Elul 1 5776
Dear me, age 22
Remember that Saturday night in NYC, Labor Day Weekend 1991, alone on the Hudson, on the edge of some pier downtown, staring into the dark water? The only time you ever paused for more than a second to consider jumping in and ending the pain already. So afraid to love and so desperate to find it, so lonely on the edge of town.
Thank you for not jumping. Thank you for the courage to keep on trying, deal with the shame, find self love and pride in being just who you are, open the door to a welcoming, loud bar, open your eyes to meet those of another, open your heart. That summer we learned how to cope, how to hope, how to get over a broken heart and dare to trust.
I’m sorry for not being there as wise and trusting, taking better care of soul and body and self as best as I could - on that night and often after. But perhaps I was there but somehow we got over through that night and all the other hard ones since. We did the best we knew how to, and here we are now, here I am, still striving to do it right, and better.
I hug you now, 25 years later, younger me petrified on the pier, not with cliches of “it’ll be ok” but with an infusion of wonder, and a whistled lyric from a prayer I know now and love: “You are loved by an endless love.”
I’m starting this journey today into a new year, counting 40 days to refocus on what matters most to me, what is worthy of attention and repair, noting each blessing. Every day will be a love letter to life and I start today with me, with you, with love to self, to all the selves, all the me that was and is becoming, including the me most scarred and scared and so called imperfect - all loved, no matter what and so worth living. This coming year let’s keep on working on less fear and more love. Let’s leap into this year of love, together. Let’s fly.
PS: This short video shows how to write love letters to self. I found it helpful. Write one to yourself today?
PREPENT: Rabbi Amichai Lau-Lavie’s annual journey to the new year, with 40 ways in 40 days to reflect, refocus, recharge and restart life. This year features daily love letters inspired by Lab/Shul’s theme for the High Holy Days, “וְאָהַבְתָּ re:love.”