Introducing Barbara Brodsky and Aaron
(Excerpted from the book Aaron.)
Barbara: Many of you have asked me how I met Aaron. I’d like briefly to share the story.
I lost my hearing in 1972, soon after my first child was born. I coped well with the loss, on the surface. I continued with my sculpture and teaching and had two more children. Through those years I was aware that although I did what I needed to do for myself and my family, I was very bitter about the isolation my deafness seemed to impose.
This anger didn’t negate the fact that my life was full. I had a loving and beautiful family, work I loved, and caring friends. I honor in myself that I was able to cope well with so difficult a situation. But in striving to cope, I didn’t allow myself to feel the pain of my isolation, which is real. Afraid that pain would overwhelm me, I denied it, and turned my anger to outward things. I couldn’t see that it was the anger, not the deafness, that deepened my sense of separation., I was angry at people who talked near me when I couldn’t understand, and angry at God. I lost all sense of a spiritual aspect to my life.
Slowly I became aware that I had to look at what was happening. It had been years since I’d attended Quaker Meeting; I began to go and to look forward to that weekly hour of silent communion with spirit. In time, I began to meditate again as a daily practice, although with no clear sense of direction. I also wrote daily in a journal, a tool that put me into deeper touch with my subconscious mind. I felt drawn to read from spiritual work, especially those ideas from eastern religions concerning reincarnation and karma. As I opened to myself and became more caring and forgiving, I found an increasing inner peace.
Despite all that I was learning, I began to feel rather stuck. I was still bitter, cut off from normal human communication, and blaming God for my situation. I began to pray for help, understanding that I just couldn’t go any further on my own.
As the weeks passed, I began to notice that in the question/answer format I often used in my journal, the “answer” part was beginning to speak from a new perspective, pushing me to open myself to new ideas and ways of thinking.
Soon after that, I met Aaron. Suddenly, one day during meditation, I was aware of a figure standing just off to one side. I asked him who he was and very simply he told me he was Aaron, and was my guide.
I’m not going to suggest that I took this casually. The idea of a “spirit guide” was new to me; I wondered briefly if I was hallucinating. But every time I looked, Aaron was there, just patiently waiting for me to be ready to move ahead. It was important that I never felt any pressure to accept him. He made it clear from the beginning that we had all the time I needed to be ready for any learning that he offered. I wasn’t frightened because I felt so much love, felt a gentleness and connection dimly remembered from some unknown past.
At first my rational mind tried to ask, “Who is Aaron?” Slowly I realized it didn’t matter. I began to listen with my heart, and not play mind-games. I understood that it was irrelevant whether Aaron was simply a deeper part of my subconscious or was external. I was getting information that I needed for growth and to which I hadn’t had previous access. As I began to trust that information, and my own ability to hear it, I became clearly aware of Aaron’s existence as a separate entity.
He tells me he is a being who has evolved beyond the need to return to the physical plane. He is from “beyond the causal plane.” He defines himself as a “being of light,” which he says we all are. I’ve come to know him as a being of infinite love, compassion and wisdom. He also has a wonderful warmth and sense of humor. He is a teacher.
As my trust deepened, Aaron led me on a beautiful journey into myself, into past lives to unearth the sources of some of the pains of this life, examining the questions of isolation and separation on which my deafness forced me to focus. Together we healed the suffering of that deafness and went on to investigate the origins of these issues of separation and isolation. The journey has been both painful and joyous, frightening and beautiful. Always, Aaron’s love was there to help me through the rough places.
Yes, my deafness is still painful. I doubt that I’ll ever be completely used to this silence. But I also embrace it. Twenty-six years of silence is a profound teacher, and I thank it for the ways it’s led me to deepen in understanding. I no longer fight with it. I no longer feel this silence as my pain. It is our pain, the aloneness of us all, and its arising serves as a reminder for connection and compassion.
Constantly, I see Aaron’s wisdom and compassion touching other’s lives, as it has touched mine. Many others have come to love him and trust his guidance, first my friends, then their friends, and on in an expanding circle around the globe. It humbles me to see myself as part of this chain of sharing, to be permitted this part in it and to learn and watch others learning. It brings me much joy! I am in awe of the process.
And so, with great love, I offer you Aaron.