Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dramatic Struggle or a Wisp of Fog?

by Dov (See all authors)

Someone wrote on the forum:

I realize now that I need to start being the hero of my own life and defeat all obstacles in my path. If we can learn to see our lives as a dramatic struggle, it can be easier... And that's exactly what it is; we just have trouble seeing ourselves as real heroes..

Dov Responds:

I'm not arguing with you at all, but most of the time I need the quiet, calm attitude that I am just another little fellow and this is my little struggle about another silly little temptation, no matter how huge I think they are. I need to realize that in lust, I create a mountain out of something that really should be nothing but a "thread." Certainly it should not be my goal to make a big freaking deal about every pretty woman who walks by me! Our goal is to basically be able to ignore them, no? Isn't ignoring more like minimizing the issue? Making a huge deal out of it (the image, the desire, the struggle, and the victory) will just make it a bigger deal in my own head, rather than allowing it to be just more road kill.

Often, when I make that desperate call for help, the biggest help is the fellow addict on the other end of the line reminding me to take it easy and remember what I was busy doing before getting lost in this nuttiness and to surrender and just let it pass. To laugh about how silly the entire "battle" in my head is! That helps me a lot. It's nice to be in reality, for a change.

In the bigger perspective, I agree fully: whether I follow the lady around at the supermarket to get a better look at her, go onto youtube just to check this thing out, just listen to the radio story about the latest sex scandal, or look into that People magazine on the table may in fact be a huge turning point in my very life. My behavior one way or the other will most-likely affect the quality of my avodah, marriage, and job. However, within that struggle itself, it is essential that I forget all that and just see me as I am right then: a sweet little guy with an another little moment of struggle that will pass and be like a wisp of fog. After the struggle is over, I'd rather not rejoice over-much, but just let it be road kill. Hashem will make me grow, don't worry. Better let it stay road-kill than give it bigger real-estate in my mind. After all, that's what it wants!

While the dramatic nature of the struggle might seem to be a great motivator, getting "right-sized" is usually even more valuable for me.