on suffering

Recently I was contemplating upon the subject of suffering. Most clients who come to me, do not seek my help because everything is alright in their world. They see me because something is wrong. Because they are in physical, mental or emotional pain. Because they feel dragged down by life, by people, and by responsibilities.

I become a witness to their pain. I see them suffering in this life and in their previous lives. I see traumas experienced by them and by their ancestors. The suffering is real. The pain is real and at times stifling.

Luckily, healing an aspect of their energetic body helps to ease their suffering on all levels. It helps them see their life and their situations with better clarity and it helps them makes choices that ultimately lead to their feeling better. It is not always easy for me to be a witness, but it helps people and so I accept my role.

A few weeks ago I saw a client who was very unhappy. She had been diagnosed with clinical depression. When I looked at her energy, I saw a dark being pulling at her. That being was so strong that it could potentially kill her. She shared with me that several times in the past she had been close to contemplating suicide.

I go through painful moments too. Through sadness, loss, anxiety, fear. I experience my own suffering in this life and and the past. I see the pain, the victimization and the suffering experienced by my ancestors.

I am a Russian Jew. I was born on a land that holds the blood of World War II. I carry the DNA of people who had spent the last 2000 years in exile. Although my immediate family was able to escape the Nazi occupation, some of my extended family had not. They have been betrayed by their friends and neighbors, treated worse than cattle and burned alive.

And yet, here I am, in sunny California, living in a nice home, drinking organic tea, playing with my dog, going to yoga and sometimes feeling sad.

Shortly after I saw that client, my dad called to share with me that our distant family member had passed away. He asked me to read the short email he had prepared to send to this man’s family. The email went like this. I am making some edits to protect the privacy of his immediate family:

“…Boris had miraculously survived in a ghetto during the Nazi occupation. The town of Zmerynka, where he lived, was ruled by the Romanian Nazi regime. The Romanian Nazis were no less brutal than the German Nazis. In fact, they were worse. The Romanian Nazis had a concrete goal to exterminate the Jews totally which had already been carried out in Odessa. (Odessa is a big city on Ukraine. My grandmother and her family had escaped the Nazi occupation by falsifying their documents and taking the last boat out. I will share her story another time.)

Luckily, the Romanian Nazis had to delay the full implementation of their heinous plan because their economy was poor and yet dependent on the Jews. In addition, the Romanian Nazis were incredibly corrupt and a bribe could save a life.

For these reasons Boris and his mother had managed to survive for two and a half years in absolutely inhumane conditions. All other relatives who had lived in the surrounding German occupied territory (some only 20 miles from Boris) had been brutally killed.

After the war had ended and Zmerynka became a part of the USSR, but life for Boris and his mother was still miserable. The country  lay in ruins. There was no food, no closes, no heat.

Yet Boris was very ambitious. In the face of all odds, he graduated from high school and entered a Polytechnic Institute in the West Ukrainian town of Lviv.  Despite the vicious antisemitism he not only graduated from the Institute, but managed to get his PHd at the age of 27 or 28 years, what was very rare even among the “native” population.  Later he worked at the Moscow Academy of Science. He published a book in the field of pneumatic automation.

Boris was one of the first in his big family to come to the conclusion that the best thing to do was to to leave the country and emigrate to the United States. It was a difficult choice at that time. There were many people who did not support him in his decision to leave the country, though later all of them had followed in his footsteps and had emigrated to either the US or Israel…”

As dad revealed further details of Boris’s life, I found myself comparing his suffering to that of my own and of my clients’. I came to the conclusion that all suffering is real and one person’s story of horrible suffering cannot take away from another’s. Pain is pain, it does not matter whether it is caused externally by other people or internally by ourselves.

I did find Boris’s story inspiring. For myself, at least. Here was a man who had lived though the horror of horrors and had found strength to not only survive and thrive but to have a family and to create the best life he could for his family.

If Boris could do it, then perhaps we too have a chance.





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