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Erased without a trace

GYE Corp. Sunday, 06 May 2012

Q. I stopped looking at forbidden pictures a while ago. But they are still in my memory. Even if I do teshuva my aveiros can never be erased completely. The eraser marks will still be there. The images are implanted in my memory and will never go away. I'm sick over it. Your website is like a rope being thrown to a drowning person. But it will take a lot of convincing for me to believe that there's hope. I want the memories erased. I want all my past mistakes erased. Erased without a trace. Like a brand new piece of paper. I don't know if that's possible.

A. The fact that you had the will power to stop looking at forbidden things already shows that you have greatness inside you. How many people are willing to work on themselves and admit their mistakes in today's world? This is very precious in G-d's eyes.

Chassidus teaches us that a Jew has to look at the past and future as out of their hands, and to look at what you did in the past as what G-d wanted to happen. Strange as it may seem, your sins of the past were G-d's will. Only the present is in our hands. In the present, it is in our hands to decide if we want to change and do Teshuvah on the past. We can change the past by changing our present. What that means is that the situation you are in at this present time is exactly the situation G-d wants you to deal with. Look at it as if you were born at this moment, with all the images and memories already engraved in your head. G-d wants you to deal with this situation, and davka this situation.

This is also a chance for greatness, to be able to serve G-d with joy even though the mind was already influenced by the past. We all are in this together. We all have a damaged past to deal with, and that is why we, the members of this e-mail group, are great spiritual soldiers. If we all had pure minds and had never sinned, we wouldn't have the opportunity for growth and for Teshuvah that we have today. We wouldn't have the opportunity to pave new paths of recovery and give G-d true joy. And that's why Chaza"l say "Where Balai Teshuvah stand, even perfect Tzaddikim can't stand". This can be understood in two ways; 1) because the ba'al Teshuvah has a greater challenge to deal with, having already a damaged past, and 2) if the Ba'al Teshuvah succeeds in doing a true Teshuvah, then not only have they erased their past sins, but they have uplifted them and turn them all into holy angels, (as Chaza"l say "Zedonos nasin lo ki'zechuyos" - "the sins become merits")!