|We’ve identified a chisaron, an area of life that isn’t working the way we’d like. Now what do we do? We make a choice.
Often we begin a project with gusto, only to bail out when things don’t go as we planned. Why? Because we took it on under duress, not by choice.
Along the path of teshuvah — the process of becoming an ish acher, a different person — we will encounter unexpected challenges. The natural response would be to throw in the towel; this isn’t what we signed up for!
Making a choice, though, means considering the options and their consequences, and then deciding which package to accept. When the choice is ours, the consequences are on us. The Torah refers to this as taking responsibility: accepting the consequences of our decisions.
A lasting teshuvah begins with a personal resolve to make a change. Fiery sermons and impassioned pleas may inspire us, but in the end it has to be our independent decision to engage in teshuvah.
So the next step of teshuvah is to recognize that we stand at a crossroads and must choose between ignoring our shortcomings and committing to a process of lasting change.
This step of teshuvah challenges many of us who struggle with decision-making. We think that it’s possible to avoid decisions, but the truth is that not making a decision is in itself a de facto decision! This comes to a head in the area of teshuvah, where any lasting results depend on it.
Remember: Our teshuvah will be what we make of it!
We’ve identified an area of Torah and mitzvos that requires our attention, and we’re poised to do teshuvah. Before moving forward, let’s ask ourselves the following: