Outwardly Religious vs. Inwardly Spiritual
On Duvid Chaim's phone group we defined the difference between being "outwardly religious" and being real spiritual people.
A "religious" person is one who believes there is a hell.
A spiritual person has BEEN to hell.
And that's step 1: Hitting bottom. And as a result of having been "in hell", the person's connection with Hashem is REAL and it's growing.
But even THAT'S not gonna save us.
What's gonna save us and get us to freedom is:
#1: To ACCEPT THAT OUR ADDICTION IS AN ALLERGY, meaning that I can't even touch Lust or I will not be able to stop myself from falling. So I need to make that fence very strong. (And here we talk a lot about advice and emergency measures).
But even THAT is not enough to save us!! We need:
#2: To REALIZE and INTERNALIZE the CAUSES THAT MAKE US WANT TO LUST. Those reasons are personal and specific to each of us, but they have the SAME EFFECT on each of us. They bring us to DEPRESSION and ANGER and wanting to be somewhat SELF-DESTRUCTIVE because inside we HATE OURSELVES. And when we fall and act out, it is either because we WANT to be self-destructive, or because we are ANGRY at Hashem and want to do something to get back at Him, or because WE ARE IN SO MUCH PAIN THAT WE WANT TO ESCAPE IT, we want to NUMB OURSELVES to avoid facing it for a while. And the DRUG OF CHOICE that we (lust-addicts) use to numb ourselves and escape from Life, is Lusting and Acting Out.
#3: TO ACT UPON THAT REALIZATION (in #2 above) and actually ERADICATE and uproot from the CORE, those forces that that creates the Depression. We need to learn how to overcome our resentments of life and our fears of being hurt - or of future failure.
Now, did you hear any "religious" Talk in those steps? NO!! Because just being religious is not a direct part of it.
However, where G-d does come in, is where we ask Him to guide us and help us, and to give us of HIS strength to overcome those forces. We can't do it on our own. (At least I know I couldn't!!)
And in doing that, we become more spiritually focused, because Hashem becomes a more prominent part of our daily life and struggles. Not through being more outwardly religious, but by being more inwardly SPIRITUAL.
For us Torah Yidden, that means D'veykus Ba'Hashem. And that is a POSITIVE FORCE that gives us tremendous Chizuk & renews our strength to stand up to our Yetzer Hara each day, and not get depressed if we slip or fall.
The 12-Step Program WORKS, and many of us in Duvid Chaim's call (and in 12-Step SA groups around the world) have gotten to the point where the Yetzer Hara for lust can be pushed aside like a pesky fly on your shoulder, and you'll never nail-bite over it again.