When I was a kid this time was almost awful to me and the word T’shuva (repentance/return) was daunting… It meant a sort of seeing how bad I am and beating myself up over it. And Rosh Hashanah meant having to come clean with G!d in a judgmental way of a parent chastising a child, and all the fear that surrounds an interaction like that. It was the same thing with Yom Kippur, but even worse… I dreaded the day, having to fast and pray all day…. Yuck!!
Now , Thank G!d, the story has changed and I so look forward to these upcoming days of deep reflection, realignment and reconnection with Source, with Ratzon Hashem (Divine Will), and my true self and true purpose in life. These truly are awesome days!!
And Elul is the gift of getting ready, a month to prepare for making Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot as powerful as they can be. And how do we do this? Through T’shuva… Return… Returning to our true selves and deep connection with Source – Where we came from and where we are truly going. It’s a wake up call, a reminder to look deeply into what has been driving us this past year, to lovingly see where we’ve been faltering, getting distracted and moving off track away from the integrity of our true selves and our personal service to the Divine unfolding of Evolution.
T’shuva is sweet… so sweet! At first it can be hard, depending how far off track we’ve gotten, but that pain of seeing where we are, that we’re out of alignment, is a gateway we must walk (or cry) through to get to the other side where the sweetness of reconnection awaits us. The pain and sadness of disconnect is actually a sign of connection… It shows us we care and we feel how real and important our relationship with Hashem is.
And once that relationship is reestablished through the pain of feeling distant we can let go of that and just revel in the bliss of knowing we’ve never actually left G!d’s side, that in fact it is impossible to leave G!d’s side…. for in truth we are infinitely connected with the Creator… And maybe part of our sadness comes from the fact that we keep forgetting this awesome truth… forgetting how infinitely united we are with Hashem. Please Creator help us remember!!!
One of the ways that helps us remember is prayer… Prayer is our big tool of T’shuva. It can help us reunite with G!d, through calling out verbally to the Divine, asking forgiveness, asking for help to remember, asking for guidance on this magical path… And also giving thanks, verbally thanking G!d for being here, for being given the chance to travel in a human body on earth, to be given the chance to consciously connect, love and serve the Divine. What an incredible, utterly off the hook gift!!! And T’shuva is the physical/spiritual/emotional process of remembering this.
And that’s why it’s so sweet, we get this chance all the time, but once a year during Elul leading up to and including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we can make it so potent, for our selves and each other. It’s perfectly set up this way, a divine gift for us… Let’s revel in it and do whatever we can to make it the most powerful and meaningful time, practice, and process possible… Because we are here and we are alive!!