Life is an opportunity
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1583  
In Today's Issue
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Sayings: We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.
Announcements: The Zone: How Miracles Show Up and How Not to Stop Them - Seminar
Daily Dose of Dov: Why we need more recovery, not more eitzos.
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We become happier, much happier, when we realize life is an opportunity rather than an obligation.
The Zone: How Miracles Show Up and How Not to Stop Them - Seminar
This announcement does not constitute endorsement by GYE. The seminar is provided independently.

Rabbi Henry Harris has served as consultant and performance coach to Fortune 500 CEOs and Wall Street Managing Directors as well as teens, moms, and dads. He is Director of the Jewish Center for Wellbeing, where he offers programs and coaching that promote successful living through a discovery of one's own wisdom and wellbeing. Previously, Henry served 15 years as Educational Director for Aish HaTorah in New York City after receiving his rabbinic degree from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Learn how the divine is showing up in our lives moment to moment to moment, how we innocently obstruct it, and how we can be its channel. The zone involves peace of mind, compassion, creativity, and living gracefully in the present. First comes the zone; then come miracles.


Via Webinar:
8-9:30pm EST, Thursday, Dec. 8, 15, 22
(weblink provided upon registration)

In Person:
When: 9:30am-4pm, Sunday, Dec. 25
Where: 313 West 83rd Street
Cost: $50 ($40 by 12/16)
Light refreshments included

9:30am Registration
10-11:30am Part I: States of Mind
11:30-12:30 Break*
12:30-2pm Part II: Striving & Letting Go
2-2:30pm Break
2:30-4pm Part III: The Unknown
*Due to venue limitations, lunch is not provided. Participants can bring lunch or visit nearby eateries.

Daily Dose of Dov
Why we need more recovery, not more eitzos.
By Dov

How does it make sense that recovery does not grow? When I use porn it always progresses, either in intensity or style - the old schmutz eventually stops doing the trick, and I need a bit 'more' to get the job done.

When I use porn it always progresses, either in intensity or style - the old schmutz eventually stops doing the trick, and I need a bit 'more' to get the job done.

Recovery is the same, lehavdil. You have grown in recovery. That means you have changed. If you are a little different, certainly what you now need is different, as well.

Too often well-meaning people get a bit liberated from the same old porn and shtuyot. They find some relief and what an awesome mechayeh it is!

But to be so foolish as to think that we are done now? The goyim of AA were gifted with enough humility by Hashem to have discovered long ago, that today's sobriety guarantees NOTHING for me tomorrow. Nothing. There is no real momentum, in the long run. If we do not continue growing up, then we will eventually fall. 100% guaranteed. We can rest on our 'laurels' - for a time. But eventually, we will be made fools of by our compulsion again, just as big fools as we were made before we started to grow.

It is actually quite shocking to us. There is no difference between my totally slave-like devotion and trance-like compulsion to search through wickedly shocking porn for hours and hours (or much worse) if I'd do it today vs. what I used to do fifteen years ago. Same pathetic fool. Same sweet, good man. Same powerlessness once I take the first drink.

Posting here is a big step! But what do you aspire to accomplish? The world is actually open up for you, in is closed for us when we do what we used to do. Posting here means you are peeling away yet another layer of isolation, of doing it your own way, of going it alone. It was our trip till now -all of us, especially since we are frum. The terrible isolation and shame that a masturbating ben-Torah feels is indescribable to others. This move of yours now, to reach out here, is huge!

Please do not wait around for lust to catch you. You must either continue to grow or lose. Not grow in yir'as Shomayim - you tried to grow in that before and yet you still ended up in all this trouble. Then you started to open up and face the truth about yourself and your behavior - and you started accumulating clean time.

Yet by the same token, running away from lust is not the real answer - a good tool usually, yes. But not the answer. Pretending it is the answer is destructive, cuz it distracts me from the real answer, c"v.

Having desires and feeling compulsions to look at schmutz is to be expected. Humility says to me "what do I expect from a guy like me? It's so great that Hashem has helped me till now... what can I do to get with Him and stay on the right path today?"

Freaking out about it is a big mistake. It is the kind of thinking that got us so screwed up in the first place. ("Oy! How could I ever have such a disgusting desire now?! A guy like me? Clean for four months! I should be far, far beyond such things already! After all : I only spent ten years staring at porn - with the devotion of 'kriyas Sh'ma'; focused on my fantasies and masturbation - with the focus of shemoneh esrei; and hid things and worked hard for a decade or more already to produce sweet little opportunities to engage in my sexual gratification in the bathroom - with the yichud hama'aseh of the kohen gadol lifnai v'lifnim." It's a nutty expectation, after our record, no? Nutty and stupid.

Nu. Such silly expectations are gayvoh, plain and simple. Poshut not sane. In fact, the 12 steps of the program do not even mention lust (or whatever drug brings us here) after the 1st step! Zip. Cuz the steps and recovery are not at all about controlling lust! They are about learning sanity, period. If we are working on sanity, Hashem takes care of us and we remain free from needing to act out our lust for this day.

Now you tell me: is it sane to expect that I will have no desires and no slips? Me? May Hashem save me from my own gayvoh today, so that I will succeed at honesty rather than more hiding, recovery rather than 'conquest', and giving rather than taking! Amen.

You are so fortunate so far! It's really beautiful. You are beautiful. Keep doing what works, and please don't get fooled into using the well-intentioned things that got you into the bottomless of your problem in the first place.

Continued Hatzlocha Chabibi!!

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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