Here I am back after a day off from posting while I observed Yom Kippor. I was in shul from 10:30am until 7:30pm and throughout the day I cried, smiled, prayed, worried, was contrite and changed. It is a day when you are reminded that your actions cause reactions – some of us need to be reminded of that and some of us don’t – and for each action that we commit to, we are held accountable and responsible. We learned that we don’t have to run away from ourselves; we can ask for forgiveness from anyone by changing the way we envision how our apology will be accepted. If I don’t apologise, for example, because I am worried that my apology will be rejected, I can still feel empowered by my own commitment to apologize – by my own decision to want to apologize. We don’t have to allow others to have power over us. Others do not dictate our existense. So does that mean that I called my brother to apologize to him – to make right our relationship which has gone sour over the past three years since my father became ill and died? No. I have apologized to him and to his wife before, but they rejected it several times. I miss my brother, but I learned that neither he nor anyone else validates my worth; only HaShem does. It is my relationship to The Creator that matters to me most, and my relationship with my spouse who I love so very much. And my dog. I love my dog. And gosh, my mom. My tiny, shrinking, aging, sad, lonely mom. These are the things I love. I hope I merited in Hashem’s eyes yesterday, and these past 10 days of introspection, so that I will have another year of good health, happiness, and success. I hope all of my Jewish readers had an easy fast. Peace.