Shabbos HaGadol was my 90th Day Clean
Today, Shabbos HaGadol was my 90th consecutive day completely free from P&M.
In all honesty, I did not believe I would ever make it to this point. I only started to count days after I fell three times in one day and out of desperation I told myself this had to stop. One day turned into five, five days turned into ten and before I knew it I already reached thirty days. It wasn't easy, but here I am at 90.
I want to share an honest, but not so conventional view on my 90 day journey that I am completing today.
If you were to ask me 90 days ago how I would envision my success of completing 90 full days of fighting myself to do the right thing, I probably would have listed off a number of demands that I would have expected Hashem to repay me with in return for my sacrifice to do the right thing.
You see, I have a number of challenges in my life, some bigger and some smaller which I struggle with every day. I would have expected that by today after reaching my 90 day goal, all of (or at least some of) my challenges would be gone with the wind and I would be another of those happy smiling success stories with a story to share.
This is not at all the case. Not by a long shot.
I didn't have any major breakthroughs or big triumphs in any of my challenges, and I'm still struggling with my day to day life.
Take my challenge of Shidduchim for example. Not just am I not engaged after my 90 days, I actually went through two devastating disappointments during my 90 day journey. I was deep into a very promising Shidduch when the girl very unexpectedly said no without any apparent reason. And then just two weeks later a very similar scenario played itself out again, leaving me with nothing but disappointment.
I don't feel comfortable sharing details about my other challenges, but let's just say they aren't yet solved.
So I guess you would expect that I am somewhat disappointed with the lackluster results of my journey to do the right thing and I would contact the office's of GYE to get a refund if there was a money back guarantee available...
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am happier with myself now than I ever was in my entire life. The Simcha I feel when I wake up in the morning is something I've never experienced in the 25 years of my existence. The sense of peace and Menuchas HaNefesh that I feel when I go to sleep at night is something I never could have dreamed for.
I believe that the paradox of my failed expectations from before my journey, and the tremendous feeling of success and accomplishment after my journey, are in reality no paradox at all.
Actually, I think that the concept of P&M is a great analogy to this concept. The mindset of watching porn is: "I want to feel good, if I watch I'll feel good". But in reality that's not what feeling good means at all. It feels like it feels good for 5 minutes, and then it doesn't.
Really feeling good comes from working on doing the right thing and listening to what Hashem wants from us. That leaves us with a sense of accomplishment and inner joy which doesn't leave so fast.
In my pre journey- pleasure seeking mindset, I saw this 90 day thing as another way to get what I want in the short term and easy way. If I do a bunch of days clean... Wala! Time for Hashem to pay up and give me good stuff.
Now that I've been on a Kedusha diet for some time and got through three full months without sewage in my brain, I feel like I began to understand life with a real, more genuine understanding. I can now enjoy a challenge and feel good about myself when I pass a Nisayon. I don't get thrown off balance when Hashem sends me a test to help me grow. With this subtle change of attitude my challenges are goldmines of opportunities which I can and will use to become the person I want to become.
In all honesty, I actually did see "instant results" from my 90 day journey, just not the type that I was expecting. I've been Zoche to Si'ata De'Shaya in my learning like I've never experienced before in my life. I'm learning both more and better now than I've ever learnt in all my years in Yeshiva. I won't share details, but it makes me tear up to think about the accomplishments and strides that I made in my learning recently. I literally never believed this would be possible.
This is true in many areas. I became a real person who can look himself in the mirror and feel good about doing what's right. This sense of real joy is what I was really looking for all along and only stumbled upon "by mistake" through my journey.
So I want to thank you for... literally saving my life. Without the encouragement I never would have been able to take on this life changing journey. I don't want to think about where I would be if I were still living my former life... But I do hope and Daven that I be Zoche to continue along this way for the rest of my life.
May Hashem repay you and your families with unlimited Brachos and Hatzlacha for this unfathomable Chesed you are doing for me and thousands of others without any fanfare or recognition.
All the best