Lately I’ve been thinking about forgiveness and atonement. This is perhaps due to circumstances in my personal life, or perhaps due to the upcoming Yom Kippur. No, I am not Jewish…however, it is my favorite holiday of all the major religions (at least of the holidays I know of). A day of forgiveness and atonement would probably serve every community well…no matter the faith.
Actually, I’ve given thought to writing a diary on my thoughts pertaining to Yom Kippur. In pondering such a diary, other things have come to mind. Sayings, teachings, thoughts, and beliefs…some held as truths by me, some only observed as truths held by others.
Thinking on this quote:
You are not obligated to complete the task (of building a better world), but neither are you free to desist from the effort. – Pirkei Avot 2:21
…led my wandering mind to another saying that I’ve long held close. Follow me below the fold and I’ll share it with you.
I am nothing.
The Universe was created for me.
I quote this quite often, in fact, I may have already shared it with some of you. I do so because those few short words resonate so deeply within me. So I got to thinking, as I am prone to do in the wee hours, and decided to share the results.
I am nothing. Friends find it odd that I struggle so much with self-worth. My ego is fine…in fact, some would say it’s quite a few notches beyond ‘fine’ (huge, even). I don’t struggle with the confidence of knowing who I am or what I am capable of…I struggle with whether or not I am deserving of it. If I am worthy of it. More often than not, I don’t feel as though I am. I am not worthy of the love I have in my life. I am not worthy of the health I have and the strong body I inhabit. I am not worthy of the friends and family who care for me, who laugh and weep with me. I am not worthy of the alert and active mind that has withstood the abuses I have wrought upon it (I’m REALLY not worthy of that!). I am not worthy of the knowledge I hold. I am not worthy of the wealth I have gathered. I am not worthy of the security I rely upon so. I am not worthy of the career I have been led to. I am not worthy of the life I live. All that I am, everything that I possess, are gifts that were not deserved. I am nothing.
The Universe was created for me. Just as strongly as I believe in the first line, I believe in this one as well. This life is mine, all that the Universe holds is for my taking. All the lessons life can provide are for me to absorb. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge…all that there is to know is there for me to discover. There are a million million paths to choose from and all are open to me. Love, hate, joy, fear, triumph and every other emotion imaginable are mine to experience. The hills and valleys and oceans and mountains and forests and deserts were all created for me to explore. It is for my pleasure that the Sun rises. The night sky was created for my wonderment. Animals (especially dogs ) were created to teach me of innocence and the beauty of unconditional love. This time, out of all of the millennia, is mine to travel through. I was given the gift of countless other souls as travel companions. This is my life, my time and I am responsible for doing all that I can to make my world a better place. The Universe was created for me.
Long before I found the quote (which is actually an old Jewish saying), I was intimately aware of the odd juxtaposition of those seemingly conflicting beliefs. For me, it has been a constant struggle to reconcile the two sentiments within myself. A struggle to hold, and believe, two opposing thoughts at the same time. That’s life though. Everything seeks a balance. It is the quest for that balance that makes things interesting.
Least that’s the way I see it. 😉
Oh, by the way….
You are nothing.
The Universe was created for you.