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Lust is Like a Star

How can I ever move forward from my dark past? Won't it haunt me forever?

GYE Corp. Thursday, 19 January 2012

Someone asked on the forum:

This whole looking at porn and acting out is such a big part of my past. It will haunt me forever. I can never be truly rid of it because it is there. How do I face this? And if we can actually heal from this then we aren't addicts, no?

Dov Replies:

Most of the things that pain us so, actually turn out to be lies. OK, I'll be PC and call them "mistakes"... They evaporate, eventually. I felt the same way you describe, about much more than just porn and acting out, but I was wrong! Nowadays, my life is really about other things. This came as a shock to me. Today, the lust is usually just a voice in the background that I chuckle at when it becomes 'loud enough to hear' (at myself, not at the lust!). I know my lust is just like a star - so tiny and weak when it is far from me, yet millions of miles wide and with incredibly powerful nuclear force if close up!

My basic job on any day is to stay far from it - keep it just a dot in the firmament of my life. I say "ha, ha" to those who seem to want me to see myself as "cured". Maybe they need to feel that they are just like everyone else to feel "OK" with themselves, but I know to what depths I can still descend should I just get tricked into taking those stupid little pleasures that normal people seem to be able to tolerate once in a while. This is an important point to me: Even a normal y'ray Shomayim is able to take a little lust once in a while... who's perfect? It's terrible, but they will regret it sincerely and do a proper teshuvah and move on. The chances of it being a 'gateway' for them are small - a gateway to what? Not so for me, a man who knows what it's like to be given over to Lust. If I take in a little, I may not be so lucky. Who knows? I may very well revert to living for it. I have seen it happen to alkies, heroin addicts, and lust addicts. It's horrifying.

Besides, to me, this acceptance of my frailty even in recovery may be my only real shot at anivus! And that's precious. I trust Hashem completely to save me from lust today, but not if I am an idiot and ingrate, and take sips from the barrel "when no one is looking". My heart tells me that Ein somchin al haneis applies in this respect.