This guy has a lot to repent. Then again, so had I.
Rabbi Steinsaltz writes in his book The Thirteen-petalled Rose that God created repentance before He created the world. That may sound absurd, but in the view of the Rabbis, repentance does not just bring us back to the same state as if we had not transgressed, but to a higher state.
Obviously you cannot take this to mean that we should look for opportunities to sin so we can repent. Nothing good can come from that. We are already human, after all, so there is absolutely no need to go out of our way to make mistakes. To err is human, so any one of us will find something already in our life if we reflect on ourselves. This is certain to be true.
The purpose of self-reflection and repentance is not to depress ourselves. Repentance brings joy and gratitude. Of course it does not feel good right away when we look at ourselves and think “What the hell have I been doing?”. Â If we can feel sadness at such a time, it is a grace, a gift from Heaven. But if we can repent even if we feel nothing, that is also a grace. In any case, no matter what we feel, when we realize the error of our ways, the Truth will set us free. Though sometimes we have to pent and repent until it sticks.
So yeah, I’ve been repenting. It is awesome. I am very grateful that the escalator of repentance was created, whether it was before or after the world.
If we go to bed and mysteriously cannot sleep, it may be a message from our subconscious that we need a timeout, to “commune with my heart on my bed” as the King James Bible says. Â In the past, when there was no electric light and the night was long, it was common to wake up in the middle of the night and lie in silence for a while. This is a good time to look back on the day if we have not already, and ask ourselves :
Was my day worthy of my aspiration for life and eternity? Did my mind point steadily toward my goal like a compass needle?
Humans are beings who make mistakes, so there is a good chance we made some. Â Some are small, some seem small until we get a good look at them and go OMG what the Hell was I thinking?? And if we realize that and don’t defend ourselves, then we will definitely be closer to the Light than when we started, even if we experience some sadness along the way.