We are the clay, and life, the potter’s hands.
Life changes and shapes us into what we are throughout our lifetime. Do you remember the times you softly surrendered into the hands of change like soft clay, and allowed life to transform you? And, do you also remember how at other times your vessel cracked or broke?
Broken and mended is beautiful. Leonard Cohen, his memory a blessing, sang: “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.” The Japanese design concept called Kintsugi, repairing broken pottery with liquid metal, makes them more beautiful by highlighting the cracks and the place of mending. Rabbinic lore from 2000 years ago teaches that the broken Tablets; Moses broke when he saw the people built a golden calf and worshiped it, when he came down from Mount Sinai the first time, are kept in the Ark of the Covenant along with the second Tablets engraved with the 10 commandments.
These examples of brokenness and mending are beautiful inspirations to encourage us to embrace our brokenness, to stop hiding our humanity, mend when we can, love our scars and stop avoiding life. All brokenness, imperfections and pain are parts of our lives. Instead of spending another year afraid of making mistakes or hiding behind your scars, be daring. Find ways to embrace, accept things and mend more this year. Although we have been broken and know the pain, and are surely to break and hurt again, we cannot stop opening to the gift of this life. Yes, it’s hard. But, can we resolve to love ourselves and others, with our brokenness, scars and all and mend where we can?
As we are preparing to enter a new year. I want to remind us to not begin a new year with a list of all the ways we are not good enough, broken, wrong and disappointing. You know what I’m talking about, the practice of making New Year resolutions, in a harsh manner, aiming to fix all that is wrong and unacceptable in us.
Time to change the game. Change the approach. We make a resolutions list and soon forget our commitment to change. We feel disappointed. Adding shame and blame on top of the pile of what we already think is wrong with us, it’s not helpful. It turns out that instead of growing in self love and being helpful, the resolutions only help grow self hatred and disappointment in each passing year. Can we resolve to not use self deprecating and hating statements in an attempt to improve? How about resolving to include only resolutions that resonate as expression of the following: I love you and I care for you. We can try to apply changes, but also remember to not try so hard, guarding against causing more breaking instead of cultivating mending.
Please proceed with caution and be gently to avoid causing more harm within you and around you, even if it means not improving and stepping slowly into making big changes. Unless we all take the mendful path, choosing at each step to mend, no real healing and change will be possible.
Consider your motivations and set the right conditions to succeed. Use affirmations to bring you back to love and care and follow your intention with healthy actions to mend body, heart, mind and spirit.
I wish us all a mendful year!
I am here to help you individually and in groups, virtually, online and in person.
I look forward to connecting with you in the new year.
Love and blessings, Rabbi Sigal
Mendful living is here for you. Please join us to mend our world and ourselves too. RETREATS