Whose Voice are you Listening To?

To listen to the recording click on https://youtu.be/X3hpA8Ry3XE

It has taken me a lifetime to finally be able say good things about myself, to myself. God’s Word teaches us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Everyone needs to hear that – some more than others depending upon the early voices that we heard. I’m pretty sure that we hear sounds and voices and start feeling while we are still in our mother’s womb. Was she happy and singing while she was carrying us, or was she filled with fear and sadness because maybe we were a mistake, or she wasn’t prepared? We enter this world with these transferred emotions, no matter what modern science may say about the “fetus”. At some level, a mother knows she is carrying a precious life. These influences in our lives continue on a daily basis and either help us in our development into becoming a healthy adult and deter us. Many years ago, I learned that our brain can be compared in some ways to a camera. Over our lifetime, it takes millions, even billions of pictures which get filed into our subconscious mind. Each of us interprets these pictures according to our age at the time and are filtered by our environment. Two people may interpret the same event in very different ways, then later in life, when something outside ourselves stirs up the unconscious mind, the original picture emerges, and we have a physical reaction. Sometimes we have no idea what caused a sudden shift in mood or a change of attitude. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not; some things we don’t even notice because they had little impact at the moment that that mind-picture was taken. 

Let me give you an example: not long after my divorce, I was sitting in my new home, happy, free, working, taking care of my two baby girls. Suddenly, as I sat at the piano around 4 pm, an overwhelming feeling of dread hit me right in the gut. (Today they call the gut, the Second Brain). I stopped, bowed my head and looked right at that feeling. I challenged it to tell me what it was. I wouldn’t look away from it until a picture appeared in my mind; suddenly I thought of my ex-husband who would be coming home from work and I had to be ready. Sadly, instead of joy, that prospect filled me with dread. I reminded myself that this was no longer true and immediately the feeling was gone, and I was free. This is called a Paradigm Shift. When the Israelites were set free from Egypt, they may have left in one day, but they had to go through a Paradigm Shift from slavery to freedom which took them all the way to the next generation. 

God created a wonderful system within us; it’s called the body/mind/spirit connection. It’s holistic. Usually, we suffer when we’re not paying attention to the warnings that our bodies are giving us. We separate body, mind and spirit. When we do not deal with the symptoms and simply cover them over with a band-aid, this can lead to depression, addiction and all sorts of illness. I am not saying that we are fully in control for the Torah is clear in Deuteronomy 28 about what would happen to us when we obey His Ten Commandments and the consequences when we don’t. 

Rabbi Percy or Ranebi (short for Rav Netanel ben Yochanan, as he like to be called) taught us from Psalm 139, to ask God to search our hearts, to reveal to us those areas that need healing and to lead us in His everlasting way. In Hebrew, the heart (lev) refers to the mind.  When we are searching our hearts, it means that we are sifting through our thoughts. Rabbi Shaul told us “…and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of God.” 

When I sat at that piano that day, I was taking that thought captive that was causing me such discomfort. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself…what is causing me discomfort? Then be willing to listen. If we slowly start dealing with each one, one at a time, confronting issues that we have buried, in time we will look back at our lives and see how much we’ve grown and much freer we have become.  God wants us to be free; He set us free from Egypt and we need find what aspects of Egypt are still within us. Holding onto pain, anger, anguish, fear, unforgiveness from the past, block the way to gift of happiness that God has given us. He has given us the tools to deal with these things – it called free will with which we can think, examine, question, deal with and confront.  In community, we can help each other to do that.

God told us Who He was and what He did in the First Commandment, so that we could trust Him to always be with us. Those last days in Egypt were frightening as were all the events that have happened to us in our history right to today. But let’s hold on to what we know from the Torah! God has always brought us through so let’s trust the driver! You and I are not the drivers, our Bore Olam is.  Remember that He is in control and we simply need to trust that He will never allow us to go through more than we can handle. This is how we move from emunah (faith) to bitachon (trust). His Ten Commandments are the lens through which we can interpret every thought, every action and decision that we have to make in order to live happy and fulfilled lives no matter what is going on around us.  

By Peggy Pardo