#blogElul 2017 – Day 13: Remember*

Don’t think too much of myself
Don’t think too little of myself.

Patience truly is a virtue
I need it.

Gratitude/Hakarat Ha’tov*
I am grateful for God
I am grateful to God.

Compassion is instinctual
Not toward myself.

Equanimity/Menuchat Ha’nefesh*
Being on an even keel
I can’t swim, much less sail.

Honoring is easy
Except in the midst of rage.

To live simply is a dream
Chaos rules my brain.

My soul is filled with generosity
Except toward my self.

Truth is subjective
I try to live it by my definition.

A trait I am blessed with
Except in extremis.

I trust God, not humans
This needs work.

My faith in God is steadfast
My faith in myself is nil.


To breathe.Mussar-rec-flyer-middle-680x219.png

*A bit of explanation – I have chosen to focus on 12 of the “essential” soul traits that are studied and looked to in the Jewish practice of Mussar. Mussar has its roots in the 10th century, but became more known in the mid-19th century because of the work of Rabbi Israel Salanter. One of the central tenets of Mussar is that each of us is born a pure soul – not having, but being one – but through living in this world, our soul traits become unbalanced. Mussar is the work of balancing our soul traits over time, and raising ourselves closer to reaching our pure souls again. (This is my very rough paraphrasing – for a better introduction and explanation, click here.)

Once again, I’m participating in #blogElul, which I have followed for a few years. In past years, I’ve found it helpful as I ponder and reflect in the month before the High Holidays – Yamim Noraim. Check out some of the amazing themed posts geared around the work and joy of Elul – of introspection and reflection in the days leading to the High Holy Days (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read prior years’ #blogElul posts via the Elul tag.

About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
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