When I was younger, I thought of atoning as primarily dark. It was about apologizing for actions I’d already taken, with the promise of betterment should the situation arise again. Making amends. Sometimes I’d grasp for things to apologize for, some years I’d have a list prepared. Oh the college years!
I’m not very religious. But I always participate in Jewish High Holiday traditions, and will always buy Chanukah presents. I don’t go to temple (unless to watch my nieces sing) or belong to a congregation, but I do my own thing. Maybe not as conventional, but it feels more authentic.
As I was doing my Rosh Hashanah hike and throwing Atonement rocks over Runyon Canyon, I began to see the beauty in all of it for the first time. I’d of course known the loveliness of renewal and beginning a New Year (even if in September) – but the atoning portion usually felt shameful. This year was the first time I saw the beauty of atonement, as it wasn’t so much about apologizing for my sins but rather acknowledging that I can be a better human.
So I made 6 Acknowledgments. Well really 5, and 1 bonus. Having said that, no offense taken if you stop reading here. Truly. Also I haven’t eaten, so babble is almost guaranteed. What follows is basically me putting my acknowledgments (and atonements) out to the universe in hopes of keeping myself accountable.