Sunday, 22 January 2012

Dealing with Fantasies

by Dov (See all authors)

There is an old chassidishe story about a bal teshuvah who asked his Rebbe about dealing with inappropriate thoughts (particularly regarding distractions during davening). He told him to go to such-and-such a yid's house that night. The chosid traveled there immediately, got there kind of late at night, knocked on the door, and was ignored. He looked around the house and saw a yid in there! He knocked again and banged a few times....nothing.

Nu. So he sat there and fell asleep for the night. In the morning, the door opens wide and a smiling yid welcomes him into his home, sits him down and gives him something to drink.

The guest asks, "what's up with last night"?! and he is told something like this:

"I am the ba'al habos here. It's my home, nobody else's. I decide who I let in and who I don't. Just because you or anybody knocks on the door, does not mean I need to open the door or even check who it is. I don't have to, right?"

Can you hear this? It's not a mussar lesson to me, nor philosophy. It's just a fact.

One caveat: I, an addict, use this method every day now. But before recovery it was completely impossible for me to even relate to it. It was basically just another silly (but attractive) sounding idea for me to feel guilty about failing at. In recovery, I learned what I can tolerate and what I cannot tolerate; that I am a precious person who doesn't deserve to suffer with lust thoughts. It took me a long time to accept that I just deserved better. They are just torture, nothing more.

So now I let go of them and Hashem helps dispose of them. I openly and calmly talk to Him about them as humbly as I can; I call any guy who understands my illness and tell him about it in a clear but safe way; and I share about it at recovery meetings.

One day at a time, with Hashem's assistance, I'm as free as I want to be.