I have said the words of the Yom Kippur Vidui many times, always awkwardly aware that most of the list of sins did not apply to me. I never thought I would come to embrace its awkwardness, and I certainly never imagined that it could guide me toward making decisions I was afraid to make.
When I think and talk about teshuvah, I usually focus on change. How can we take stock of our lives and improve the parts of ourselves that we wish to change? This year I was struck by a different aspect of teshuvah. I realized that teshuvah doesn’t need to be focused solely on changing who we are. Teshuvah can also be about learning to accept and forgive ourselves, and learning how to embrace our abilities, limitations, bodies, and relationships.