Self-destruct (reblogging)

I was born into an era when fear and relief played equal roles in the minds of many. Fourteen years of wartime rationing had only ended a few years before and the memories of that bloody conflict were still fresh in the minds, hearts and bodies of every adult, many of whom had also lived […]

via Self-destruct — Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

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#blogElul 2017 – Day 13: Remember*

Humility/Anavah*blogelul+2017
Don’t think too much of myself
Don’t think too little of myself.

Patience/Savlanut*
Patience truly is a virtue
I need it.

Gratitude/Hakarat Ha’tov*
I am grateful for God
I am grateful to God.

Compassion/Rachamim*
Compassion is instinctual
Not toward myself.

Equanimity/Menuchat Ha’nefesh*
Being on an even keel
I can’t swim, much less sail.

Honor/Kavod*
Honoring is easy
Except in the midst of rage.

Simplicity/Histapkut*
To live simply is a dream
Chaos rules my brain.

Generosity/Nedivut*
My soul is filled with generosity
Except toward my self.

Truth/Emet*
Truth is subjective
I try to live it by my definition.

Lovingkindness/Chesed*
A trait I am blessed with
Except in extremis.

Trust/Bitachon*
I trust God, not humans
This needs work.

Faith/Emunah*
My faith in God is steadfast
My faith in myself is nil.

…Finally:

Remember
To breathe.Mussar-rec-flyer-middle-680x219.png


*A bit of explanation – I have chosen to focus on 12 of the “essential” soul traits that are studied and looked to in the Jewish practice of Mussar. Mussar has its roots in the 10th century, but became more known in the mid-19th century because of the work of Rabbi Israel Salanter. One of the central tenets of Mussar is that each of us is born a pure soul – not having, but being one – but through living in this world, our soul traits become unbalanced. Mussar is the work of balancing our soul traits over time, and raising ourselves closer to reaching our pure souls again. (This is my very rough paraphrasing – for a better introduction and explanation, click here.)


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

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#blogElul 2017 – Day 12: Count

Too many times blogelul+2017
My child couldn’t count on me
To hold my temper
To count to ten.

Too many times
My spouse couldn’t count on me
To not snap
To take a breath.

Too many times
Drivers who got in my way
Couldn’t count on me
To be a civilized human being.

Too many times
I forgot to breathe
To count to ten
To hold my temper.

Too many times
I couldn’t count on myself
To live up to my values
To be – just to be.

 

nptpr

 


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

 

 

 

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#blogElul 2017 – Day 11: Trust

I like to think of myself blogelul+2017
as trustworthy, a stalwart
ally, omnipresent in times
of need.

Truth be told
too many times
my actions have eroded
others’ trust in me.

How can one have faith
in a sibling, a parent,
a spouse, a friend
whose rage runs amok?

 

Apologies – though sincere –
become meaningless when
tantrums aren’t tempered
over time.

Please God, guide my steps
away from ferocity and fury
to a place of peace within
and without.

Please God –
let this be my year.

01-Signs-Your-Baby-Trusts-You_comfort_504858712_CasarsaGuru


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

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#blogElul 2017 – Day 10: Forgive

If asking for forgiveness during blogelul+2017
these holy days leading to even
holier days is a requirement
is there meaning in the act?

Isn’t it more honorable to apologize
close to the event where one has
hurt someone instead of racking up
brownie points with God?

Does the blanket “please forgive
me if I’ve done something
to hurt you” pass muster with
God during the Yamim Noraim?

Intent matters – deeply
caring about the harm one has
done to another is an essential
part of asking for forgiveness.

f5f37ac41cd2fb139bcefa7d5a5ef5ff--cheater-quotes-im-sorry

I have tried to apologize when
I have done damage to another
but sometimes I am not aware
of the injury I have inflicted.

Most often this is the case for me
when the suffering is to self
when the wound goes too deep
for a mere “sorry” to salve the soul.

In this sacred season I apologize
to my soul for the anguish and
self-loathing I have administered
to it this past year (and more).

My intent is pure, my contrition
sincere, my covenant to cease
this destructive behavior is made
before self and God.

Ken y’hi ratzon.  (May it be Your will.)

 


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

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#blogElul 2017 – Elul 9: See

There is seeing blogelul+2017
and there is seeing.
Glancing versus observing.
Scanning versus scrutinizing.

In moments of anger/angst
I have avoided, evaded
eluded, deluded
but rarely, if ever, denuded.

Viewing rage’s effects only on self
is an empty exercise
creating a chasm of self-condoling
lacking in lovingkindness.

AdobeStock_122981584

 

I have wreaked enough havoc
squandered enough trust
caused enough pain
broken enough hearts.

It is time to open my eyes
forswear shuttered lids
acknowledge my actions
and atone.

 


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

Posted in Elul, Grieving, Jewish, Judaism, Poems, self-loathing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#blogElul 2017 – Day 8: Hear

blogelul+2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It starts in my ears Poipu-Beach-photo
the slow rush of waves
gentle and softly soothing
lulling me into pseudo-safety.

Sound begins to pound
expropriating attention
crashing into consciousness
alerting the amygdala.

The storm of sensation
sparks “fight or flight”4467333725_19e86c5133_b
but the only flight I feel
is a flight to fight.

In a matter of seconds
a tsunami rages within
bursts forth inexorably
destroying all in its path.

Is there a divergent way
away from the amygdala
hearing that first soft sound
and heeding its warning?

Pondering possibilities
rethinking reactivity
considering choices
I drift off to sleep.

 


Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

Posted in Elul, Healing, Jewish, Judaism, Poems | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment