Hashgocho Protis in our worst moments
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1692  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: Gimmel Tammuz - the Yohrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZTz"L
Practical Tips: Being "Osek Ba'Torah"
Torah: Hashgocha Protis Even In Our Falls
Chizuk: Two Ways to Ascend
Torah: The Right Attitude for Kabalas Hatorah
Prevention: 10 Ways Porn Puts Your Marriage in Danger
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Image of the Day
Gimmel Tammuz - the Yohrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZTz"L
Gimmel Tammuz - the Yohrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZTz
Practical Tips
Being "Osek Ba'Torah"
By Yosef C. (7 years sober in SA)

I once read an amazing few words from the Lubavitcher Rebbe in a letter to someone who was struggling with emotional stress:

"Being involved with Torah will of course help your mind from these distracting thoughts. By 'being involved (osek) b'Torah, I don't necessarily mean only learning from a sefer. Sitting, relaxing, breathing deep and contemplating Hashem's kindness in one's life can also be considered 'being involved (osek) b'Torah'."

Hashgocha Protis Even In Our Falls
Based on writings from the Lubavitcher Rebbe - Likutei Sichos vol. 5 Lech-Lecha (a) & a Chassidic discourse printed in vol. 5721 (2) pg. 284)
By Tomim

It says in Tehillim (37:23) "By Hashem are a man's footsteps established, and He shall favor his way". The Rebbe writes that each step a man takes, even though he feels that it is according to his will, really his steps are guided by Hashem as it is Hashem who guides the will of man. Nothing in this world can occur without Hashem willing it. In this sense, even when we sin it is guided by the will of Hashem. It is also true that even when we are actively sinning we are still heading upward in our spiritual ascent because really it isn't a true descent, but only the start of the ascent (that follows). All this requires further elucidation:

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Two Ways to Ascend
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
By Yechidah

There are two ways to ascend: You can step upward, leaving one foot in its place as the other moves ahead. Or you can crouch down and jump.

This is the true meaning of failure: It is the way we have of tearing ourselves out of our past so we can leap into the future.

When a person is always successful, he only moves forward step by step. Which really means that he remains always within the same dimension of reality as before.

When he fails, however, he is then able to look back and say, "This is not where I should be!" Then he tears himself out of his pattern and leaps into a whole new dimension of life.

Anyone who has worked with an addict in recovery has seen this in very practical terms.

The Right Attitude for Kabalas Hatorah
Part 2/2

Someone posted a letter yesterday on the forum from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, written right before Shavu'os. I have never seen such a beautiful description of "Emunah" before, and I want to share it with you all. It is a powerful portrayal of the type of Faith and Trust that the 12-Steps try to teach us. If we can internalize this message properly, breaking free of the addiction will be so much easier, and indeed, there can be no better way to approach Kabalas Hatorah!

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10 Ways Porn Puts Your Marriage in Danger
Part 2/2

Copyright Disclaimer

  1. Porn Impairs Your Sex Life

Porn can lead to decreased sexual performance. A recent NoFap survey of pornography users found that 19 percent suffer from premature ejaculation, 25 percent are disinterested in sex with their partner, 31 percent have difficulty reaching orgasm, and 34 percent experience erectile dysfunction. After committing to no masturbation/porn, 60 percent of those on NoFap felt that their sexual functions had improved. And 67 percent had an increase in energy levels as well as productivity.

So many people say that they use porn in an effort to “spice up” their sex life. However, research shows that is actually wrecks your libido. Not only is porn leading to bad sex, but some studies show that it’s taking away men’s ability to have sex at all.

Recently, porn-induced E.D. is becoming more of a “hot topic.” In fact, about 60% of compulsive porn users reported erectile dysfunction in a brain scan study last year.

  1. Porn Leads to Marital Dissatisfaction

Research has found that after men are exposed to pornography, they rate themselves as less in love with their partner than men who didn’t see any porn. Here’s the thing: not only is porn a fantasy, but it also makes it harder for users to have real loving relationships.

