This prayer is about the spiritual path, recognizing that it requires a sense of purpose and joy, a sense of love and humility. Why? Because healing can be painful. Much like surgery, it’s often necessary for me to receive my wounds in order to grow. Then I have a profound choice, to live wounded or to let these wounds heal and live from a place of heart, a place of wonder and awe. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
Regarding Old Wounds
Daughter of man,
Son of woman,
Children of compassion and sacred secrets:
Your wounds are deep,
Your losses crushing,
Knife on flesh,
Hammer on bone,
Burning your heart and searing your eyes.
Why do you invite them back
To chastise your days
And torture your nights?
Why do you love these old wounds,
Holding them so dear?
Son of celebration,
Daughter of ecstasy:
Cast off your doubts,
Banish your fears,
Exile the pain of time beyond your reach.
There is beauty in your past,
Wonder in your future,
And holiness in each new moment of life.
Come you children of G-d,
You witnesses of suffering and grace,
Lift your heads from your hands,
Raise your voices in song,
Lift your lives in service,
And rekindle the light of compassion and love.
Then, your lives will become a blessing,
A well of hope,
A river of consolation,
A fountain of peace.
Blessed are You, G-d of forgiveness,
You renew our lives with purpose.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: This is from a series of related prayers, including “For Healing the Spirit” and “For Sharing Divine Gifts.” They each begin with i) a call for self refection, move to ii) a personal affirmation, then iii) offer the core prayer and close with iv) a “chatimah” or “seal,” the classic ending of a Jewish prayer, reinforcing the theme and ending the prayer. Although all three of the prayers in this series can be said at any time of the year, they have particular relevance during the Hebrew month of Elul. Here’s a link to prayers for the Days of Awe, the Yamim Noraim, listed by topic. I have also selected this prayer for use during week four of Counting the Omer.
Photo Credit: Neshama נשמה Nicole Raisin Stern