The past 24 hours I have been observing the holiday of Yom Kippur. In the Jewish religion Yom Kippur is a holiday of repentance. It is when, for one day, we are forced to look back on the past year and ask for forgiveness for any transgressions that we have committed. In order to truly get in the right mindset you are supposed to fast- no food, or water. My family has always been technology free as well. It allows us to really step away from the busy world around us and breathe, and think. This holiday is about complete immersion in one’s own thoughts. You are not supposed to feel comfortable in your own skin, you are not supposed to wear makeup or even try and look nice, you are supposed to get right down to it and force yourself to come clean.
When I think about the past year, I can think of a hundred small things I wish I had done differently. I wish I hadn’t yelled at my dad that one time, or spoken behind a friend's back. I wish I hadn’t lied about completing that homework assignment or not given my full attention to someone when they needed it. What was so much harder for me to admit to myself was that I owed myself an apology and not just others. Because, despite the wrongdoings I have committed against others, I have also done so much worse to myself. There are times when I degrade myself, subject myself to unnecessary pain, suffering and stress. There are moments where I feel my own hatred descending upon me and it’s exhausting. My brain deserves better. My body deserves better. I deserve better. During services, I repented and asked for forgiveness from the people in my life who I acknowledged I wronged, but I also looked inward and asked myself for forgiveness. If there is only one thing I can change about myself over the next year it is that I will try to be better towards myself. It will not be easy and I will most likely fail on several occasions but any progress is good progress and I’m ready for the challenge.