Dwell in the Past or Change Your Future? Maybe Both...
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1382  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Testimonials: Thin Line Between Entertainment and War
Sayings: Thirsty?
Torah: Zos Chanukah & King Menashe
Daily Dose of Dov: To Remember is to Appreciate
90 Day Journey
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Image of the Day
Thin Line Between Entertainment and War

There's a thin line between entertainment and war... The little kiss between the 15 year old's on the innocent "Disney movies" today, is not so innocent... It's a very important part of lust's attack on us... It's where we are taught - from the youngest age - that this stuff is beautiful and Ok and should be virtued... "It's innocent puppy love"...

Well, you know what? I RAGE against that! Because this is "step one" on our way to this addiction. We can't let the Greeks win... Not then, Not this time, Not Ever... We are stronger than them...

Thank you GYE, for standing by me in this war against lust...

Lust is the craving for sea-water of a man who is dying of thirst
Zos Chanukah & King Menashe

Many Sefarim bring down that the final judgement that began on Rosh Hashana can still be reversed until Zos Chanukah. One of the Karliner Rebbes once said that "the shmattes can shelp their Teshuvah until Zos Chanukah". We're all shmattes, and we can all grab ahold of this last opportunity for the Teshuvah that we began on Rosh Hashana.

Read more
Daily Dose of Dov
To Remember is to Appreciate
Understanding the important distinction between holding on to the past and learning from the past.
By Dov

A member wrote to Dov:

I'd love to say that things are great, and I'm on a long clean streak but that wouldn't be true. Today, however, I'm doing well, and isn't that the only thing that counts?

Dov Responds:

Our limitations and abilities are not determinedby the past - but remembering our track records is a precious, precious gift from Hashem... if we know how to use it to help us. It's a pity to waste all that pain - it must teach us some truth about ourselves.

My experience teaches me that when I take that familiar chizuk we hear: "Forget the past - it is irrelevant! Start anew!" we soon fall flat on our faces all over again.

Member responds:

My past is indeed relevant inasmuch as it leads me to the determination that my past life and actions are intolerable. Other than that, I don't see any positive in dwelling on the past. Is that ignoring it? Rabeinu Yonah advises a person to start fresh, so that advice that you are discounting has real basis.

Dov Responds:

True, there is no benefit at all to dwelling on the past, and I do not advocate that, chaver. Learning from it and letting it go is what works for us, it seems. The people, who I referred to, who say, "Start fresh anew! So you acted out yesterday and every week before that, so? Hayad Hashem tiktzor?! Sheva yipol Tzadik v'kom! Just get up and keep walking forward!"... are not coming from Rabbeinu Yonah, at all. They are on fantasy land - and they misuse Torah-true ideas that they'd never in a million years apply to their (financial) businesses!

Learning from it and letting it go is not done in the heart just because we 'feel really guilty about it', or something. It takes real work. Twelve step groups have a tradition of addicts writing out their personal drinking or sexually acting out history in detail - and sharing it openly with another safe, recovering addict in order to make it real to themselves. Addicts need to learn self-honesty... it is not natural for us. We lie to ourselves most of the time when we end up acting out all over again after swearing off; we lie k'seider for years with g'neivas da'as to everone around us by acting kosher when we are far from it; we lie by hiding behind usernames and never sharing the truth about our real acting out problems with anybody, calling it 'honesty' and 'recovery'. We need work in order to learn the precious skill of self-honesty. What better way than to start being open with other safe people who know all our little games - i.e., addicts?

Pretending that Hashem will help us and take it away from us - even though we are taking no real actions to give it up, ourselves - is not frum, but just silly. I think you feel the same way and I am writing nothing you don't already know.

And for those who really need them, the rest of the steps are primarily tools for getting out of G-d's way more and more. That's it.

Porn is certainly a sin. But we are not talking about porn here, are we? I thought we are talking about a man who chronically and progressively uses porn and sex with himself at great personal cost and risk. The need for porn is the problem he has, not the using of the porn itself. That devotion to sweet porn (it is very sweet) and the adventure of the fantasy and secret orgasms, is much more than sin. Once the habit has developed to that degree, seeing it as 'sin' is actually a way of greatly minimizing it! Sin is much, much less serious than addiction is.

And the people from the websites that try to get people scared of the way their flesh will be melt off their bodies in gehinom and children dying as infants, etc, etc... are actually doing a disservice for the addicts. For addiction is much worse. It destroys a person's sanity. And there is nothing really left when that is gone, but a frum looking shell of a perverted liar. I know that shell-game well, firsthand. Derech Eretz Kodmah laTorah. The sefer Sha'arei Kedusha and many others stress the idea that sanity and honesty are the root of all real avodah, before yir'as Shomayim means anything real.

So dwell on the past? No way, just as you wrote. But I wrote my past and still have it. And I share it whenever someone needs to see that it is possible for a regular person to live as badly screwed up a life as they have - and recover, living a life that is great and growing ever better. So c"v for me to forget about my sins and sickness now!

On Chanukah, we remember the bad times and celebrate the redemption. It is the realization of what could have happened that makes the miracles so great. Like the story of the rich guy who dressed up in his poor clothes once a year to celebrate his se'udas hoda'ah that he became wealthy. Every time a recovering addict like me reveals his entire true acting-out history to a newcomer, he himself relives the pain and terror of his past for a few minutes. The relentless terror of "how long will it be till I mess up again?" and the guilt and shame of living a lie with everyone and knowing he will die one day with heavy and ugly secrets that the family and oilem know nothing about... is again made clear to him. And all the amazing gratitude he has to G-d is also made clear as day. For who could do this but Hashem Himself? No one. It's impossible for an addict to stay sober. We all know that.

So who would want to forget the past? WE are sober. We have nothing to be ashamed of in front of Hashem - we know that He was right down there in front of us all along while we were acting out, too. And waiting patiently for us to finally get the help He was busy arranging for us. I would never want to forget that Love.

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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