I vividly recall my early years growing up amidst the turmoil of war. Born on April 12, 1964, I was the youngest of ten siblings in a large family. The backdrop of my childhood was the constant sound of sirens, signaling us to seek refuge in bomb shelters at any time of day or night. Every home and apartment building in Israel had its own shelter, and my family had to rush to a nearby apartment building whenever the sirens wailed. I remember the cramped, dark, and musty shelters, where we would huddle together, uncertain of when it would be safe to emerge.
The trauma of those experiences left a lasting imprint on my young mind. Any similar sounds, like ambulance or police sirens, would trigger those memories. This constant state of fear during my formative years shaped my understanding of the world as a place where trust was scarce, and danger lurked around every corner. It influenced how I related to people, how I approached friendships, and even how I perceived myself. My guard was always up, and I lived in perpetual fear that something terrible might happen at any moment.
In 1972, when I was around ten years old, another war engulfed our region. Israel had been in a state of war or political instability for as long as I could remember. The wars, terrorist attacks, bombings, and missile strikes created an environment of constant anxiety. We had to prepare for gas attacks by covering our windows with white towels. This unrelenting cycle of conflict affected every aspect of our lives.
The Israel government focused on securing the country, understandably so, but it didn’t address the psychological impact on its citizens, especially children. We had to fend for ourselves when it came to dealing with the emotional aftermath of these traumatic events. It took me a long time to realize that the constant fear I lived with wasn’t normal. It was a challenge that affected my relationships, my friendships, and my overall well-being. I started to understand that a normal state of being should be one of love and peace, not fear and discord.
My childhood left me in a perpetual state of high alert, which had profound effects on my emotional and mental health as I grew older. I operated on autopilot, driven by fear and the need to survive. Even in moments of relative calm, I couldn’t let my guard down. I buried myself in work and later in education, using them as a means of escape without realizing it.
At the age of sixteen, my life took a turn when my sister invited me to a meditation session. It was during this experience that I first felt a sense of calm that had eluded me for years. It was as if I had rediscovered a part of myself that had been lost since I was three years old. Meditation became a tool for me to reconnect with my inner self and confront the deep-seated fears and anxieties that had plagued me for so long.
My upbringing had a profound impact on my personal relationships. I struggled to let people get close to me due to my deep-seated fear and lack of trust. Opening up, expressing my feelings, and forming intimate connections were challenging for me. Living in a constant state of fear had made me emotionally closed off.
My journey towards healing and self-awareness began when I moved to Canada. There, I noticed people behaving differently, freely enjoying life without the constant fear that had gripped me in Israel. I sought out meditation as a means of finding inner peace and healing.
I embarked on a meditation journey that evolved over the years. I explored various techniques, each contributing to my growth and understanding of myself. My meditation practices helped me release the trauma and pain I had carried for so long. They allowed me to reconnect with my true self and heal wounds that I had long ignored.
As I continued my meditation journey, I began to develop a deeper relationship with spirituality and God. My anger and resentment towards God for allowing war and suffering started to transform. I no longer saw God as an external entity but as an ever-present force of love and compassion. This shift in perspective allowed me to make peace with religion and recognize the universal message of love that transcends all faiths.
Religion had played a significant role in my upbringing, imposing strict rules and restrictions. I had felt disconnected from the rituals and traditions, and it had created a sense of division. However, I learned that spirituality was a personal journey, and I no longer felt compelled to conform to external expectations.
My message to the children of war-torn regions like Ukraine and Syria is one of hope and resilience. I understand the pain and suffering you are enduring, but I want you to remember that your souls are timeless and connected to a greater purpose. While it may seem like an endless struggle, your experiences can shape you into compassionate individuals who can make a difference in the world. Do not let hatred and revenge consume you; instead, choose love and remain open to the possibility of a brighter future.
To the world of healing, I encourage you to practice unconditional love and compassion, just as the Dalai Lama teaches. Let us strive to lift each other up and walk as if we are extensions of God, spreading love and understanding. Our thoughts create our reality, so let us choose thoughts and emotions that promote peace and harmony, not only in ourselves but in the entire world.
My journey of healing continues, as it does for all of us. I believe that by raising our vibrations and choosing love over fear, we can create a better world for ourselves and future generations. Let us reach out to one another with our invisible hands and support each other on this journey of healing and transformation.