Forgiveness From the Inside Out
I had the honor and pleasure of studying with Rabbi Shefa Gold this summer and was transfixed and transformed by her practice of sacred chant and energy embodiment. Part of this practice included building our individual and collective Mishkan (tabernacle) from the inside out as well as examining the deepest pain and devastations in our own lives. From this place of self knowledge and discomfort, came the rebirth and fortification of my inner strength and ability to hold space for others, which ultimately helps me to be better leader, a better partner, friend and human being.
Self forgiveness, for me, is a great challenge at this time of year. Beating myself up for not living up to the expectations of myself and others takes up a lot of space in my head! The practices I learned from Reb Shefa have enabled me to clear negative energy from my spirit and open my heart to grace and acceptance of everyone, just the way they are.
Another incredible class I took over the summer was Midrash (filling in the question marks of the Torah) with Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel. It opened a window for me into the deepest reflections and understandings of the stories and characters in the Torah in ways I had never imagined. My work in forgiveness of self intersected with Midrash and I expressed it through writing, in several poems, which ultimately helped me to cope with the complexities of relationships and imperfections we all share.
My prayer for all of us during this month of Elul and Holy Day Season is that we accept our imperfections in ourselves and others and celebrate them as holy. Just like our ancestors, we learn from our mistakes and seek grace through the Immanence of the Eternal. From that place of forgiveness flow the cleansing waters of compassion and ultimate love for others.