I never really considered writing a book that would expose my deeply personal experiences, although I assumed that at some point in my life, I would be inspired to put my strategies for spiritual healing into the form of a book. Unbeknownst to me, in June of this year, after a series of divinely guided synchronistic events, the decision was made for me, and I began to write. Little did I know that my whole inner world would crack wide open.
What I did not foresee about the writing process is that I would be embarking upon a huge inner journey that would lead me into emotional and psychological territory I was unprepared to venture into. I thought writing a book was going to be one of those experiences where the book just writes itself. Boy, was I wrong!
Nevertheless, once I made the decision to write the book, I knew there was no turning back. So here I am, taking you on this writing journey with me and revealing the buried treasures I am unearthing along the way.
The focus of my book is an examination of the inner bondage and fear some of us live in that prevent us from being who we are and having the life we want to live and how to reclaim our lives. Many years ago, I thought of an idea for a book, but I did not put any energy into it because I didn’t see myself as having any credibility to write a book. During a session this summer with my business coach, I shared with her how I had become aware of fear I was storing in my body that was related to my Jewish upbringing. The book idea from many years ago came up in our conversation because it is related to my upbringing, and she was floored! I think she said, “Oh my God, Dale! This is huge!” at least five times. She encouraged me to write the book, and I said yes, albeit with a moderate degree of apprehension.
One of the issues I chose to take on in my book is religious guilt. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I was raised Jewish, so by the time I was 18 years old, I was fully loaded with guilt. One of the biggest sources of guilt that was instilled in me came from something I was taught while attending Jewish summer camp when I was around 7 years old, and this belief was reinforced throughout my Hebrew school education. We were told that if we ever forgot about the Holocaust, it would happen again, and it would be our fault. I remember being filled with unbearable fear after hearing that, but I did not have the tools to process it at all. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to my camp counselor about it, so I just kept it inside until I dealt with it decades later. Needless to say, it affected my ability to feel comfortable about myself and the world.
So flash forward to the present. As I was reading the first draft of Chapter One of my book, I became very frustrated because I thought it wasn’t making any sense, and I found it repetitious, so I started over. Again, nothing was going right, and I began questioning my decision to write this book. To make matters worse, I started having fears of annihilation. I was bombarded with thoughts of getting killed in an accident or contracting a fatal disease and never finishing my book and growing in my career. That was when I knew there was something seriously wrong with me, so I made an appointment with my Practitioner.
As soon as we started the session, I was overwhelmed with emotion and could not hold back my tears. Not only was I crying through her opening prayer, but the tears continued while I was telling her about my book and what I was experiencing. I can’t remember the last time I was that emotional.
After I finished telling her my tale of woe, my Practitioner began revealing the buried treasures. She said I was experiencing fear of the potential consequences of “betraying” my Jewish heritage. By disclosing what I was taught as a child that led me to developing significant guilt which in turn damaged my self-esteem and ability to be who I am in this world and feel safe, I unconsciously thought I was putting myself in a dangerous position. Here is the cool thing: after our session, I was able to re-write my first chapter with ease.
I’m certain there are people who think I should live in fear, and that I am not safe and will never be safe in this world because I am Jewish. I am not denying history, and I am not ignoring the presence of anti-semitism throughout the world. However, as my Practitioner pointed out to me, would my ancestors want me to live my life paralyzed by fear or would they want me to lean into God and live in faith?
The purpose of telling my story is not to encourage others to ignore the atrocities of the past or to be blind to anti-semitism, but to help all people reconcile past hurts and wounds that are the result of anything we learned in our religious upbringings that damaged us. My book is a story of spiritual liberation from debilitating fear. My personal experience of growing up in a culture that paralyzed me and filled me with self-loathing, creating a constant state of inner fear, distrust and anxiety is interwoven with guidance on how we can all liberate ourselves from that inner prison. The fearful consciousness I developed from my experience is not restricted to those raised in the Jewish religion. I know many people who were raised as Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, just to name a few, who had similar experiences with religious guilt and fear as I did.
I am grateful for the buried treasures that are being unearthed from writing this book. To become fully aware of the insidious fear I have been living with my whole life but just accepted as normal and internalized it has changed my life. To go against the Rabbis, my family, and my heritage was unthinkable. However, my desire to live my life without fear was so strong, I could no longer repress what has been subconsciously haunting me. The process of writing this book has allowed me to look beneath the surface in the face of potential alienation and shaming so that I could come to the realization that I do not have to live the rest of my life in fear, self-hatred, and anxiety.
My liberation began when I moved to Palm Desert in 2000 and attended what was then Religious Science Church of the Desert but is now Center for Spiritual Living Palm Desert. It is there that I found the key that unlocked the door to my inner freedom. I learned that I could change my entire belief system, and I did not have to live a fear-based life. I cultivated regular spiritual practices which included affirmative prayer, all of which served to galvanize my new consciousness. In 2008, I became a licensed Practitioner, and since then, I have been teaching others how to move from fear to faith and take their lives back.
If this blog has touched you in any way, please be sure to comment below or send me an email. Please also know that I am here to support you. Love and blessings to you!