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Taking Inventory of Myself

by Yehudis Golshevsky

A Sacred Time – Tevet 5

The tribe associated with the month of Tevet is Dan. The Hebrew word dan means to judge…what does the tribe of Dan have to teach me during this month?
I’m sometimes quick to judge others harshly even as I give myself the benefit of the doubt. But, really, during this month I should try to shift that orientation.

I have no idea what’s in other people’s minds and hearts, what drives them, what challenges they’re going through, what inner and outer barriers they have to overcome so that they can do the right thing. How can I judge someone else when I know that their experience is so opaque to me…at least as opaque as mine is to them?

What is known to me, though? My own inner landscape. And I can make judgments there (even though I also have to be careful with that), because self-correction is really the means of transformation. Instead of using my capacity for judgment to be harsh and punitive, I need to engage with it to take an honest internal inventory of myself…and no one else.

Taking stock includes measuring both my assets and where I need to improve. And the more I turn my faculty of judgment inward, the less time and energy I’ll have for focusing on the flaws within others.

Beloved Creator, please help me to make positive use of my faculty of judgment—to turn it only inward, and not outward. And even in using it to shed light on my own flaws, help me to do so constructively, honestly, and also with close attention to my good points…so that my judging will help me to grow rather than to falter.

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