Growing Each Day by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Iyar 3
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Where can I go that I will be away from Your spirit, and where can I flee from You? (Psalms 139:7).

The Psalmist goes on to say that there is no escaping from God because He is present everywhere and knows everything. The Psalmist then concludes: "Search me, O God, and know that which is in my heart" (ibid. 23). Once we realize that God is omniscient, we must abandon all efforts to escape or to hide from Him, since they are futile, and instead open ourselves up to Him.

Just as this concept applies to people's relationship to God, it is equally true of people's relationship to themselves. We cannot escape from ourselves, regardless of what techniques we may employ. We cannot run away to the next neighborhood, nor the next country, nor throw ourselves into our work. We cannot use alcohol or drugs to escape. We cannot even conceal ourselves with denial, repression, and other means of psychological self-deception. Ultimately, we must confront ourselves. It is therefore only logical to cease and desist from these futile efforts and submit ourselves to a thorough journey to self-awareness. Let us say to ourselves: "Search me and know my heart."

Facing ourselves may not be easy. Doing a thorough moral inventory may force us to look at parts of ourselves that we might prefer to disown. However, adjusting to reality requires a thorough self-knowledge. We can only adjust effectively to reality if we have not distorted it.

Today I shall...

try to realize that optimum living can only be with a valid self-awareness.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...


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