The movement of the whole world from the beginning of time from darkness to light, and from exile to redemption is the one true narrative that encompasses everything and everyone. Exploring this idea more deeply can give us a new perspective on our negative thoughts, especially those which encourage us to dump on ourselves—a style of thinking that as women, we often get recruited into.

Any narratives that look backwards, without incorporating a deeper perspective of movement, shift and transformation towards greater wholeness and connection, are not true narratives. These thoughts should not be engaged with, or at the very least, they should be placed in their proper perspective.

An example of this shift would be: “Oh, that was not a good choice, but look how I have now come away from there, with greater courage/resilience/wisdom/capacity to make better choices.”

Another shift in perspective would be to have compassion for the complex situation we were in at that time, the emotional and physical overwhelm that made it hard for us to tap into the deeper, healthier parts of ourselves. We can make a commitment to learn from this experience and pass on the hard-earned pearls of wisdom.

We can also move forward by doing teshuva: taking responsibility for our actions, both towards those affected by our choices and in our relationship with G‑d, knowing that teshuva transforms us and our world, and hastens the redemption.

Let’s ensure that our eyes, hearts and minds are here with us in the present, looking forward, joyously and confident in the potential for transformation inherent in every moment.

Sources: Chassidic interpretation of Genesis 1:2, see Kehos Chumash. See also Deuternomy 30:2, Sanhedrin 97b, and “From Exile to Redemption,” Vol. 1, pp. 112-113.