Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Many Jews all over the world are at synagogues, in front of a prayer book and reading a list of atone-worthy sins written by... some guy. I'm usually there too, reading along, lightly pounding on my chest and struggling to think about how these sins relate to me. I believe in reflection, and I can see how stopping to atone can be a good reset to set us back on the right path. But I've started to wonder if reflecting on a list of sins written by some faraway person is really the best path toward improvement on things that actually matter to me.
This year I have decided to take an inward journey on the theme of atonement. I haven't coveted anyone's wife, or stolen any bushels of wheat from my neighbor this year, but I've certainly betrayed myself and my values in plenty of ways.
Here are the shortcomings and misdoings I am showing up to repent for today:
- I have looked to others for guidance when I should have looked within.
- I took care of others when I should have taken care of myself.
- I took responsibility for others' feelings.
- I neglected my body with lack of physical movement.
- I neglected my body with lack of physical pleasure.
- I neglected my body with lack of nourishing food.
- I rushed.
- I was short with people I love.
- I spoke before thinking.
- I acted out of fear.
- I acted out of imagined scarcity.
- I concealed the truth for selfish reasons.
- I said yes when I should have said no.
- I did things so others would think I was cool.
For these and all other sins, I repent.