Friday, 25 December 2015

Why did Hashem give this to me in the first place?

Q: I'm currently doing my steps with a non-Jewish sponsor. I am up to step 2/3 and I'm pretty stuck. I can't get past it because I have a question that's bothering me. Being that it's G-D related, my sponsor has told me to pose this question to a Jewish "rabbi" etc. I'm turning to you, thinking maybe this has already been discussed on GYE, and you can direct me to an answer. If only a "power greater than myself" (Hashem) can restore me to sanity, then why did he make me "insane" and give me this addiction in the first place? If I'm powerless over it, that means I didn't "choose" it. And if only He can take it away, then why give it to me to begin with?

by GYE (See all authors)

A: To answer your question, let me start with this introduction: Powerless doesn't mean you are not responsible for your recovery. The 12-Steps is actually all about taking responsibility! All that powerless means is that you can't do anything about the addiction itself, like someone who has diabetes can't do anything about that fact. But they can and must take their insulin, and you CAN and MUST do everything that is in your power to allow HASHEM into your life so that HE will do for you what you can't do for yourself.

The steps from 4 and on are all there to teach us how to get rid of our character defects so that we can finally let Hashem in. And when we let Hashem in, He will take CARE of us way better than we can care for ourselves (which is what we were doing in addiction - trying to care for ourselves in an insane way).

So asking a question "why Hashem gave me in the first place?" is like asking, "If insulin and exercise can anyway help deal with my diabetes, why did Hashem give it to me in the first place?"

Hashem gave you the addiction, yes, but He wants to see you take responsibility and do what YOU can do, which is to work on your character defects in order to let Him more and more into your life and into your heart. And once you do that, He will restore you to sanity. So the first 3 steps are just saying, "Change your focus. Stop trying to deal with the addiction itself, you can't. Instead, recognize that only Hashem can". The rest of the steps are about how to get Hashem to actually do it for us, i.e. by taking responsibility for what we CAN do, which is ridding ourselves of that which stands between us and Hashem's help.

Suggestion: Click here to listen to a very insightful twelve part workshop on the 12-Steps from Dov (who is sober in SA for 18+ years) to understand how to make the 12-Step program work for you.

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Reply:

Thank you so so very much for the reply. I will re-read it over the next few days and internalize these ideas. I appreciate the clarity with which you have explained it all.

Thank you for the link to the workshop as well. Will start listening to it iyh.