Let's Talk about G-d
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1315  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
Editor’s Note: Sometimes I forget...
12 Step Attitude: D'veikus is not a one way street - Hashem wants US back!
Daily Dose of Dov: The Powerlessness of an Addict
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Editor’s Note
 
Sometimes I forget...

What is obvious to me is that we did not create ourselves... life is something inside of you. You did not create it. Once you understand that, you are in a spiritual realm.
--Virginia Satir

We do not belong to ourselves.

No one planned to come into existence; we just happened to find ourselves here.

What does this mean on a practical level for how we will live today? For one thing, maybe we don't need to take ourselves so seriously. And we certainly are not to judge our existence. We have a right to be here, just as everyone does.

We can live this day fully and not hold ourselves back. 

We may work hard, play, and enjoy it. We need not rein in or attempt to control this force which so far exceeds our individual powers.  

Rather, today we can learn to flow with the current.

Today, may I remember my Higher Power is within every cell of my being, whether I notice it or not.

 

12 Step Attitude
 
D'veikus is not a one way street - Hashem wants US back!
 
By Duvid Chaim

R. Feigenbaum spoke once on the phone conference. At the heart of the discussion was basically the question:

How can I, with all of my aveiros, ever expect to get close to Hashem? Who am I fooling? I've stood before the King before and pledged my desire to leave behind my sins and do Teshuvah. And I know what I did, hours, days or weeks later. Why should I even try anymore?

In chapter 33 verse 10, Yechezkel conveys the Word of Hashem, as He says, "Now you, Son of Man, say to the House of Israel, 'Thus, have you spoken, saying, "Since our sins and our iniquities are upon us and we are wasting away because of them, how can we live?"

In the next Pasuk, verse 11, Hashem instructs Yechezkel to tell us, "As I live, I swear that I do not desire the death of the wicked one, bur rather the wicked ones' return from his way, that he may live. Repent, repent from your evil ways! Why should you die, O House of Israel?"

It's important to appreciate what Hashem is telling us - even at a time of perhaps our lowest point in our relationship with Him - when our Temple is being destroyed and when we are being expelled from our Land: that HE WANTS US BACK!

WE HAVE TO STOP & APPRECIATE THE POWER OF HASHEM'S LOVE FOR US. EVEN WHEN WE SIN, EVEN WHEN HE IS PUNISHING US, WHAT DOES HE WANT MOST? THAT WE RETURN TO HIM!

And this time, my Dear and Holy Brothers, it IS going to be different. For, as R. Feigenbaum pointed out, thanks to our participation through GYE, we are all demonstrating our desire to attach ourselves to Hashem. And it's going to be different this year, because we are realizing that our d'vaikus is not a one way street anymore. Hashem is just waiting for us to yell out:

"AVINU - Our Father, our Tatty - I can't do this anymore by myself. I believe that only YOU can restore me to Sanity. And I've decided to turn my will and my life over to Your Care. I am ready, yes finally ready, to have You remove all my shortcomings." (Steps 2, 3 and 6).

Daily Dose of Dov
 
The Powerlessness of an Addict
 
Part 1/6
 
By Dov

Someone posted on the forum an excerpt from an article at livescience.com which he says reminds him a lot of the idea that an addict is "powerless" over lust. Here's the excerpt:

If you think you're generally good at resisting temptation, you're probably wrong, scientists now say.

"People are not good at anticipating the power of their urges, and those who are the most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give into temptation," said Loran Nordgren, senior lecturer of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, in Illinois.

The result: Many of us unwittingly expose ourselves to tempting situations, leading to a greater likelihood of indulging in addictive behaviors.

The bottom line, Nordgren says: Avoid situations where such weaknesses thrive, and remember you're not that invincible.

 

Dov responds - and describes his own perception of powerlessness:

Yes, but I'd like to add that in the case of addicts - at least in my case, I can sit for a hour learning Sha'arei RMCH"L, Gemorah or Bnei Yisoschar (after asking my Best Eternal Friend to help me learn right, so I can get better and do His Will), daven a happy and tearful Mincha, and still end up acting out worse than I ever did before, ruining my wonderful life - all within an hour or less - if I choose to take a longer look (than Hashem arranged for me to see) at an inappropriate image/person I pass by. This doesn't have to happen - but it can. As the Ramban says in parshas Kedoshim; the change that overtakes a person from lust is shockingly powerful. (And he may not even be talking about addicts... Ouch).

I also totally reject the idea that the very change in my priorities and perspective that happens as a result of looking, proves that I wasn't really sincere in the first place. I believe that many addicts do sincerely desire to stop, but simply do not know how.

I also reject the idea that my insincerity is proven by the very fact that I took that extra look. Some may disagree, but addicts are really very perplexing, so I can't blame any of them for it.

As an addict, I have no defense whatsoever for even the very first "drink". I wish no reward at all for any victory over lust, as I give the entire credit to Hashem. Woe to me when I start to take credit for "beating the Yetzer Hara". I speak only for myself here, friends. But I have discovered that I actually - really - need Hashem's help for it.

And I do not need "encouragement" to stay sober any more than I need encouragement to breathe or to eat. (Nu, I'll still take some chizuk once in a while!).

I ask for His help each day for staying sober that day only, and he gives it to me - so far. I can't work for sobriety tomorrow any more than I can eat or go to the restroom for tomorrow.

So yes, we Yidden are generally advised to avoid nisyonos - as the article above explains, but for me with lust, it's even more than that. I avoid it because I'm an addict, and I know that the change that lust brings over me takes away all my free-will. It's very much like getting stone drunk; you really never know what you'll end up doing. The change I undergo from lust makes me miserable, useless and pathetic, and I do not want to go back there, cuz I'll die there. In spite of all this, I still would end up going back there if I relied on my own will-power, even with my very best thinking!

So thank G-d for sobriety today! He must love us so much!

Now I think I'll sit down and learn...

 

Why does Dov keep emphasizing our "powerlessness"?

I think that there are two main reasons why the 12-Steps are built on the foundation of the first step: "Powerlessness".

1) Once we know that we are powerless over lust, we finally acknowledge that we can no longer afford to struggle with lust at all - if we are to remain sober and sane. Once we take that "first drink", we are already on a slippery downward slide. We have no choice but to completely let go of it.

2) I just saw a story in the Gemara (Taanis 24a) that made me laugh. The Gemara says that there was a drought and Rav Nachman davened for rain and the rain still didn't come. When Rav Nachman saw that his prayers were not answered he began to bemoan and cry "take Nachman and throw him down off a high wall onto the ground!" (in other words, if Hashem doesn't answer me, I'm obviously not worthy - so remove me from my high status as a Tzadik/Amorah). And the Gemara says that Rav Nachman had "chalishus hada'as" - which means he felt a great disappointment, and right then the rain came! That really struck home a point, because it shows just how much Hashem loves us, yet he waits for our hearts to be truly humbled and broken before Him. Once we know we can't do it; once we acknowledge that we have no credit on our own and we truly feel that we don't deserve anything, THAT IS WHEN Hashem sends the salvation!

To be continued...
Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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