This is the beginning of the month of Elul, the month that precedes the holiday-packed month of Tishrei. It is now that we begin sounding the shofar daily, signaling that it is the time to prepare for the transformation we hope to make in the coming year. First we must look into our spiritual mirror and honestly at ourselves. We need to engage in a "soul searching" that reveals ways in which we hold ourselves back, act out of fear and close ourselves off to different ways of seeing our role within this world. This isn't an occupation review. It is about how you do, not what you do. There are a few questions to consider in this process:
How are we living up to being made in the image of God and seeing others as made in the divine image as well? How can we be our most generous selves? Do we give others the benefit of the doubt? How do we feel and express gratitude? Do we see the wonder in our world? How do we alleviate the pain others may feel? How do we support our community? How do we pursue justice?
If we find, while gazing in that spiritual mirror, that the image of ourselves reflected back doesn't yet match our aspirations, each day gives us an opportunity to come closer to it.
by JoHanna Potts