As I was preparing for this series of blogposts, I wrote the prompts first as they were written and then proceeded to translate them into French, as my intention was to publish for my own blog, and benefit from the spiritual exercise, which is – believe it or not – easier for me to do in my native language (I wonder why: not! thinking in a different language brings different thoughts and thinking in English brings me towards action, rather than reflection, whereas thinking in French is much more an exercise in introspection).
Once I had written a couple of blogposts, I stalled because sometimes words do not translate well. That is when I decided I could pause and use my blog in English (here) to also play #BlogElul and bring the challenge to the next level, that is to use multiple media / languages / formats, etc to illustrate the broadness of what can be done starting with a simple prompt: just do it!
That is when I realized that I had accepted the prompts to be verbs in the infinitive form, to do, and not imperatives: “do!” because I would never try to guide my readers as formally as giving them orders, advices, or compelling inspiration.
And now, I realize that I could be stuck in paralysis just because of that. Looking back at a full year – an incredibly difficult one it appears – and getting ready to account for my mistakes and shortcomings when I arrive at the time of the Days of Awe is a scary task for someone who struggles with depressive moods, a strong tendency to ruminate and see the negative in anything she does, while wanting to be a role model and inspire others in positive outlooks on the world and on life.
Just do it!
Rather than fearing all that could go wrong and backlash, go with it and see what happens next. After all, when I all started this, blogging and everything, I opted for the “One day at a time” mantra, knowing all too well that this is all I can actually take.
“Before his death, Rabbi Zusya said “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?”
I have always understood this inspirational quote as a call to just be oneself, and just do it!
If the fear of not doing it right, or doing it as intended, or doing it as well as the others is simply preventing you from being yourself, that is the biggest mistake or biggest sin, because it prevents the world from having your deeds to be inspired by.
I keep having this fear of not doing the right thing. It brings me regrets. There is always a choice, and the inability to make a decision because of this kind of fear is extremely crippling. If I practice the “just do it”, I am hoping to feel more at ease with it. After all, this is only the first step.
This blogpost is inspired by the #BlogElul project created by Rabbi Phyllis Sommer of Ima on (and off) the Bima in preparation for the start of the Jewish New Year which is traditionally a time of reflection and soul searching. Whether you are Jewish or not, religious or not, feel free to comment and/or participate in these universal themes and add to the reflection and inspiration. Also feel free to see how I was inspired by the same prompts on Un Jour à la fois, if you can read French.