All searches, begin and end with the same thing. I. Me. Myself. Often we go out searching for things and find we already have them, or we look for external happiness and then perhaps come to the correct but difficult  conclusion that the true joy comes only from inner happiness…but either way…we usually start and finish with ourselves.

To Raffi, and anyone else who may be listening :)

Holidays often come and go, these days pass us by, like the scheduled busses going past the bus stop, the same haggard faces, the same colours, the same people, the same time, the same smells, the same tires, the same cards, the same money, ….fated never to change until the bus driver retires, or the company orders a paint job

I have heard it said many times in discussions about Judaism or religion in general that a cornerstone of our morals is the treatment of others. “love your neighbour as you love yourself” is oft quoted. And it strikes me there that there doesn’t seem to be a provision for people who don’t love themselves, what do they do? how do they project love onto others when they can’t find peace of mind for themselves?

Interestingly enough, in my experience, its a lot easier to love other people than it is to love yourself, other people don’t have to withstand your questions and your doubt and your high expectations, and personally, I like to spend time helping others as a distraction for helping myself which would be a lot harder. As my Rebbi Rav Avrohom Haller says “i can solve %99 of the worlds issues, everyone elses”

So, in the spirit of great controversy, I say to you.(me as well :) )..yes of course…we must look outside of ourselves, often it’s what shapes us..and yes, we must give to charity and spend time with the people we care for and not be general…

But just for once… this time of year which everyone tries to utilise for a little more thought and action. Why don’t you sit down and write something that makes you feel good about yourself, why don’t you try to work out what it is that you need to make you successful and make a plan, make a diary, make a book, make decisions even…try to love yourself enough that you are willing to push yourself forward. Look at yourself instead of others, choose life.

then, hopefully, this season of days won’t just pass by, then hopefully, our lives will be like that bus driver, seeking new horizons, or that new coat of paint to make us look, and (more importantly) be different.

know thyself, or lehavdil in the words of the Ramchal, know your path.

and i wish you, a happy, meaningful, love-filled new year.