it is the commitment to G-d and self to change for the better to become a better person.
The spiritual "processes" of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Day of fasting and forgiveness; day 10) are found in our Steps 4,5,6,7,8 and 9. These life-changing action steps help us to change for the better.
Rabbi Mark left us readings and some lovely prayers. One of them was this reading:
"Your Book of Life doesn't begin today, on Rosh Hashanah. It began when you were born. Other people wrote some of the chapters: your parents, siblings, and teachers. Parts of your book were crafted out of experiences you had because of other people's decisions: where you lived, what schools you went to, what your homes were like. But the message of Rosh Hashanah, the anniversary of the creation of the world, is that everything can be made new again, that much of your book is written every day—you get to edit it, decide what parts you want to emphasize and remember, and choose what parts you want to leave behind. Shanah tovah means good year and good change. Today you can change...it's never too late."
I just love this! We should all write our own Book of Life...what we are leaving behind, what is meaningful, what good changes we plan to make...what we forgive... and what we will give.
Here is a beautiful quote about Light:
"As long as the candle burns—as long as the spark of life still shines—we can mend and heal, seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and begin again."
I have small tea lights for each patient to help them remember their own spark of life. Yom Kippur concluded with an evening of memory of those we have lost and deeply miss. These lights can be used for this purpose too.
Questions for reflection:
What awarenesses came to you today?
What are your deepest regrets?
How can you mend regrets, past mistakes?
Would you like to share your "Book of Life"?
What good changes are you going to make?
Do you believe that it's never too late to begin again? How can your HP help?
Can sincere regret be helpful in your recovery? How?
Why is self-forgiveness not selfish? Why not forgive yourself? (what is pay off?)
Who can you support today who really needs to forgive themselves?
Do you sincerely want to change for the better?
What does your relationship with your HP have to do with your ability to change for the better?
The Promises tell us: "...we will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."
This is change for the better...sincerely feeling the impact of our wrong doing, making the amends, and then being able to help others because of our experiences.
How blessed are we!