Letting Hashem do it FOR us
Today, before davening, I stopped by my parents house to show their cleaning lady what I needed her to do in the kitchen to prepare for my kashering their place on Motsoi Shabbos. When I entered the kitchen, I almost bumped into this girl. I thought a Polish cleaning lady would be older, lumpy, have a wart on her nose, crooked teeth, whatever. I was not prepared for an attractive young person with a dazzling smile whom I mamash almost hit noses with. Plus, I had to stand right next to her to show her the cracks and crevices of the sink drain and oven. I had to work overtime not to give her a second look each time I had to face that side of the kitchen or talk to her. B"H there were no bad thoughts today at those times, like the mental sparks that would have been flying a mere 5 months ago!
My main problem was driving away the lustful thoughts that tried to enter my mind after I left. I said, "NO, I'M NOT GOING THERE", but the YETZER HARA kept nagging at me, like "C'MON, IT'S ONLY THOUGHTS, WHY NOT ENJOY THE FANTASY?" So, as I've learned to do, I said out loud (I was alone in the car) "OK, I MUST BE FEELING R.I.D (restlessness, irritability and discontent) RIGHT NOW, AND THAT'S WHAT'S CAUSING THIS "NEED"... SO WHAT'S IT ABOUT?" And of course the answer was, "WELL, YOU'RE STRESSED OUT CUZ YOUR PARENTS ARE SO NEEDY AND CAN'T TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES, AND CUZ EVERY TIME YOU GO OVER THERE, THEIR NEEDINESS TAKES SO MUCH TIME TO DEAL WITH" (like today Dad couldn't find his hearing aid, so that search stole an unexpected half hour of my time - B"H I found it and was able to help, but the delay in my morning schedule caused the R.I.D). Well after I realized that, the thoughts B"H went away, like they have done in the past. Just knowing the underlining source which MANIPULATED me into lustful thoughts allowed me to say, "I REFUSE TO BE MANIPULATED", and my mind moved on.
But THAT was just a band aid. For the first time in a long time, I finally realized that.
When I was almost at Shemoneh Esrai, images of this person kept jumping up in my mind, and here I was in Tallis (representing my COMMITMENT of marriage, to focus on ONE woman for my life) and Tefillin (representing my COMMITMENT to be BOUND to Hashem), and yet this face and figure were swimming before me. It was THEN that I realized that my original response was ALL ABOUT ME - i.e. MY SELF AWARENESS (read EGO) thinking it had the full solution, and that through this, I was considering myself "in control" of removing lustful thoughts. My method was NOT about surrendering from the battle and giving my life over the Hashem. Here I thought I was firmly on the sun deck of Duvid Chaim's cruise ship, but I was really missing the boat.
So in my tefilla, I begged the Ribbono Shel Olam and said, "I CAN NOT DO THIS ALONE. I AM NOT IN CONTROL. I NEVER WAS. I CAN NOT TRUST MYSELF. TATTY, I NEED YOU TO TAKE THE LUSTFUL THOUGHTS OUT OF MY HEAD AND HEART. I'M BEGGING YOU TO RELIEVE ME OF THE BURDEN OF THIS OVERPOWERING YETZER HARA, PLEASE TAKE IT OFF OF MY SHOULDERS AND PLACE IT ON YOURS, AND FIGHT THE BATTLE FOR ME. PLEASE GIVE ME OF YOUR STRENGTH, TO FOCUS MY DESIRES ONLY UPON THE SPECIAL WIFE YOU HAVE GIVEN ME IN YOUR GREAT KINDNESS, AND TO APPRECIATE THE GOOD THAT YOU ALWAYS GIVE ME."
Immediately after that the images went *poof*, and even now, as I type this, remembering them means no more to me than remembering that there is a desk in front of me.
This is the KEY to the CHAYRUS, the FREEDOM, that we all seek. Taking this burden of the YETZER HARA for lust, and giving it to Hashem. HE has the Power to deal with it, not me. This is the beginning of the SPIRITUAL CONNECTION with Hashem that Duvid Chaim has been talking about, asking HASHEM to DO IT, and NOT TO JUST HELP ME DO IT. And with that, for the time being, I've found more FREEDOM from my desires than I had before.
I thank Hashem for the privilege to have become part of this great GYE Chevra. Before you, life was unbearable. I shudder to think where I would be today if I hadn't joined you 5 months ago. Certainly not over 150 DAYS CLEAN!! It's like a DREAM!
Hashem has been so wonderful to me, and has taken me out of a great part of my own personal Mitzrayim, and is leading me out of the rest. Yehi Ratzon that I be zoche to become a true Eved Hashem, and with my family at home and with my GYE Family abroad, be zoche together to the Geulah Shelayma, speedily and in our days.