“Making a Break”

Cherie Brown, the International Liberation Reference Person for Jews, recently led a Jewish Liberation Workshop in Oakland, California, USA. It was a transformative weekend for me.

Cherie shared that instead of “taking the next step” in re-emergence, we could “make a break from the past.” I saw how making a break was a decision, was completely outside of any distress, and would provide a perspective that we were no longer living in the hurts of our early lives. It would definitively show that the present reality was safe and hopeful. At the same time it would allow us to discharge on the hurts of our past in a deeper way, because we wouldn’t be confused that they were still happening.

On Saturday evening Cherie talked about how RCers are not yet in full agreement about the part of the RC Jewish liberation policy on Israel and Palestine. She asked who did not agree with a two-state solution, and five of us raised our hands. I was terrified to admit it. I had been quiet about my political beliefs, because I was afraid that I would “lose” Cherie (jeopardize our relationship) if she knew where I stood on the issue.

Cherie said she was going to counsel each of us, and I started crying and shaking before I even got up to the front. She asked, “What would you have to face if the policy were correct?” I said, “I can’t even consider that question yet; I’m so scared to have said I did not agree,” and I continued to cry and shake for quite a while.

The most remarkable thing about this turn was that Cherie stayed with me. She didn’t go away; her mind was still with me. I showed my struggle as openly as I could and was willing to counsel on her direction and see where it took my thinking. She said there had to be room for us to work on our feelings about Israel and Palestine, and she gave me that room. After the session I realized that each feeling I had about the policy was parallel to a distress recording from an early hurt.

On Sunday morning Cherie counseled me again in front of the group. I continued to work on my relationship with her, while noticing that she was still with me. She lovingly pointed out that I didn’t appear to trust anyone and gave me the direction to trust her. After discharging on the spot where I could not trust her, I made a decision to trust her. It felt like a huge leap in my mind and my heart. I didn’t know what was on the other side. But I had experienced over the years that Cherie could think about me and my constituencies, and I put my faith in that. I took the leap. It made a shift in my mind; it made a break. After the workshop I kept discharging on it. I was able to fix in my mind the spot where I trusted Cherie, and I felt a little less alone in the world.

Thank you, Cherie, for counseling us so lovingly and fiercely, for continuing to think at the very edge of your mind, and for making a break and helping us do the same. Thank you for loving us as Jews.


California, USA

(Present Time 185, October 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00