More about powerlesness
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1319  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: Worry?
Editor’s Note: Calm Yourself Down!
Torah: State of spiritual arousal
Daily Dose of Dov: The Powerlessness of an Addict
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Worry?
 
Worry?
Editor’s Note
 
Calm Yourself Down!

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order.
--Eudora Welty

We will experience no coincidence today. All situations that transpire in the next 24 hours have their purpose.

No single event, not the tired, hurried smile from a boss, the phone call from a frantic friend, or the cold response from a co-worker is without impact on our current perception of life. 

However, we shouldn't try to evaluate the full significance of any passing event without God's help. 

Letting our Higher Power offer us clarity regarding the circumstances in our life will ensure a healthy perspective.
We've all experienced trauma because we exaggerated a problem rather than calmly let our inner wisdom guide us. 

We're only an impulsive thought away from a flurry of problems. 

Likewise, we're only an instant away from peace and enlightenment.  

The quiet mind will be ever present if that's our wish.
I'll truly understand the events of today if I quietly let God reveal their significance.

 

Torah
 
State of spiritual arousal
 
By Me

I want to share today a beautiful thread from our forum...

"Mevakesh" wrote:

Chaza"l say that when one says Krias Shema he should gaze at his Tzitzis. Seeing his Tzitzis (which were blue from Techeiles in the time of Chazal) will make him think of the sky, which is blue, and thinking of the blue sky will lead to thoughts of Hashem who made the sky, which will lead to thoughts of serving Hashem, etc...

Somebody once told Rav Dessler Zt"l that he doesn't understand the above Chaza"l. Which person, he asked, when he sees his Tzitzis will have this whole domino effect in his mind to lead him to think of Hashem?! That is so far fetched!

Rav Dessler responded: Chaza"l say that one should not walk behind a woman, as walking behind her will lead him to think about her, and thus to think about other women and thus to think of sinning, and eventually lead him to sin. Asked Rav Dessler, "Can you identify with that thought process?" When the man responded in the affirmative, Rav Dessler explained: A persons thoughts go in the direction that the person is heading, in the direction that his heart leads him! If you are a person heading in the direction of sin, everything you see, hear or say can easily lead to thoughts of sin! If you are a person heading in the direction of Hashem, then everything you see, hear or say can easily lead to thoughts of Hashem!

 

"Me" replies:

I also had wondered about this Chaza"l concerning the Tzitzis and I had come to the conclusion that Chaza"l were just on a different level than us. I figured that in our generation, we are so far distanced from their state of holiness, that we just don't merit for the Tzitzis to have the same affect. But Mevakesh, now that you mention this, it makes sense to say that if we were to really work on making this connection with our Tzitzis, (a "holy" connection) i.e. just like we previously did with our sins, where we brought everything to a state of arousal, a state of excitement (and this is what caused our neurons to emit fire), and this is the type of excitement that will remain our memory banks forever to be easily retrieved from our memory if we ever, Chas Veshalom, revert back to this state. So now, everytime I feel a state of spiritual arousal, especially now in Elul, when I hear the shofar, or everytime I feel yearning for Hashem, I will grab and caress, and look at my tzitzis. By doing this, I will be building a connection to Kedushah (holiness), to think of Hashem, and thereby in fact, utilize that Tzitzis the same way that Chaza"l did. In other words, if I was successful to build such a system of triggers for Tumah (impurity) in the past, then for sure I can do it with Kedushah!

Daily Dose of Dov
 
The Powerlessness of an Addict
 
Part 5/6
 
By Dov

we quoted Dov who described how the approach for "addicts" can not be the same as the standard approach for regular Yidden. Addicts are ill and need to take the medicine. And the medicine that has been proven to work for millions of people around the world is the 12-Steps.

In response to Dov's post, "Battleworn" presented a few good questions to Dov. He asks as follows:

1) There are many different definitions for the word addict. Some people feel that anyone who acts against their better judgement is an addict. But you probably mean someone who is really far gone. If you feel that an addict needs a certain approach - and that the standard approach may actually be damaging for him - and you feel that it's important to inform people of this, then perhaps you should clarify who exactly is an addict, in your opinion?

2) When you - Dov - were in the midst of the addiction, I doubt you found anyone who was able to give you the kind of Torah approach that GYE does. For example, while I don't know if I am considered an addict by your definition; I assume that so many other Tzadikim on the forum such as "Mevakesh", Ykv_Schwartz, "Me", Bardichev, Jack, MD, Nurah and many others, are considered addicts (and if not, then almost no one on the forum is). And they seem to have all done very well with the help of this wonderful website and forum, without considering themselves "losers against lust", as you described yesterday.


(For those who don't have time to read Dov's whole reply below, you might want to skip down to my summary below)

Dov replies:

I agree with you that the 12-Steps are not for everyone. I am really uncomfortable with the notion that the 12 steps are for anyone who acts against their better judgement. I believe that the last thing the 12 steps is, is just another "self-help program" or "support group". In my experience, it seems to be more like an ego-busting program, if anything; and a "getting-myself-out-of-Hashem's-way" program, too.

The way I see it, there are two categories of people. There are those who are sick and tired of giving in to lust, but they still believe that they just need the right chizuk to break free; and then there are those who have really given up all hope of "beating" it. I just wonder why a person who is only "sick and tired" would feel the need to seriously start putting his life and care completely into the hands of Hashem (after all, steps 2 & 3 only work if they are real), or accepting that their character defects are really the only reason they are ever upset at anybody (otherwise, what is step #4 really for?), etc..

So you ask "who exactly is an addict?" I do not really know, but my heart tells me that anyone who has struggled with lust for years and feels they have lost, and nevertheless wants to get free of it (without suicide), can use the 12 steps. Does it mean they'll succeed? I don't know. But many do.

Can they use what people refer to as "Torah", and make it? Well, I am again skeptical. And for the same exact reason that I think some folks who do use the 12 steps don't make it: They are not really ready to be completely honest with themselves. They entertain ideals, and mistake those ideals for what they believe. For example:

  • They really still believe they need lust/alcohol/cocaine/gambling...
  • Or, they don't really allow themselves to believe in G-d deep down.
  • Or, they aren't desperate enough in their own failure to care for themselves enough to give G-d a chance to care for them.

Is it dangerous for such people to try yiddishkeit approaches? No, but just as "spouting program concepts" (pontificating) will do them no good at a 12-Step meeting, talking Torah ideals they do not really have the capacity to accept, is just a game. Torah should not be a game. And neither - lehavdil - should recovery concepts. That makes the ideas "weaker" for the person, and much harder to use. They think about most of the 12-Steps, "well, I know that already!" but they haven't even done the first few steps yet, i.e. they don't even know that they are sick (step 1) or that their faith in Hashem has simply - and actually - not been one that works at all, yet (steps 2 & 3).

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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