During this month of Virgo (Elul), the traditional practice of teshuvah asks us to reflect upon where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. While teshuvah is sometimes referred to as a practice of repentance, the word actually translates to the idea of “returning.” The purpose of teshuvah is to help us recognize where we’ve made mistakes so that we can right ourselves for the year ahead.
Kabbalah clarifies the source of our missteps and errors is a result of a break in our connection with the Light of the Creator. But we can reclaim our best selves and repair those wrongs by restoring the Light at the places where the channel was broken. Rav Berg considered teshuvah a form of time travel–one that was practiced by kabbalists long before science (or science fiction) even entertained the notion!
Amending those lost or blocked connections invites more Light for us to share in the present and carry into the future.
Have we done or said something to hurt someone else?
We can bring in the Light through heartful, honest communication with the person we hurt.
Did we inflict pain upon ourselves through a bad habit, a misdirected decision, or a self-defeating attitude?
We can revisit the error and replace it with a new, better way of being with ourselves.
Maybe we owe ourselves an apology, and, from that place of self-forgiveness, we become better equipped for positive change–be it in our lifestyle, our mindset, or our practice of self-love.
Now, in the spirit of teshuvah, or returning, I’d like to invite you to ‘return to’ some of my past writings on the topic. Here are a few:
Teshuvah is a pilgrimage back to the source of spiritual energy that is available to all of us. It is a practice that can benefit the entire world by multiplying the power of the Light, one person, and one channel at a time.
And in the presence of great Light, darkness doesn’t stand a chance.