Letting Go of Self-Will
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1574  
In Today's Issue
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Prevention: Facing Addiction in Frum Community - Seminar
Daily Dose of Dov: When do we finally get 'healed' and let go of Self-Will?
12 Step Attitude: Cross eyed today
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Image of the Day
Facing Addiction in Frum Community - Seminar
Daily Dose of Dov
When do we finally get 'healed' and let go of Self-Will?
By Dov

In my case, I can't really do the jumping for joy till I am basically dead, I guess, but as a friend once told me, "any addict who is sober should get up and dance every day at least once!" So, I often do - but just for the privilege, not with any expectations for my future ( as if to imply that "whew! I've made it!") as far as lust or sanity is concerned. But yes, as far as life in general is concerned, I definitely expect to hang onto the acceptance that everything will be 'OK' in the end, no matter what, 'cuz Hashem's in charge.

In a practical sense, I buy the line from AA-ers that we (most likely) can/will never let go of our own will completely; that we will always be walking up these stairs.

It seems to me that during certain times I did/do really let go of my will completely, but there were times like that before sobriety too, like during a really good davening, in the middle of a nice niggun on a yomtov, or right after acting out (really - you may know what I mean)... and I soon took my will right back. So maybe the 'surrender' back then was not actually surrender at all, but just getting in touch with what's inside me: a real live desire to be totally attached and basically botul (nullified) to Hashem. In other words, it was a 'feeling' of surrender, without the surrender itself, at all. Presumably we all possess that. But it was like Shabbos vs the week - it just can't last. (As the Pasuk says "Va'yinafash - and Chazal explain it to mean on Motzai Shabbos - "Vai ovdoh nefesh - Woe that I have lost my [extra] soul!").

So for me it seems to be like the 3rd step says: "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of...", decided perhaps,but the doing is just starting. It never really ends, and that's OK. In fact, it beats the living daylights out of the way I lived before imperfectly being machniyah (subjugated) to the Ribono shel Olam!

If it is hard for me to accept imperfection, my choice remains: I could always just go back to the way it was before! Heck No, this imperfection is like "perfection" compared to the way life was before!! And that realization took a couple of years to dawn on me.

The real faith has been (and will hopefully continue to be) a slow development, in my case, borne out of many little pieces of what feels like mesiras nefesh at the time ("this is gonna kill me, it's crazy, I'm gonna die if I don't follow that lady over to the next isle in the supermarket a few more times!", or "it's not that I really think the road belongs to me really, it's just that that guy who sped by me is a jerk... a real jerk!", and "What?! You mean I can't get the internet without a filter?! I've been sober for 785 freaking years!"). The acceptance is there to continue to be open to letting go of self-will, but my e.g.o. (e dging G-d o ut) is still there... Hopefully it's slowly leaking out of me, b"H.

'nuff said.

12 Step Attitude
Cross eyed today
By London

"Think Good" wrote on the forum:

I am concerned that I may let my guard down after making it past 30 days .

"London" answered:

Hi Think Good,

I have been told at SA meetings, that if I have one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow, then I am cross eyed on today. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery, all we have is the here and the now. And right here and right now, I want to stay clean and sober.

One of the oldest tricks of the Yetzer Hara is to make a person give up before he has even started by making him ill with worry; "how will I manage to stay sober so long, I am so worried I may act out". And guess what happens? We throw in the towel and act out, and the YH has won.

So when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I say is "thank you Hashem for keeping me sober last night" and then I say "please Hashem keep me sober today", and I commit to staying sober JUST for today, no matter what.

So my friend, stop worrying about staying sober after 30 days. Moshiach may come then, and then we will all be cured. All you have is the present. Focus on the present. Do what ever it takes to stay sober now, and leave the future to Hashem to worry about. I am sure you have enough worries without worrying about the future.


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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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