Real Change Takes Time
Someone wrote to Dov:
Often when I ignore an opportunity to act-out the image keeps popping back, coupled with resentment that I didn't act on the opportunity. It's as if I'm only postponing it in my subconscious. How do I surrender it totally, 100% with every fiber of my being?
Well, the "every fiber of my being" idea is a nice idea, and fits well with the direction of all the mussar we learn, but practically speaking, it sounds like unmitigated, unbridled perfectionism, to me.
What gives us the right to describe to Hashem exactly in what manner and at what rate He should make us better? Hey, you wrote that this is the first time for you wading the waters of surrender - of giving up the lust rather than 'fighting' it.... It's surely a process, and I think that the images and temptation should return! The thing I need to do then is get verbal, and express to Him exactly what I want now: "I got that image back, the fantasy back, and I ask You to help take it away again. Please free me from it now, just for today. Thanks so much." Keep going at it, over and over.
Anyway, if all our temptations were reduced to rubble with one day of powerful teshuvah, I believe most of us would be elated for a day - and then go absolutely nuts with resentment and unprotected pain. There are reasons behind our stupid lusting and acting out that are way, way beyond us. It served a purpose for us because of various ways that we are twisted in our relationships with other people, inside ourselves, and with our entire concept and relationship with G-d as our Loving Master and Father.
This may not be apparent at the beginning, but trust me, after a few months (and then years) of your ridiculous lust mishega'as not being an option for a coping mechanism to cover your garbage, all kinds of amazing discoveries will be made by you, like it or not . Every aspect of your life will get easier and less complicated. Now, change of personality and natural tendencies must take time if it is to last inside us at all!
We have all changed the fake way, before... it lasts a while and then we are left with guilt and more lust to pacify our wounds....want more of that? Nah! right?
Ask Him for patience, even if you fail at your goal. Ask for wisdom and patience, to be useful to Him and to other people.
He is not nearly done with you yet.