Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shame and Teshuva

To say that I'm ashamed of myself for decisions made since my entire world fell apart last year is probably an understatement.

You know that feeling you get when you see someone you haven't seen in years? Someone who maybe you had a falling out with or maybe had a huge, life-altering experience with and then never saw again?

Yeah. I just did that. I encountered one of my converting rabbis -- for the first time since my perfect Modern Orthodox married life fell apart -- after a shiur on conversion and some major breakthroughs in understanding why things are the way they are. (Blog post forthcoming.)

And my shame and anxiety met and exploded, and I had this feeling of knowing that I was living as an apikoros (and attempting to validate it the whole time). I felt like he could see all of the things I'd done and said and viewed me as one of the ones who had ruined it for the good ones. For the converts who stick to it ... It wasn't anything this rabbi said or did. I'm pretty sure it was all in my head.

I guess this is what reflection and teshuvah feel like? It feels horrible. Knowing that I did so much damage to my neshama. Knowing that I put myself in a place of damage instead of recovery when I needed that recovery the most.

The High Holidays cannot come soon enough for me. I will continue to follow the light, allow my bitachon to guide me. I will come out of this all a better person, a better Jew.