Monday, July 7, 2014

Flipping the Pain

Kevin is a married man with three young children who has worked hard to keep his anger at bay. Kevin strains himself to speak to people in a polite soft-spoken manner, but deep down he feels violent towards others and is fearful that one day he'll explode and really hurt someone.
Like so many people that I speak to, Kevin was a victim of severe physical abuse - in his case, by his father. As a child, Kevin was beaten so brutally and so frequently by his father that he would often pass out. His body was always covered with painful bruises -  but, like I've heard from so many victims of abuse - even physical torture can't be compared to the agony of feeling one's soul being murdered repeatedly by someone who is supposed to love you. 
When I first met Kevin, it had already been many years since his father had laid a hand on him. Kevin wanted to know why he was still feeling so violent towards his father and others; he also wanted to know what possible "good intention" could G-d have had for the pain that he had suffered as a child? After four sessions,  I too wondered, if Kevin would ever be able to see how the abuse that he suffered had been "all for the best." Both of us were short on answers, but Kevin was asking good questions and I saw that his desire to know the truth was very strong.
In our fifth session, Kevin began to think about his situation from a different perspective. He wondered how his life would have been different if his father would have been consistently kind, loving and predictable. What would he be like today if he had grown up in a "normal" family?
As Kevin probed and dug deeper into himself he realized that it was only because he had suffered so intensely at his father's hand, that during his college years, he started looking for love and connectedness in a completely different type of "father" which he found in the Lubavitcher Rebbe. 
There was a Chabad house near the campus where Kevin went to school. He would go there often and watch videos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He sat entranced by the Rebbe for hours drinking up the Rebbe's facial expressions, his tone of voice, his emuna, his strength and the wisdom with which he spoke to his followers...continue here...

My picks for this week from the other Breslev Israel writers:

By Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Salami

By Rabbi Lazer Brody - The Unlimited Pantry

By Channa Coggan - My Baseball Addiction

By Rivka Levy - The Breslev Infirmary

Wishing you the greatest blessings in your life,
Dr. Zev Ballen