Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Free to Fly

Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M. Ed., C. Psych.

This time of year brings a chance to clean the slate, to start anew. We want to forgive and forget, and have our own wrongdoings forgiven and forgotten. We dream of starting fresh, stepping happily into a future that’s unencumbered by the baggage from the past. But how can we get rid of the ballast that’s weighing us down?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On Yom Kippur, Hashem offers us a glorious opportunity as He cleans us of our sins, rendering us “as white as snow.” Unfortunately, we have trouble accepting it. How many minutes pass after the final shofar blowing before we find ourselves sliding? Almost immediately there’s bickering and stress, relationships colored by previous battles and unhealed wounds. Time to break the fast. I’m tired, weak, and irritable. But the babies don’t care — they carry on with their usual demands. The older kids want food RIGHT NOW and my husband is nowhere to be found. Even though I spent the day reflecting on my faults and shortcomings, determined to finally overcome them, I immediately start snapping at everyone. When my husband finally shows up, so do the decades-old disappointment and frustration. I’m still abandoned, still neglected — and still mad about it. You wouldn’t want to break the fast with us! Removing the baggage of the past is an essential part of healing the present. Superficial, “it’s a new day” self-improvement programs that don’t address the past tend to fail when it comes to our most significant relationships. Pain incurred through interactions with loved ones — parents, children, spouses, and siblings — has a way of resurfacing no matter how intent we are on starting fresh. Even wounds incurred by friends, colleagues, bosses, community members, or others continue to ooze into our consciousness despite our desire to move on. When we ask Hashem to help us heal so that we can actually forgive these people wholeheartedly, we need to be working on that healing ourselves.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you