The design of this season compels us to forgive,
to open our hearts, and sometimes to re-experience wounds.
Some of us have suffered profound trauma,
at the hand of parents, partners, or friends,
They might be fresh bruises
or from many years ago –
They bubble below the surface, having been pushed away,
but now re-emerge,
in the quiet or the music or the prayers.
Amidst the urgent pleadings of these days,
to wipe the slate clean and start anew,
some of us are not sure of the path forward.
To the woman who has been violated
and to the man whose spirit has been beaten down,
And to anyone with a broken heart or a crushed soul
who might not be quite ready to forgive:
Take your time.
Sometimes the timetable of these holy days
doesn’t match the rhythm of your heart and soul.
Sometimes our devoted prayers get intermingled with inner voices not quite resolved:
“maybe it wasn’t all that bad”
“just let go”
“let bygones be bygones”
“be the bigger person” or
“maybe I’m being too sensitive.”
love yourself enough
your own timing.
Be patient enough to
stay in the place of
Trust that you will find your way,
that you will come to a time
where holding on
hurts more than letting go.
Forgive yourself for not being ready – yet.
Give yourself the time and space
to go at your own pace,
to love yourself right where you are and as you are.
From that place of acceptance,
May you have faith that the path forward will open up.
Rabbi Jill Berkson Zimmerman