Return to Me, by Rabbi Yael Levy

The One of Infinite Possibilities calls: Return to me and I will return to you. (Zecaria 1:3)

The Unfolding of All Life sings: “Return to reverent relationship with yourself, with each other, with the majesty of creation.  Return to your beauty and light.  Let yourself shine.”

The soul hesitates, afraid of its imperfections, shamed by mistakes and misdeeds.  And the Mystery continues to call: “You are loved for exactly who you are.  Return to me and I will return to you.” 

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, our tradition urges us to look into our hearts, our minds and our bodies, and to see our beauty and goodness.  To lift our eyes to all the good we have done this year, to acknowledge the offerings we have made, and the generosity and kindness we have bestowed.  To raise up these sparks and let them shine.  We are also urged to look into the hearts of others and to call forth their beauty and light.  To acknowledge and name the goodness in others, and the ways we have lived well, created connection and brought forth love.  The tradition teaches that acknowledging the good in ourselves is an act of teshuvah—an act of turning.  We call ourselves to return to our best selves by recognizing the ways in which we have acted for love and blessing.

Return to me and I will return to you.

Return to reverent, loving, relationship through gratitude, through awe. 

Return through compassion.

During this last week of the year we are encouraged to reach out to each other in appreciation.  The tradition urges us to take time to thank people who have been helpful to us this year, to thank those who have been guides or teachers and who have walked with us in our pain and in our joy.

And the tradition urges us to cultivate awe, to notice and name the miracles of life, to be awake to the movement of time.  To give thanks for the gifts we have been given and wonder at the mysteries of creation.  

And we are urged to call forth compassion, to remember that each of us are complex beings who carry pain and hurt, fear and gladness.  To remember that we are all doing the best we can in each moment.  We all fall short.  We all go astray.  This is part of the design of life.  And we call each other back to our best selves, to our most loving selves through compassion and understanding. 

Return to me and I will return to you.

This call goes forth from the heart of creation—the invitation back into loving relationship with each other and all life. 

May we walk into 5773 with generosity and wonder. 

May we cross the threshold of the New Year calling forth the beauty in ourselves and each other. 

May our turning, may our teshuvah, be a dance that lights up the world, bringing benefit and blessing to all beings.

Rabbi Yael Levy is the  founder and spiritual leader of A Way In: Center for Jewish Mindfulness.   A Way In integrates the wisdom of Jewish tradition and mindfulness practice to inspire generosity, awareness and compassion.  

http://mishkan.org/a-way-in
http://www.facebook.com/jmindfulness