Monday, 23 January 2012

When do we finally get 'healed' and let go of Self-Will?

by Dov (See all authors)

In my case, I can't really do the jumping for joy till I am basically dead, I guess, but as a friend once told me, "any addict who is sober should get up and dance every day at least once!" So, I often do - but just for the privilege, not with any expectations for my future ( as if to imply that "whew! I've made it!") as far as lust or sanity is concerned. But yes, as far as life in general is concerned, I definitely expect to hang onto the acceptance that everything will be 'OK' in the end, no matter what, 'cuz Hashem's in charge.

In a practical sense, I buy the line from AA-ers that we (most likely) can/will never let go of our own will completely; that we will always be walking up these stairs.

It seems to me that during certain times I did/do really let go of my will completely, but there were times like that before sobriety too, like during a really good davening, in the middle of a nice niggun on a yomtov, or right after acting out (really - you may know what I mean)... and I soon took my will right back. So maybe the 'surrender' back then was not actually surrender at all, but just getting in touch with what's inside me: a real live desire to be totally attached and basically botul (nullified) to Hashem. In other words, it was a 'feeling' of surrender, without the surrender itself, at all. Presumably we all possess that. But it was like Shabbos vs the week - it just can't last. (As the Pasuk says "Va'yinafash - and Chazal explain it to mean on Motzai Shabbos - "Vai ovdoh nefesh - Woe that I have lost my [extra] soul!").

So for me it seems to be like the 3rd step says: "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of...", decided perhaps,but the doing is just starting. It never really ends, and that's OK. In fact, it beats the living daylights out of the way I lived before imperfectly being machniyah (subjugated) to the Ribono shel Olam!

If it is hard for me to accept imperfection, my choice remains: I could always just go back to the way it was before! Heck No, this imperfection is like "perfection" compared to the way life was before!! And that realization took a couple of years to dawn on me.

The real faith has been (and will hopefully continue to be) a slow development, in my case, borne out of many little pieces of what feels like mesiras nefesh at the time ("this is gonna kill me, it's crazy, I'm gonna die if I don't follow that lady over to the next isle in the supermarket a few more times!", or "it's not that I really think the road belongs to me really, it's just that that guy who sped by me is a jerk... a real jerk!", and "What?! You mean I can't get the internet without a filter?! I've been sober for 785 freaking years!"). The acceptance is there to continue to be open to letting go of self-will, but my e.g.o. (e dging G-d o ut) is still there... Hopefully it's slowly leaking out of me, b"H.

'nuff said.