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Thursday, September 11, 2014

risks of self-exploration

I'm realizing more and more how hard I can be on myself.  I'll find myself thinking:
  • "That meeting could have gone better if I only..."
  •  "If I only coudl be in two places at once."
  •   "That sounds good, but it would really sound good if I could only sing it like this."
This period of self-reflection in Elul, I am increasingly aware of this trait I possess and... I'm annoyed by it.   So my goal for this day, for this moment, is to not be annoyed at myself for being self-critical. 

I can still hope and wish that things were different - even the unhealthy hopes and wishes - but I'm focusing on not feeling annoyed with myself for having these feelings.

For me, the separation between the action and my reaction to the action is an important one.  

If indeed the spark of holiness is present in each of us - that spark of God shines in our thoughts, our actions and in our missteps too.  Therefore, the act of self-reflection is doubly holy, for our actions are holy and our ability to look at ourselves in an honorably critical way makes that spark like a candle in a series of mirrors. 

Maybe these next days of Elul can help me to increase my awareness of my own feelings and help me be just a little bit clearer with the separation between being self-critical and how I react to the feelings of letting myself down.  

Cantor Seth Warner

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