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A Chance to Change

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

During the Yamin Noraim, we all yearn to change. But how many of us manage to implement changes that last until the next Rosh HaShanah? A solid approach for making lasting changes.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Change

Change often seems overwhelmingly, impossibly difficult. However, Hashem wouldn’t give us a chance to change during the Ten Days of Repentance if it wasn’t possible. Obviously, it is both possible and desirable for us to make significant changes at this time. The question is only “How?”

We all know that changing our attitudes, feelings, or behaviors is difficult. For instance, if we tend to look critically at people and situations, it seems to be extremely challenging to start finding the good in everything and everyone. Oh sure, we might improve a tiny bit by taking the problem seriously enough — if we undergo psychotherapy, attend shiurim, and/or read seforim on the subject.

But even then, the change might be superficial, barely scratching the surface of our core negativity. Can we really bring about a major change in attitude through our own efforts? The question applies equally, if not more so, to our feelings and behaviors. What does it take to get a person to react differently to life situations? What if we are sensitive by nature? Should we expect ourselves to be able to change our nature to such an extent that hurtful remarks will no longer hurt us? What is realistic? What should we be aiming for?

 

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