To admit being sick is a kind of embarrassment, especially for someone who bakes organic spelt bread, cooks organic rice, and mixes in lots of fresh vegetables.
Then we have to admit there is more to us than what we eat. There's also what we do, besides cook. Look, a person 63 years old should be in charge of her life, right? So why does every message on email act as a directive from Heaven and end only in confusion?
One of my earliest adolescent memories is walking to class with a classmate on a blustery day at a Connecticut boarding school. I felt overwhelmed with the schoolwork and said, what am i going to do? What am I going to do?
One of our teachers passed by at that moment and said in a gentle, mocking tone, what are you going to do, Elise?
At that time this girl, at age 13, felt so embarrassed that she didn't get the message. Yes, people advised her to go to study hall, ask a friend for help, but that only confused her more. It wasn't correct to admit that, though. She only got the message at age 63, half a world away, when both parents, of blessed memory, passed away.
Why the Connecticut boarding school? Ha! Let's tell you.
The adolescent girl's father at that time was sort of going through changes, in work, in marriage, and self-esteem. The mother no longer depended on him; she made more money than he did, and the psychologist backed her up but did not back him up.
So this girl, distressed and confused by the fighting, ran over to the Kuglers' house for some backing up. She listed the faults of her father, and the secular Mr. Kugler, of blessed memory, the only one home at this time, found a Code of Jewish Law on the shelf and read from the chapter on Honor Due to Parents:
"...To what extent must you revere them? If you were dressed in costly clothing and presiding over the assembly and your father or mother came and tore your clothing, struck you on the head and spat in your face, you must not embarrass them, or show distress in their presence or anger towards them; but you must be silent and fear the King who is King of Kings..."
Do you realize the revolution Mr. Kugler created in the heart of the girl who until now had only the counsel of a psychologist, who approved and magnified and drew out ever-increasing anger and poison?
Yet in the end the psychologist won, and convinced everyone that for the good of the child the Connecticut boarding school was the way to go.
Let's imagine: when on the blustery day that teacher asked, what are you going to do, Elise? Let's say the adolescent girl had gone for a walk in the woods and asked her Creator what to do.
G-d might have said, honey, go home. Revere your parents; the psychologist knows nothing. When things get tough, visit Mr. Kugler and read more from that Code of Jewish Law.
Could that have worked? Yes, of course. But she didn't believe; not in herself, not in the ability to correct her mistakes, not in G-d's desire to help.
So what now?
The 63-year-old woman asked G-d what? What?
Well for starters: careful how you feed your mind! From where do we learn this? From my secular son Joe, the army medic and master of massage, who warned me yesterday not to scratch the enamel frying pans with metal utensils, but rather to use only wood. Why? If it's scratched, it's poison. It has to be whole, not cracked. And he bought for us a new, whole frying pan.
Then we realized: Psychology has poisoned the mind of this writer for 50 years.