Posts Tagged ‘potential’

According to Rabbi Yissochar Frand in one of his annual tshuvah drashas, there are 2 central axioms on which the Jewish concept of tshuvah (repentance)  rests.     The first premise is that all human beings have the ability to change.  No matter how far we may have strayed from the path, Hashem tells us that we can change.  We can grow. We can repair.  We can return.  We can find closeness with G-d.   We can reach inside and find the strength to fulfill our fullest potentials.

As parents, this is our template for helping our children to grow.   Their young lives are all about change.   When a child does not live up to an expectation, our job is to hold their highest potential in our hearts and minds. We do not label them or lock them into patterns that do not represent their best selves. Instead, when they breach a limit, we strive to re-establish trust as soon as possible.   We give them every opportunity to change and grow.    We believe in them so much that, one day, they will learn to believe in themselves.

Rabbi Frand continues by explaining that the second key element of tshuvah is the idea that human beings are resilient.  We struggle with life’s challenges and sometimes we fail to meet them.  But, as long as we manage to get back up again, we are still in the game.   Here our children have much to teach us.   Little toddlers fall once, fall twice, fall three times.  But they always get up again.  This quality of resilience shows us that human beings are born resilient.       We should take a lesson. We must learn to never give up  on ourselves even when we have lost our way, and even if we feel regretful, disappointed or heartbroken. We can set our sights on our goals again and keep striving to attain them, regardless of the external or the internal obstacles.  Our job is to keep showing up for life, for as long as we live.

As we enter the Aseres Y’Mei Tshuvah (10 days of repentance),  may we always remember to  keep our children’s infinite potential in mind even when they experiment with new behaviors.  And, may we acknowledge our children’s lesson of dogged persistence, and pull  ourselves together again after every setback.  We are all here to help each other to grow.

On behalf of myself and my family, I send you and all of Am Yisrael my sincerest good wishes for a healthy, happy, productive and safe New Year.

©2009 Debbie Katz , JPARENT, LLC All rights reserved.
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