It’s the beginning of the month of Elul. A truly special time in the Hebrew calendar. It’s a month before the high holidays. When each year we are written into the book of life and then sealed. A time for reflection and growth. A time to examine your life, and the direction you are going. The Rabbis knew that spiritual growth is a process. Building within the calendar an annual time of reflection and renewal.
Thou shall not live an unexamined life. In order to be ready for Rosh HaShanna and Yom Kippur, one has to start earlier. It takes action, study and prayer. Not unlike working the steps. A spiritual awakening doesn’t just happen because you want it to. It happens bit by bit. Working step by step.
In 12 step recovery the foundation for change is built on the first three steps. You can’t change a problem unless you recognize that there is a problem. And you have to recognize that is beyond your current skill base to solve it. The problem is bigger than you. Somehow it makes a difference to know that you don’t know.
And so you come to believe. Its not as hard as you might think. You know the keys to success are not just hard work and perseverance. To be truly a success you have to believe. Optimism is the next critical skill. Hope and faith, that there is somewhere and somehow a solution.
Then finally you make a decision. Willingness to believe that change is possible. It is just a matter of letting go of old ideas and old strategies. Make a commitment to change. Allow for a new understanding of your place and your purpose.
This is where real change starts. It doesn’t require great leaps of faith. Small steps will do. With one foot in front of the other, you can act as if you believe. Act as if you can change. Act as if a new and better ‘you’ will follow.