It is that time of year again for Jews who believe that during the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), G-d inscribes people’s names either into the book of life, the book of death, or a third “neither here nor there” book on Rosh Hashanah. During the ten “terrible” days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, people have a chance to change their fate if they repent enough. As tradition goes, the books are sealed on Yom Kippur, and so people’s fates are sealed. What do they say gets you into the Book of Life? Charity, repentance and prayer.
I think a lot about repentance. There are many people I let down or could do better with each year. But I’ve come to the realization recently that there is one person to whom I need to apologize to this year (and maybe every year), and that’s me. We always put ourselves last when we should be first.
Let’s remember one key point here: Life is more about rewriting your story rather than writing it. In other words, if you don’t like what’s been written on your page, tear it out or erase it and start over. You are not stuck. You can rewrite your page, your story, your day, your week or your year.
The Jews are on to something. We should be thankful that G-d puts us in the Book of Life each year. But also, we should be grateful that we received another year.
On this Yom Kippur, I have decided to focus on me. I’m continually rewriting my own story and you should too. I’m going to make space to enjoy “additional” experiences, spend time with friends and family and slow down this fast-paced ride a bit to hear the leaves rustle in the trees (although I totally enjoy my fast-paced life!).
No question—we are here to make contributions—to leave a positive footprint and do for others. But we must first be in love with, and have time for, our own footprint!
So, to my family and friends, on this holiday no matter what you believe or in whom (or even if you don’t believe), I pray that you are inscribed in the Book of Life—but, using your own ink. 🙂