Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shedding Tears for the New Year

September 13 through 15 are the dates for Jewish New Year.  It is a solemn time of prayers and an opportunity to become the person that we dream of being.  Yet, even with the seriousness of the day, it is a time of delicious, festive meals that have sweet foods to signify a sweet new year together with family and friends.  We are to dress nicely and still have enjoyment from the day. There is a joy to becoming renewed.

The idea of becoming a newer, updated version of our self requires that we let go of old, useless habits and beliefs.  It is hard to let go because we may feel such remorse and shame or we may feel we need the old way to survive.  However, until we acknowledge that we have to let something go, something new and beautiful cannot replace it.  Sometimes we are forced to let something go because of life circumstances like a milestone or a death.  Still, we have to trust that something new will fill the void.

The New Year presents a huge opportunity for growth as well as exposing our vulnerability.  The words in the prayer book help to articulate the process.  However, sometimes words are not enough.  There is a part of us that cannot even speak.  This is where the tears come in.  Tears represent the deepest emotions we feel but are beyond words.  Tears also present us in our most vulnerable state, a state people prefer to hide and share with those closest to them or when the situation is very raw.  Crying before God and others signifies our complete openness and vulnerability.  It is at this point, we know we have to let something go and allow a new way of being. 

Interestingly, tears have been shown to make people feel better (if they are with supportive people) and release certain feel good hormones.  Let the tears flow and support others when their tears flow, and we will make room for us to become a new creation.  After all, the Jewish New Year is the anniversary of the creation of man, and the energy is there to support it whether you are Jewish or not.  While there is a special sense of flow and support at this time, we always have the freedom and power to make a new choice.

Stay healthy & well,

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