E-Mail Subject: Another GYE Winner
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1242  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Editor’s Note: E.G.O.= Edging God Out
Announcements: The Chosson Shmooze - Full Archives
Testimonials: 6 Years' Worth of Gratitude
Links: Step 5 - Part 2
Daily Dose of Dov: Working from the bottom up
 
 
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Editor’s Note
 
E.G.O.= Edging God Out
Announcements
 
The Chosson Shmooze - Full Archives
 

Congratulations and thank you to Rabbi Feuerman, LCSW-R for completing the cycle of the Friday shiurim

"The Chosson Shmooze You WISH You Had, but Never Got!"

Note: This live shiurim series is over.

The entire series of this sensitive but important series for married men is available for listening and downloading here.

A Zip file of the entire series can be downloaded here.

Disclaimer: This shiur series is meant for married men only.

To listen to the shiurim by phone:

209-255-1099

PIN: 637207#

Reference numbers: 87-97, 102, 107, 112-115

Rabbi Feuerman's Parsha shiurim are available here.

Testimonials
 

Mazel Tov, Kedusha! Keep on trucking one day at a time!

 
6 Years' Worth of Gratitude
 
By Kedusha

Dear Chaveirim,

Lag Ba'Omer is only hours away. This day is, be"H, a very special milestone for me - six years clean!

I have had amazing Hashgacha regarding my anniversary dates. The day when I was three years clean (May 18, 2012) fell on Yesod shebeYesod (the 41st day of the Omer). I was incredulous at the Hashgacha. As noted back then, according to the Luach, the next time May 18 falls on Yesod shebeYesod is 2050 (5810)! Of course, we hope Moshiach will be here well before then, which might make it come out sooner!

Then, last year, my five-year milestone, fell on Lag BaOmer - a day of great Kedusha and celebration. The Heiliger Guard happened to be in my area for a Chasunah, so I actually spent time with him on this special day. We agreed that, be"H, Lag BaOmer, as opposed to the secular date, would be my anniversary date in future years.

As an added bonus for this year, Guard pointed out to me that the number six represents Yesod! As my dear friend Bardichev (gosh, I miss him!) would say - Gevaldig!

I am deeply grateful to the RBS"O, to Guard, and to the GYE community for helping me reach this point. To those whom I know from the forum and, especially, to those whom I've spoken to or met in person, your friendship means the world to me.

We should all continue to make progress and serve the RBS"O b'Kedusha, one day at a time!

Kedusha

Links
 

Rabbi Yisrael Pinson is the Director of the Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House in West Bloomfield, MI. Since joining the Friendship House he has helped create a local Jewish Recovery Community where recovering addicts are helped through support, guidance, friendship and community.

More from Yisrael Pinson

Step 5 - Part 2
Daily Dose of Dov
 
Working from the bottom up
 
Part 2/2
 
By Dov

As Dov said above:

"I had to learn to get off the tractor-trailer and onto a bicycle. Same path, just in smaller steps and slower, and working them from the bottom up so that they are real and not separated from the heart any more".

Dov summarizes how he views the first 7 of the 12-Steps:

Step 1. "We admitted we were powerless over lust--that our lives had become unmanageable".

What is the truth about myself? I am an addict and hopelessly unable to beat lust, or use it in any way.

Step 2. "We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity".

Do I believe in Hashem? Not as a dogma (a shittah), but do I, can I actually believe that the all-powerful Creator really is here right next to me, sees me, and that He really is purely good? Yes, I can accept that and improve in that.

Ok, well can I believe that this power right next to me is actually concerned and "trying" to help me if I would just let him? And this, in spite of the fact that I have done terrible foul things, habitually, and lied about them? Yes, I can, and I can begin to work to accept that more fully.

Now, do I accept that everything He sends my way is for my benefit, because He alone knows what's best for me? Yeah, I guess.

Ok, so how about making a decision to turn my will and life over to him?

Step 3. "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God".

This means really believing the Sh'ma (Sh'ma Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad - which is Step 2 above ) and the first possuk (Ve'ahavta es Hashem Elokecha, Bechol Levavcha, u'vechol nafshecha uvechol me'odecha - which is Step 3).

And the proof of that belief would be if I act consistent with this belief.

Well, I can't do that perfectly - I am all messed up!! (at least I can avoid lust to stay sober and work these steps to grow more sane!)... Well, comes the program at this point and offers the fourth step.

Step 4. "We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves".

Finally a chesbon hanefesh. Not the reasons for why I do what I do, just the facts, just what happens. What is the problem of a person who reacts the way I do in these circumstances? What is actually wrong with such a person? With me? Not to change - I just want to admit it. No value-judgements, morality, reasons, nor "should"s in the 4th - "just the facts".

Wow. Every cheshbon hanefesh I had done before was about what I had done wrong, and that was considered in light of what'd have to be done about it. Not so here. The 4th Step was my first real chance to get the facts about myself in a way that I could not argue with. "Fearless Moral Inventory" - why be afraid? It's just the inescapable truth. It has nothing at all to do with the rest of the steps, or anything. One step at a time.

And the truth about me/you is beautiful when accepted. It's like seeing one's self for the very first time. (Why do we all avoid it so?)

Step 5. "We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs".

Step 6. "We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character".

Step 7. "We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings".

Afterward, with steps 5, 6, and 7, I can begin to get free of the twisted thinking that makes me so uncomfortable with living that temptations to act out begin to actually seem in my best interest (even if it'll mess everything up)...

And after all these steps - Wow, the relief of a little safety.

In the continuation of this great post, Dov goes back to address the original question on the forum, which was; "is it healthy to use FEAR & sifrei yirah to break free of the addiction?" And like we discussed in Chizuk e-mail #470 on this page, Dov differentiates between two types of "fear", one good and one bad.

Dov writes:

It is true that "once an addict, always an addict", but that turns on and off depending on my spiritual state and upon temptations brought on me from the outside, sometimes without warning.

I am allergic to lust. Just like a person with hayfever does not really have "hayfever" until the pollen hits, in recovery we can be in remission and perform just like a normal person (or better). Then something can happen and we need help. Or, we stupidly do something that a normal person can easily tolerate (like look at a little shmutz) and end up losing our days, weeks, months or years of sobriety in an hour, and we can spiral downward to the lowest pit of insanity, to jail or even death. Hey, I've seen it happen, and I've seen it almost happen with me.

So we are incredibly sensitive, even though we are growing healthy in recovery and our avodas Hashem is doing great! So no, I am not safe. Maybe someone out there really is, who knows? But not me.

Is this "Ashrei odom mefacheid tomid"? Well yes, if you understand "mefacheid" as living with the awareness that there is mortal danger on the other side of the curtain. But that's as far as our "fear" should go. As long as we have this "awareness", we need to trust Hashem to help us stay safe from the danger if we do His will for us.

Clearly, everybody knows you cannot drive a car (or a bicycle!) in constant gripping fear of an accident. It's a sure way to get killed actually! So why would avodas Hashem be different? I believe it's not.

In the meantime, after a few years on the bicycle, it seems Hashem has graduates us to a mini-cooper. Never a Volkswagen!

Sorry for the ramble. I hope it is understandable and helpful to somebody...

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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