Today was one of those days when my two religious faiths collide: the Judaism in which I was raised and the Quakerism I've chosen. Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and during Meeting I mulled over this blog post about a Day of Non-Atonement Atonement.
Now, the author here seems to have stuck her tongue in her cheek, but I did think about the intent: things that I'm not particularly sorry I've done, because they were done honestly and with a pureness of spirit. For example, there are people who read this blog and believe I've blogged about them when in reality, I'm blogging about someone else (I was actually accused of this by one reader). That they read a post about a person or event, felt that it was about them and were hurt is not my fault, and if they've taken some of what I said on board and thought about changes, well, that's all to the good. Another example is when I've had to tell people things that aren't pleasant to hear but that were necessary - like when, as the head of the student theatre group in college, I had to tell a director that his play would not be produced because after weeks of rehearsal, it was no where near ready for the public. The difficult conversation should not be atoned for, ever (delivery is another thing, obviously).
This isn't to suggest that I've let myself off scott free, and there are people I'm reaching out to to say "look, I'm sorry if I made your life more difficult this past year - please forgive me for that".
The other thing that I started to mull was getting rid of my to do list. The fall is a time for beginnings, right? School starts, tv seasons start, etc., and for many of us it's another opportunity to rethink how we're doing things. So when I read Kill Your To Do List, it started to resonate with me... and then Lifehack showed me the value of a Not To Do List.
What's the tie-in between the two? Number One on my Not To Do List is to not allow others to make me feel the need to apologize because they've decided I need to - unless I have, however inadvertently, hurt them. Number Two is that I will not dwell on Number One past the conversation (whether or not there's an apology given).
May all of you be sealed in the Book of Life for this year.