A 'Paradigm Shift' in Thinking

In a discussion on dating and "whether those with attractive wives have it any easier with their addiction" (see this thread), Dov posted a beautiful reply that can really open our eyes to what recovery is supposed to be all about. Dov writes:

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 01 February 2012

I feel that this entire discussion is nice in theory, but the missing "context" is very loud in its absence.

Please bear with me on this...

A Rebbe of mine, who was a great gadol b'yisrael (and my mesader kiddushin) told us in a shmuz that being in Yeshiva is all about self-development, improving your learning ability and your knowledge, your quality of kiyum hamitzvos, learning how to be a real y'rei Shomayim, and doing Teshuva.

In other words, it's basically a self-centered endeavor. Right? He didn't say it's bad, mind you, just that it is self-centered, because it has to be.

Even working on your anivus is basically a self-centered activity (all Novardok jokes aside)... but what else are we to do? The job needs to get done somehow! "im ein ani li mi li"!

Now it seems to me that for a normal person, the "system" should work just fine. But just about every addict that I have met is a "self-absorbed" person, and that is the root of their problem. Therefore, I think that the Yeshivishe system - which I would not replace for anything - has an inherent problem for addicts. It stokes the flames of self-absorption and self-centeredness tremendously, by telling us that these are wonderful things. Not being selfish, but being basically totally self-centered and self-absorbed.

So while the points being raised in this thread make for interesting moral, mental, and Torah hashkofa exercises, the elephant in the room is: When will you turn from being all wrapped up in what you need and want, and open yourself up to making your main focus in all your avodah to become the man that your future wife will need and want?

All the great gems that the folks here have dropped for us will likely remain useless tools, as long as they are all about "finally" satisfying ourselves. Your context is far more important than your facts or knowledge. And context is real hard to measure. Only Hashem, and you - in your own heart - can tell. It's what the Shulchan Aruch is referring to when it says "kol ma'asecha yihi'yu l'Shem Shomayim". And that mainly means not l'shem us. Simple.

And it's what addicts call the Third Step.
("We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him").

Once we get that right, what concerns us will change to matters that really have a solution.