Here I sit.
As usual, way too much floating around untethered in my mind.
I am sitting on the edge of Yom Kippur. For those who don't know...for Jews...One of the holiest, if not the holiest day of the year. The Shabbat of Shabbats. It is our New Year and time to contemplate the previous year. Time to contemplate our actions and inaction. Time to attempt to atone for our transgressions against other humans and G-d.
Subsequently, I am thinking heavily on my year since the last High Holy Days. Upon reflection it has been a year of significant changes and events.
* I stopped working at Adams Ave Bicycles.
* I started working full time at Congregation Beth El (CBE).
* I committed myself to a new, healthy & loving relationship with Chris.
* I watched people who are like my siblings say good bye for the last time to their Mother (Ilya).
* I lost a woman (Ilya) who had been a good friend and a huge influence on my life. Despite the fact that we had been estranged for many years, her death and witnessing the pain I saw in her children impacted me greater than I ever could have expected.
* I reconnected, after 4 years of intended distance, with my spiritual journey and my Jewish life.
* I discovered my previous boss (the Executive Director of CBE) had been embezzling.
* I reported the theft as soon as I felt I had proof to make that weighty accusation.
* Through a series of events, it was uncovered that Thurston has anxiety issues and a cognitive disconnect issue with writing and requires special accommodations at school.
* A terrible skeleton from my past finally came fully into the light and has ended up hurting people that I had wished to protect, but I knew that it was a folly on my part to think that kind of protection could even happen. And really, was it them or was it me I was protecting?
* I went from working reasonable amount of hours (35-40) to working 50-60 hour work weeks.
* I started getting migraines again.
* I stopped riding my bike as much as I used to.
* I started cooking again in a way I haven't in a few years (everything from scratch-including canning and baking again)...In theory this never actually stopped but I also did not have the drive to do the extras...making my own spice rubs and canning things like pickled beets or making pate.
* Chris, Thurston and I all moved in together and migrated from Normal Heights to Hillcrest.
* I started in the last 2 months riding my bike more aggressively again.
* Thurston went away to Jewish camp and was gone for 15 days. The longest we have ever been apart.
* I have had some issues with my brother that have deeply saddened me and caused me to have a period of estrangement from him.
* Lastly, despite all that I did, 2 1/2 weeks ago I got laid off by the Synagogue (CBE). They decided to have a CPA firm do all accounting work. I had no idea that my entire job would be farmed out. I thought it was going to be modified for the sake of having formal checks and balances in place. I was wrong.
Needless to say...It has been an eventful year that has had it's challenges. A week before we moved was when I discovered and reported the theft at the Synagogue. My anxiety and OCD returned to levels I haven't seen in a very long time. This time I chose to try to work my way through it with out medications. I am also keenly aware of there being many moments of personal peace, joy, laughter and deep love in this last year.
All of these experiences have made me ask myself about a couple of bigger ideals or truths, if you will.
What is trust?
What is respect?
We use these words a great deal in a variety of situations. We talk about respect at work. Respect from our kids and families. Respect from our partners.
We talk about trust in the exact same situations as I just mentioned. Yet for each of these situations they have slightly varied meanings, implications and innuendo. Further, we regularly say that we deserve it, or even more, we demand it.
From what I can gather and try to communicate here, trust and respect absolutely are built into any relationship with other beings. Our pets even come into play here. It would seem to me that trust and respect go hand in hand. If one piece falls into ruin or disrepair the other is in tow on the same downward descent.
We all seem to want/demand trust and respect. However we rarely seem to give it based on that demand. We all seem to have slightly different ideas of what trust and respect are and how they are demonstrated. We all live with these different ideas, demanding them as if they are rights; destroying ourselves and each other if we feel that it is not given. We seem to forget that trust and respect are EARNED. Once earned, then if compromised, can be very challenging to earn back, if ever.
Now we come full circle to Yom Kippur. What do I need to atone for? In my mind, a great deal, as I am generally incredibly critical of myself. I feel I have harmed others by letting my own fears control me. I have let my fears own me enough to compromise my ability to trust others. I want to say I am sorry for those fears and inadequacies, but my reality is that the fears still remain in me. I am a work in progress, or as Ilya said...we are all onions with many layers we are peeling back to find another equally complex layer.
My awareness has happened. Now I do the work to conquer the fears.
So I shake off the doubt, clear my eyes and try to move forward in time and space.