Sara Jacobovici – Making Sense of a New-Found Fear
I wasn’t afraid of anything until I became an orphan.
After my mother, Ida, of blessed memory, passed away last August, I found myself immersed in the flow of Heraclitus’s river; gripping onto a log or a vine, or clinging onto a rock from time to time, pausing to catch my breath.
It was horrible losing my father, Joseph, of blessed memory, 21 years ago, but I didn’t experience what was happening to me now. Now I was feeling scared.
I grew up with an attitude of facing challenges head on and surviving, no matter what. Fear was a factor not a determinant. I never asked, will I? I simply looked at how. I was secure in my focus and acted accordingly.
So, what is the difference now? Why am I experiencing this wave of fright, this sense of insecurity? During a recent pause, I found my answer: Having become an orphan, I feel disconnected and have lost my sense of ground.
Often, when we face a personal tragedy, we begin to question any belief system we own. Interestingly enough, my loss didn’t shake up my spiritual identity. I realized that it is my physical identity that has been shaken up. This dichotomy, between my physical and spiritual identity, is the source of my being scared. Because I am no longer physically connected to the people who gave me life in this world, I am forced to reframe my physical ground. Not an easy task.
As an integrator, I know that the first stroke towards shore would be to find my spiritual identity in the physical world. By being aware that I am the swimmer in this river; I can work with its current and navigate my path within its flow. I can find my way towards shore, climb up onto the bank, and ground myself as an observer of everything around me. As an observer, I am free to make choices anew. My first choice would be to choose where I am.
My sense of place has been a similar experience to those of us who have wandered throughout the world. I began my life in Israel, grew up in Montreal, studied in Philadelphia, lived and worked in Toronto and made Aliyah to Israel in 2009. Being no longer physically connected to my parents, I now choose to reconnect with the place my parents chose to be married, a place they chose to start a family and to which my family chose to return to after wandering for 47 years. This choice grounds me; connects me to a place, a history and a community.
What I imagine taking place in this process of reframing my physical connection, my physical identity, will be to form a new spiritual connection with my parents.
I chose to experience my new-found fear as the communicator fear is; bringing my attention to what is happening so that I can strategize appropriately.
Now, to pause and catch my breath.