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Hineni.  Pronounced hee-nay-nee.  English transliteration of the Hebrew:

Hinenihebrew

Literally: “Here I am.”   As opposed to “I am here,” which is said differently in Hebrew as well.   In both languages the color and connotation is slightly different in analogous ways.

I am far from the first to reflect on the spiritual significance of this phrase; it came to me unbidden, during a [relatively] recent period of my life in which I was slowly but surely regenerating after yet another deep spiritual and clinical depression.

But once I heard it, a whisper to myself unspoken, it has never left.  “Hineni,” I smile when I sense the almost heady relief that accompanies even a sliver of joy.  “Hineni,” I breathe when I feel called to presence by the sky.  “Hineni,” I assert when I must once again find the strength and the compassion to face my fears and limitations.  “Hineni,” I remind myself when I choose to speak and live my truth in a public way.  And, also, “Hineni,” I whisper when I allow myself to submit, when I humble myself to relax into the greater truths in which we all swim — or flounder — in our journey to the other shore.

Here I am.

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