Religion and Belief
I learned a lot of Torah I went into a period of decline and lack of desire to study
I learned a lot of Torah and was extremely particular in my behavior and Jewishness, and then I went into a period of decline and lack of desire to both study and behave appropriately. I reached a breaking point and knew that I wanted to rise out of the deep pit I was in. I knew what I liked in my life, and what I was not fond of. I was very scared of getting back to where I had been and then falling again and I was scared of what other people would think of me.
At first the treatment was rather funny and afterwards it was even frustrating; instead of dealing intellectually with my mind, Rav Eliezer says different sentences and and you’re like a robot or a machine slowly releasing. I slowly began to trust the technique and manner of treatment through which one frees one’s self from basic beliefs that cause one to act in a certain way. Today, after treatment with TAT, I feel that I have the power to make decisions for myself; I have more courage to go back to studying and more proper behaviors. I am more balanced and happy, and am able to see for myself what I need from life, and not let others decide for me.
Do you believe in Hashem or in your Erroneous Beliefs?
Until I started doing TAT I never realized how many erroneous beliefs would be flitting through my mind without my even realizing it. Doing TAT did give me a lot of awareness, and I now I am able to “hear” a lot of the “voices” that pop up in my head. Now I am able to question their validity and if necessary change them.
It took the therapist quite some explaining until I fully understood, and even more explaining until I agreed with this whole idea of erroneous beliefs.
Instead of explaining much let me give you an example.
I was in an advanced stage of pregnancy when he asked me what I wanted to work on in connection with giving birth. I didn’t have to think much as I was afraid of the after birth pangs awaiting me as I had suffered through unpleasant nursing sessions during the first few days after my elder children were born. As every mother of a few children knows, and has perhaps experienced, the contractions after birth, which are there to contract the womb back into its original shape, are far from pleasant. It is a common sight in the nursing room to see the nursing mothers grimacing from the pain in their lower abdomen while they nurse their babies. Some mothers will always take a pain killer before nursing as they find those contractions so difficult to bear.
As I was telling the therapist the above, he exclaimed: “That’s an erroneous belief!” “ But it is true, I countered, ask any mother especially one who has gone through several births, and she will tell you that it is a fact. Any doctor will explain it to you.” However, my therapist kept insisting that it is an erroneous belief. It is not an absolute truth. Only Hashem is an Absolute Truth! Any truth or statistics have exceptions. The thing is that because we have heard about things we, so to speak, invite them to happen to us. This is the same idea as the self-fulfilling prophecies about which parents are cautioned with the upbringing of their children.
Since “mind over matter” is not just a saying but a very true reality of the human psyche, the thoughts and beliefs we have of ourselves and life make a tremendous impact on us.
In any case as we kept arguing back and forth, he suggested,”Let’s just work on it”. And so we did.
Well, as they say,seeing is believing. I can truly say that after this birth, I didn’t suffer from after birth pangs –for the first time. Did I have them? Yes I did, but I didn’t suffer from them! Let me explain what I mean. This time, thanks to the TAT I had a totally different experience. Every time when I sat down to nurse and the nursing hormone that gets the milk flowing and contracts the womb, I felt like shouting, “Hurray, the hormones work, I will have milk and my womb shrinks nicely back into shape”.
So I did feel the sensation, but it was entirely positive and not negative. I did not fight the sensation, but almost welcomed it; and since I saw it positively I didn’t pile on the pain all previous associations of pain and fear which then would have made me feel even more pain than the actual sensation of the contracting muscle.
This is really very much like the Swiss method of birthing where they teach the mothers-to-be to interpret the sensation of the stomach contractions not as pain from which we try to flee, but rather a sensation that we welcome and work along with.
That real life example showed me very clearly that it is all in the mind. We make life so hard for ourselves because of all these erroneous beliefs. This concept is now recognizedby conventional medicine as well and is called psychosomatic illnesses: illnesses that seem imagined but where the patient has an actual physical pain eventhough everything is physically alright. It is triggered by his mind. Conventional medicine also admits that certain diseases are caused partly, or mainly,by stress or fears etc., meaning that imbalances of the emotions and thoughts of man can have a direct influence on his physical wellbeing, and perhaps cause high bloodpressure, heart diseases, cancer.
The other day, I had another clear episode the other day about how our minds cause us trouble. I went to the post office in the hope that the clerk would be able to look up some details of a banking transaction for me on her computer. She didn’t manage to provide me with the information I needed. As I exited the post office I suddenly noticed that I had a headache. I immediately understood that it had been caused by the annoyance in the post office. I then did a quick TAT on myself, saying that “even if things don’t work out the way I want to, I don’t need to have a headache” . As I was doing the TAT I realized, in amazement, how the headache disappeared.
A few days later I had another revelation. We don’t realize how packed we are with erroneous beliefs. As children we suck in all the information about life, taking it in like a sponge. Being children, we don’t have the capacity to critically analyze all the information we take in. We just record it as true facts and it is put into the back-drawers of our minds, the subconscious. Later on in life we react to situations based on what is stored in our minds. Let me give you again a personal example.
