Vidui* (a confession)

Here is an incomplete list of everything I am terrible at:
Saying please when I ask my children to do something
Staying present with the checkout clerk while he works hard to bag my groceries
Not judging people (shoes, mannerisms, facebook posts, life choices)
Being patient (kids, spouse, drivers (especially Prius, sorry), pedestrians)
Letting go of the idea that I’m the only one who knows the right answer so everyone should clearly just do exactly as I think/say/desire
Seeing my loved ones as precious gifts to cherish, rather than as obstacles
to my perfectly planned day
Forgiving myself

I am guilty of:
Rolling my eyes too much
Distancing myself from strangers (they are so different from me)
Laughing at racist jokes
Pettiness
Insensitivity

There is also a list of things I definitely didn’t do enough of this year:
Take a friend out for lunch
Spend time reading in my own backyard
Fight poverty and injustice
Call my mom
Hug my brother
Say thank you

There is also
that one thing
so horrible
I am too ashamed
to write it here.

I know the word sin
literally translates as
“missing the mark.”
Sometimes it seems like
I forgot to aim
even a little.

I saw a quote on the internet,
written in flourishy type,
bathed in coral and turquoise.
It said: Instead of saying “I’m sorry,”
try saying “Thank you.”

So thank you for giving me this opportunity
to remember again what this world needs.
Thank you for this time
to remember that I am a good person
who does terrible things.
Thank you again for showing me why
communing daily with Spirit matters.
Thank you for the gift of remembering
who I truly am,
what I might become,
if only I can remember
to take aim.

 

*Tonight begins Yom Kippur, a very solemn day of repentance in Judaism.  In each of the services, the Vidui prayer is recited.  Vidui is loosely translated as confession (though nothing in Judaism is as straightforward as that).  One tradition is to write out an accounting of one’s mistakes, and one’s hopes for the coming year.