Thursday, 01 December 2011

Perhaps Our Only Chance to Get Our Very Own G-d

When life is good, I understand G-d is in charge, but when things are falling apart, it's hard to see that.

by Dov (See all authors)

The first 3 Steps of the 12-Steps state:

1. We admitted we were powerless over lust--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Someone writes to Dov about Step 3:

WELL, I THOUGHT I MADE SUCH A DECISION, AT LEAST WHEN I'M GOING GOOD, BUT THAT ALL FALLS APART WHEN I'M FALLING.

Dov Responds:

Maybe the reason it all falls apart is because another god can come to our rescue. WE cannot even touch the 3rd step without taking steps 1 & 2 as best we can.

One caveat again: This is not a matter of apikorsus! I believe that an addict is no more an apikoress than anyone else can be. How many non-addicts have their emunah really put to the test on a daily basis as we do? I wonder. Every addict I have met is striving for something he or she can't seem to reach. We are a rather unsatisfied lot.


Whether it's a demand for perfectionism, a need for deep spirituality, or the pain of comparing ourselves to others and feeling like a worthless piece of garbage as a result... I believe we are doomed to be either extremely spiritual and always growing toward perfection - or to be drugging with something very intoxicating - like lust, when it doesn't quite work the way we expected it would.


For whatever reason, I see it as Rav Noach zt"l would tell the cycler who fell off a cliff and landed safely cushioned between two boulders. The fellow told him that since he had that miracle, he needs no yeshivah nor Torah to teach him about G-d any more. Rav Noach responded: But why did you fall off the cliff in the first place? Do you see G-d only as 'Superman' coming to rescue you as needed? It seems He wanted your attention.

That is what I come away from being an addict with: For some reason, the Creator of Heaven and Earth wanted my attention. Rachmona leeba bo'ei. He was not satisfied with me having a superficial relationship with Him. And it was bashert that I become an addict and have to find Himby way of depravity and insanity. I am not touching on bechirah issue - the fact is that I am an addict, and at some point I became hopeless. And He was and is the only One who can really save me... lo ayacheil! Ein od milvado! Many other people apparently are able to learn that through mitzvos - I could only learn it through aveiros. Sorry, that is just the way it was.

Our compulsive use of lust is a mental, spiritual, and emotional illness that is expressed in step 1. If we truly recognize what kind of deep trouble we are in, then steps 2 & 3 become necessary. If they are not indispensable, we need to go back to step 1.

Steps 4 - 7 are about everything else screwy about us - not the addiction.


We often seem to see our problem as only a lusting problem - as though if only we'd have the compulsive sexual acting out removed from us, we'd be fine. Take it or leave it, but that is not how any sober addict I know sees the 12 step recovery program. Besides, it's wasting Rav Noach's whole approach ...this may be our only shot at getting a real G-d of our very own, for a change. How many frum people do you know who you know to have a vibrant relationship with Hashem and really feel and act like Hashem is their very Best Friend? Certainly you know from yourself that being a frum person is no guarantee of that relationship - just look at ourselves! If we'd be that close with Hashem, then why did we worship porn stars and their body parts for so long? ... and in secret ... and even though we knew He didn't want us to do it? Something, actually, probably a few things, are not right with us. We need some help.


Our compulsive acting out with lust, alcohol, gambling, whatever - is a symptom of our unhealthiness - not the other way around.


Please consider looking into the 12 & 12 (by AA) on steps 4, 5, 6, & 7 on this. A sober alcoholic in recovery changes from a person who is obsessed with stopping his drinking - which he is unable to do without a miracle anyway - into a person whose mission in life is letting go of his selfish self-centeredness, crippling pride and fear and other mishegas'n - in order to be truly useful to others, Hashem, and himself ...for a change.