Pornography warps views about sex and relationships. It distorts views of men and women and changes sexual attitudes and behaviors. Because pornography is portrayed as easy and quick, marital sex is then viewed as complicated and too much work. As a result, romance dwindles.

  1. Porn is a Gateway to Infidelity

Porn increases marital infidelity by 300%. Watching porn diminishes relationship commitment. The fantasy alternative leads to real-world cheating. Porn-free relationships are stronger, with a lower rate of infidelity. Their rate of infidelity was at least half of those who had watched sexual material alone and with their partners.

It’s interesting that society tells us that if you don’t “allow” pornography in your marriage, you’ll push him away and drive him to infidelity. When in reality, pornography is linked to infidelity. That’s not even mentioning the fact that many people view pornography as infidelity in itself.

  1. Porn is Linked to Depression, Stress and Anxiety

Men who have cyber-sex have “alarmingly high” rates of clinical depression, stress, and anxiety. Recovering porn users continue to report a reduction in social anxiety as one of the most common improvements when they stop using Internet porn.

We’re not saying that pornography is the primary cause of depression or anxiety. The truth is, there isn’t enough research on the subject yet to draw clear conclusions. However, there is a very clear correlation and link being discovered between porn usage and depression, stress and anxiety. These are three issues that can have a big impact on, not just yourself, but your marriage as well.

  1. Porn Alters Your Brain

Porn physically changes your brain. And here’s the really scary part: the more porn a person looks at, the more severe the damage to their brain becomes and the more difficult it is to break free.

Yes, porn actually alters your brain. Scientists at Cambridge University recently studied the brain scans of porn addicts and found that they looked exactly like those of drug addicts. Just like other addictive substances, porn fills the brain with dopamine. And, the more you view pornography, the more desensitized you become. However, pornography is a little different from some addictions. Most alcoholics want more and more alcohol. But porn addicts don’t just want more porn – they want different porn. What was once exciting and arousing no longer satisfies them, and they look for harder and harder core porn. That’s why porn can become so addictive and that’s why porn never satisfies. Often pornography users venture into progressively perverse content, which is why pornography is linked to violence and crime. This can be seen in the extreme example of Ted Bundy. (If you don’t know the story of Ted Bundy, I highly suggest watching his interview.) No, we’re not saying that every porn user will become a criminal, but we do think it’s important to understand the nature and danger of pornography.

The facts are pretty sobering. So… is it a lost cause?

NO – Not All Men Look at Porn!

Despite what the magazines and TV shows would have you believe, there are a lot of happy marriages out there without pornography. The idea that ALL men look at pornography or are lying is false! Chivalry is not dead. Men who are standing against pornography and totally devoted to their wives DO still exist. In fact, when we sent out an anonymous survey, we heard back from lots of men who shared their thoughts on pornography. Here are just a few…

“I find it offensive when people say ‘Men can’t help it.’ Of course I can help it. I’m not an animal. I have my own choices. I can control myself and my actions. Why don’t women give us more credit than that?”

“Yes, I was exposed to pornography as a child and I did struggle with addiction. However, I hated the way it made me feel. I hated the way it made my wife feel. After a lot of hard work and communication, we’ve overcome it together. It has been over 10 years since I’ve watched pornography and I have never been happier. We have an amazing sex life and the thought of porn disgusts me. So to answer your question, no not all mean look at porn.”

“There’s no room for porn in my life anymore. I’ve filled it all up with love for my wife. I’m not saying it was easy, but I’m so glad that I made the change. I feel sorry for men who think pornography makes them happy. They don’t know what they’re missing.”

“No, I have never intentionally watched pornography. I know people will say that I’m lying and won’t believe me, but it’s the truth. I was taught from a very young age of its dangers and I’ve always stayed far away. I’ve watched my best friend go through a divorce because of his pornography addiction and how it’s torn his family apart”

We need to spread the message loud and clear that it’s okay to have higher expectations- it’s not unrealistic. And, for the sake of your marriage, you should!

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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