The other week I had a very busy Friday, where I stood on my feet the entire day. After candle lighting I plopped into a chair and noticed how my feet ached. I told myself, no wonder standing on your feet the whole day and with overweight to boot. Oh, wait a minute, I told myself, that is an erroneous belief. There are plenty of people who stand on their feet the whole day and many of them are overweight too, and their feet don’t ache.
So there must be an erroneous belief sitting somewhere. So I did a TAT and what popped up? I suddenly saw in my mind my mother tying on special shoes in preparation for many hours of standing on her feet for pessach cleaning, and she was an overweight lady. So there it goes. Eventhough my mother never had said anything in this vein, just seeing her putting on those health shoes recorded in my child’s mind that standing on one’s feet a long time, especially when overweight, can cause feet to ache. Once I had finished that set of TAT I realized, to my surprise, that my feet had stopped aching!! Amazing indeed.
The list goes on and on. Nowadays, medicine has established impressive statistics with placebo medicines which prove the idea of mind over matter.
This gives the person the feeling of power to know that he is no victim of circumstance. Whatever Hashem gives him in life he can deal with in a positive way; it just all depends how he will react to it and for that he has to check his mind if he perceives life correctly.
Return to Tora and Tefillah
Today, on the eve of my wedding, I owe you two simple and short words:
Thank you that due to your treatment, I can again occupy myself with what I love most, with what I am most connected – prayers and the study of Torah.
Around a year ago, I came to you for the first time, wounded to the soul, aching and full of inner suffering, unable to function.
It happened slowly. I had learned in yeshiva for a number of years. However, as the years passed, I found it more and more difficult to learn. I felt an inner burden each time I learned, until one morning I woke up and felt that I was incapable of going to the yeshiva anymore. A deep distress that would not allow to me to get close to any book of study had grown inside of me and even the daily prayers became a heavy, unbearable burden. I got up one morning to find that my whole world had just collapsed and been taken from me.
Torah studies had always been my sole occupation and my only goal, and suddenly I could no longer fulfill myself through them or even engage in that which had always been so important and dear to me. I went through an extremely difficult period.
At my rabbi’s advice, I took a year off from my Torah studies and engaged in education instead. However, I still had to deal with tremendous suffering. Every prayer was a burden and I wanted to finish as soon as I could. Just being in the synagogue was a heavy, troubling yoke. Obviously, I still was completely incapable of getting close to any kind of holy book.
At the end of the year, I returned to studies during the mornings. It was nice, but after a month the previous feelings of distress and heaviness returned. Once again, I experienced the emotional storm with everything connected to studies. I felt as if my back was to the wall with no escape.
I spoke to Rabbi Elyakim Levanon shlita, and he referred me to you. We met over the course of a few months, dozens of meetings, and slowly, through intensive and methodical work, we were able to find various traumas that I had experienced, different experiences that in fact caused me to accumulate the burdens and choking anxieties that ultimately prevented me from learning.
Thank G-d, I have now returned to my learning and teaching of Torah and I feel wonderful.
The method that you use is both wonderful and amazing. There are no words to express my feelings. Your attitude and care throughout the whole period of treatment were marvelous.
Additionally, there is no doubt that it is a method to use for life, a method to continue to implement after the treatments have ended, in the confrontations and difficulties in day-to-day life.
Thank G-d that you merited to help a fellow Jew return to occupy himself with Torah and to pray with joy and peace of mind.
I hope that G-d will bless you and you should continue to merit helping others for many years to come.
Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
I have been able to approach my soul
I want to tell you a little about the process that I have gone through, a large part of it thanks to the special method that God has brought to the world in a time of such trials: TAT.
From a young age, I experienced traumas that left me with the impression that I would never be able to get rid of them. I approached Eliezer, thanks to a good friend, when I did not want to live anymore.
After the first treatment with Eliezer I began to feel that something was moving, was being released … but I knew it would be a long process. After a few treatments in which I invested a lot of time because I had to devote to travel from the north of Israel to Jerusalem, I felt an improvement.
And where a person wants to go … God leads him.
Since then, my life has changed completely: I have been able to approach my soul, the soul that was given to me by Hashem, to purify it and remove all the layers that were the result of the traumas; I began to be drawn nearer to our Creator who wanted to show me another life, a life of freedom and joy of truth and purpose.
I have now been religious for seven years; I have been able to make gradual and healthy progress through love and a desire to discover what G-d wants from me and have discovered a life of Torah and mitzvot that I would not change for anything in the world. Everything that Hashem does is only for good. The traumas have been released and I feel much healthier, I accept myself and am at peace with who I am.
A few years later I went back to Eliezer to participate in a TAT course so that I could acquire the correct tools to continue working by myself. Now I am in my training period and get to do TAT on myself to release emotional barriers, and also help others and treat them as part of the course.
I can only thank G-d who led me to his faithful emissaries to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude, to Eliezer Spetter and his dear wife Chava and TAT.
Thank you so much.