I am reporting on my talk to the congregation of Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, NJ last Friday night November 21. The topic was Overcoming Adversity and was a part of the congregation's weekend dedicated to healing and community. I want to thank Dr Steven Kairys who had been my contact person for this talk and chairs their Caring Committee. He kindly introduced me to the congregation and I spoke without notes for about 20 to 25 minutes.
This format is both frightening and exhilarating. I have come to trust the process, that I will be able to speak to the audience from an authentic and heart-felt perspective. I would like those in attendance to feel that I am speaking to them personally, as if one on one. I actually enjoy the organic and improvisational nature of this format. I can never quite sure what will happen, but I feel that I will be 'directed' to say what should be spoken.
I met a number of extremely warm and appreciative members of the congregation and was pleased with their reaction. One man in particular approached me wearing a cut black ribbon. It is the Jewish symbol of someone still in mourning. He introduced himself as a former patient of mine [I had not seen him in years which might have accounted for me not recognizing him]. Despite his recent loss of his wife, he was smiling. He turned to his adult son and daughter-in-law briefly then back to me. "You were speaking about her, about my wife" he said. He turned again and the two nodded with damp eyes. " When you spoke, we all thought about my wife. Thank you so much."
I was speechless but thanked him for attending. " I'm glad that you found my talk helpful" I think I said. Then I said something to the effect that we are all there to help heal each other, even if we don't realize that we are doing so."
This was a special moment for me. I have always suspected that some of my words are coming as much 'through' me as 'from' me. I believe this gentlemen gave me the gift of awareness. He demonstrated one of the Kabbalah's most powerful metaphors. Tikkun or healing is ALWAYS a mutual experience.
I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a metaphysical process.