Thursday, December 27, 2012

tikkun olam, again

I've written about this before, but I felt an internal desire to revisit it, so off I go.
this phrase has been placed before me twice in the past few days--first in a novel, and second by my step-father last evening--and I am taking that as a message.
I'd first encountered this phrase a few years back at the Jewish Community Center where I exercise, it was written in big block letters on a sign above a large bin meant to collect donated winterwear.
tikkun olam, hmm, to google I went for a definition.
and what I found felt like home:  repairing the world.
yep, this is one of my roles here, and apparently the Jewish faith insists that it's a role that belongs to all of us.
all of us.
whether it's smiling more, picking up garbage, lending a hand to a stranger, recycling, being frugal with limited resources, or simply being cognizant of your impact on others, we are expected to participate in acts of healing.
the inner frontier expresses it beautifully in the following paragraph:

Tikkun olam encompasses both the outer and the inner, both service to society by helping those in need and service to the Divine by liberating the spark within. As we are, the Divine spark lies hidden beneath our layers of egoistic self-centeredness. That spark is our conscience, through which the promptings of the Divine will flow toward us. By pursuing spiritual inner work to strengthen our soul and purify our heart, we grow more able to bear that spark without shattering, more willing to act on what we know to be right, less willing to act in harmful or grasping ways, and more able to notice the quiet presence of conscience beneath the din of our chattering minds and reactive emotions. The work of transformation, of building a soul, creates a proper vessel for the Divine spark, for our unique share of the Divine Will, returning that spark to the service of the One Who made it. By working to perfect ourselves, perfect our soul, and serve society, we each contribute in our own unique way to the perfecting of the world. This is our duty and our calling as human beings.

who among us is not in need of a little healing?  and a little inner work to find our most beautiful, divine selves at our core?
I plan to hold the concept of tikkun olam in my heart--and hopefully my consciousness--this coming year.  front and center.  
maybe I can find a little world to add to the handlebars on my bike.  because I'm quite certain that in some strange, quirky, perhaps as yet unknowable way, me riding my bike is part of my own personal path of tikkun olam.

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