How to feel more joy and less dread
A guy asked me:
"First, the 12 steps seem so goyish to me, especially the idea of step 6, "became entirely ready to have G-d remove these defects of character". It just sounds so goyishe to me.
Second, I keep feeling like G-d is screwing with me cuz so many obstacles and bad things happen to me. And anyway, the entire din of RH is looming and is so heavy. I hear that another minyan in my neighborhood is lighter about it. I just can't take it so I might daven there just to get away from the bitterness of the old, familiar RH/YK thing.
Anyway, my question was is there a way for me to feel less weight and more joy or something positive on RH/YK instead of this heaviness, guilt, dread etc...
I responded be"H (based on experience and the 3rd step I learned in recovery):
Maybe you can't, it's really tough. Once we have chosen (and yes, it was our choice - we are not victims) to see RH and other things as a matter of being afraid of our own G-d, that (very) goyishe idea may already be too deep in our hearts to ignore and will likely awaken over and over when we are around those people, around those tunes, etc....and what is even more inconvenient, we will probably blame it on "those rabbonim and sforim that say x, y and z to me and act that way" till the end of our days. For you and I tend to blame - always. But there is teshuvah and hischadshus, you know...it takes work. Is it worth it to us? I hope so.
Recovery is hischadshus, something new. Trying the same old thing and expecting a diffeent result is insanity,they say. The old way for us.
Real Torah can never portray G-d as our enemy, and can never teach us to be afraid of G-d - for that is so goyish an idea to think 'G-d could screw with me, be bad to me', or whatever. It stems from the (actually Zoroastrian) idea that there are two g-ds: a good one and a bad one (or in christianity, a G-d and a devil who share power). Nu. But we (you) have heard speeches and schmoozes stuff about "yir'as ha'onesh" and "mayseh soton" and came away (by our choice) with this sick idea of G-d being able to be bad to us, c"v. Gevalt, we are messed up...
Yet the truth is of course that Torah teaches that G-d cannot do anything bad to me. Period. Just like He cannot get a cold, break a leg, be killed, or drop dead....Rav Noach Weinberg tz"l used to say this idea often: saying G-d is kol yachol, (can do everything and anything) obviously does not include that He can catch a cold or break a leg...well, this is what that really means: he cannot be bad to me. He is unable to 'screw with me' as you put it, or to actually harm me in any way. Onesh must be always 100% good. G-d is the last one to be afraid of...as in "who's afraid of big bad god?" Silly, childish, goyish. Gpd is not my enemy, and cannot be feared in that way, c"v.
All He does is only and always for the best - meaning He cannot do any wrong to me, and all is for my benefit. Cuz He is One!...there is no sharing of power with the devil or with a bad god called, 'bad luck', or with you, or with anyone, at least in the mature Jewish concept if G-d, not your contaminated one - our contaminated one.
So what have we to fear, really? Onoh eileich meruchechoh, v'onoh miponechoh evrach? Im esak shomayim shom Otoh, v'atziyah sh'ol, hinekoh! And as Rebbi Nachman would remind us: G-d is everywhere, so He is also with us in (c"v) gehinom...so what is there to fear? He is One means there is no badness in Him!
Can you hear this? It grows out of my 3rd step, and growing up, helped a lot by true Torah teachers I have always had but never heard - till recovery (growing up) allowed me to.