Last Wednesday at our meditation service we began the journey of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  It was a wonderful time of reflection, forgiveness and accountability blanketed in silence, chanting and self examination.

rosh-hashanahRosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the High Holy Days for the Jewish people and is sometimes known as the Days of Atonement, or the Days of Repentance.  It is a time for serious introspection where the Jewish people consider the mistakes of the previous year, take stock of things they have done or not done, and make amends where needed.

The Jewish people believe that God has books that He writes our names in, determining what kind of life we will have in the coming year.   The actions the Jews take in the previous year and especially at the Holy Days determine which book their name will be written in.  It sounds a lot like cause and effect to me.  The thoughts, actions, and feelings of our past will always determine our future.

In Unity we talk a lot about the power of forgiveness but from the perspective of offering forgiveness.  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are about asking for forgiveness as a means of cleaning up old energy that might keep us from having the full experience of God in our lives.  Today I offer a 5 step forgiveness process I use called the “I’s” of forgiveness.  I call them the “I’s” because at the end of the day, I am the only one responsible for what book I am written in; whether it be the book of your heart, my heart, or the heart of God, I am responsible.

  1. Inventory – Purview the landscape of my life and take stock of anything I may or may not have said or done that has hurt another.
  2. Identify – Who do I need to approach to ask for forgiveness.
  3. Inquire – Acknowledge the hurt and then ask for forgiveness.
  4. Indemnity – Offer a plan to compensate for any loss.
  5. Incorporate – Weave into the fabric of my life, a new consciousness and commitment to not repeat the same mistake.

As we all make our way through these five steps let us wish each other the traditional greeting of Rosh Hashanah, “May you be sealed for a good year in the book of life.”  I will add to that.  May you be sealed for a good year in the book of your heart. May you be sealed for a good year in the book of my heart.  Namaste.

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