Lust: The Dummy Light
His e-mail contains a lot of wisdom and it can help us all to approach our struggles with lust with the right attitude. Duvid Chaim writes as follows:
First and foremost, a huge Yasher Koach to you for this site and the countless hours that you undoubtedly spend on it. I have only been visiting the site for about a month and I am so pleased to see that the frum community has a real resource for help in this area.
In case you don't remember, I am 52 and have been in SA for nearly 2 years, and with G-d's mercy, have been making amazing progressive recovery. See my comments below to help understand why.
I would like to comment about the postings for "Appreciating the Wife" in e-mail #492. Regarding, "Be-Holy's" comments and the postings in response, I just want to remind everyone that the 12 Step Program is not about controlling lust. The Program is about attaining a "Spiritual Experience" that gives us freedom from lust.
It doesn't matter how many filters we put on our computer or how we hide ourselves and our eyes from the inevitable "sights" out there, if we are not seeking a spiritual remedy, we will get "tangled up" and eventually lose our sobriety.
Haven't you ever wondered why the AA Big Book is the core of all Programs for addictions; be it drugs, eating, gambling and yes, lust? It must mean that all addicts have something in common. That is why, as a sponsor (and I still consider myself a sponsee as well), I focus on what is going on beneath the surface that creates lust in the first place.
As we progress through the steps of the Program, we notice that when we take the "fearless moral inventory" of Step 4, we list our Resentments and Fears. And then in Steps 8 and 9, we make amends to the people we have harmed (invariable the same people we have resentments toward).
What does this teach us? The Program is teaching us that in order to find freedom from our addiction, we have to focus on getting RID of "R.I.D." - R esentment, I rritability and D iscontent. This is the universal cause of all our addictions, the underlying tangled up feeling that drives us to "soothe ourselves" with our drug of choice (in SA the drug of choice is lust).
So I would encourage everyone that participates in these forums to keep coming back to the question that we all need to ask ourselves when we feel lust (some days I ask myself this 100 times a day), "Hashem, help me understand, why am I feeling R.I.D - resentment, irritability and discontent, right now?"
In fact, I no longer see my lust as a curse or that there is something wrong with me or with my feelings toward my wife, but rather lust is like the "dummy light" in my car that lights up red when my engine oil is low. If I get annoyed at seeing the light, should I ignore it or disconnect it? No, instead I thank G-d that I got the warning light and that I can take my car in to get serviced. So too with our lust, it is just a warning light that we are getting tangled up with R.I.D.
And now we can all use this tool that Hashem has blessed us with (the "lust dummy light") to move forward with progressive recovery.
So to Be-Holy, I would simply suggest that he thank G-d for his feelings towards his wife. And by working the Steps, not only will he see his wife in a whole new light, but also himself and the awesome spiritual being that he is.