Some of my best friends in Mexico are Jewish. One of the things I've always been curious about is their Dia del Perdon, which translates as Forgiveness Day: Yom Kippur. Whereas we Catholics confessed our sins to the priest, with varying degrees of remorse, and then said a few Hail Mary's; my Jewish friends went and said I'm Sorry to each and every person they had hurt that year. And the offended party was under to obligation to forgive, or even to hear them out.
Ouch. That sounds a lot harder than going to mass on and confessing your transgressions to a priest. In either case, the Jewish or the Catholic version, you're meant to have remorse and change your actions for the "all clear" to be valid. Praying a few Hail Mary's isn't going to wipe away the consequences of whatever we did - whether it's damage to a relationship, or bad karma because you knicked something. The intention and the consciousness behind the apology counts.
Yesterday's Kabbalah class was on the steps we need to take in the run up to Yom Kippur. Though it would probably be better if we apologised as soon as as soon as tempers cool and clarity sets in, how often do we do this? Our pride often gets in the way. Memory fades, and sometimes rationalisation sets in (it really wasn't that bad, was it?). Our homework is to think about one thing that we could have done differently. It might be one really awful thing we said, did or thought in a particular situation. Or an area where we are repeat offenders, hurting lots of people little bits at a time. What do we want to apologise for and change?
In the next couple of days I'll write about how we apologise to make it count (according to Kabbalah). Generally, the idea is to think of why it matters that we hurt someone (what we do to them, how they feel, and why it hurts our soul to cause pain). All of this puts it in perspective. My next post will be on karmic consequences and how we "Erase - Rewind"