Moon Over Maui

A Jewish Mystical Journey through the Year

Forgiving Myself

Written By: Jueli Garfinkle - Sep• 09•11

The Elul moon is nearly at full illumination. Each evening, its incremental increase of light shines into my pumping heart

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. I wonder what I am holding onto and what I can let go of this year. Some ideas come rapidly. Others surface only once I’m certain that my judging critical self isn’t present.

A central theme of Elul is forgiveness. And though I know it is essential to ask for and seek forgiveness from others, a different need has bubbled to the surface. Under this Elul moon, healing is in forgiving myself.

For years, I’ve worked the same forgiveness muscles. My paternal thread—father and an accumulation of male teachers—always stakes out top territory, followed rapidly by more recent hurts and betrayals. And though each round awakens more acceptance and awareness, I’m struck from year to year that they haven’t yet completely healed.

This moon, however, all intimations point to me. As I’ve made the time to again gently explore what mars my essential state, needs to be revisited, let go of, healed, I hear my heart yearning to forgive myself.

To be gentle and compassionate. To understand and accept myself, all of me. To celebrate every experience, each breath, past and present. Even those that make me shutter. Even those I may not ever understand.

During the Elul moon, the Divine is intimate and close. Not something outside me, but within me. That presence is always available; but during the moon of Elul it
is even more accessible. Like a dearest friend who lives in another time zone, a plane ride away, but travels once a year to sit and sip tea and hear intimately about your deepest experiences, your truest feelings, your deafening wishes and aspirations. During Elul, God is this accessible.

Make time to talk or write or whisper to God this moon. Now. Pour forth from your heart your truth. Be surprised by what bubbles (or erupts) to the surface. Allow it to move through you, within you, to guide you.

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One Comment

  1. Judy F says:

    Very moving, Jueli, miss you tons but feel so close when I read your words. Post today struck a major chord.

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