Growing up I was a nerd on many levels, no more so than in the area of history. So when it came time to choose a language in High School, I thought it would be “fun” to learn Latin (you can see why I was oh so popular in high school). One of my favorite Latin phrases is “tabula rasa” which can be translated to mean a “clean slate”.

The idea of being able to start over or fresh has always been an attractive one to me. Forgiving others has, for better and for worse, always come easy to me. I’m prone to give people many chances, as I truly believe that no one is perfect and that, at our core, most people mean well most of the time. That SAME belief also gets me in trouble, as I’m also prone to allow people to stay in my life when my life might be better served to do the opposite. With some growth, I’ve learned that you can still forgive, but from a distance, and it doesn’t make the forgiveness any less genuine. But that is sometimes easier said than done.

Where I’ve had the most difficulty, however, is in forgiving myself. With others, I can let go of what motivated them or what impulse they were acting on, but with myself, I’m stuck with it. I analyze, and over analyze again, and then for good measure, reflect. The challenge for me has been getting from that stage to the clean slate stage. Reminding myself that I’m human, that I’m going to make mistakes, and that even if my intentions were not the greatest, that getting stuck in the mud so to speak doesn’t do anyone any good. I’m still working on that.

I was inspired to write this as I started reflecting on Yom Kippur. While I am not Jewish, the nerd in me has always had an interest with religious traditions, and couple that with my love of “tabula rasa” it seems like a good fit. Tonight, I’m going to try and get myself closer to a clean slate for myself, whatever that might look like. I atone internally quite often, but I rarely get to the new start. Maybe tonight will be different. Next year in Jerusalem.