Search results ({{ }}):

The Recovery - Spiritual Connection

Is there any connection between working on ones self in regard to lust and one's feelings/belief in Hashem?

GYE Corp. Monday, 13 February 2012

Dear Reb Guard,

Is there any connection between working on ones self in regard to lust and one's feelings/belief in Hashem? There is something that is probably the most basic fundamental of yiddishkeit that I have never truly felt or believed until these last few days. It has only been a week or so clean so I don't want to give myself false hope, but I was just wondering if this makes sense.

Definitely! You should read the book called "Light of Ephrayim"... It's written in a story form, but it talks a lot about these issues and he mentions there that according to Kabbala, one of the strongest consequences of these sins is that they cut a person off from "feeling" spirituality and they distance his Emunah. That is perhaps why the Zohar says that one can't do Teshuvah for these sins. How can that be? A Jew can always do teshuvah! So of-course this is not literal, but what it probably means is that one can't do teshuvah because the more one does these sins, the less he FEELS a need/desire to do teshuvah... (see a great post from Dov over here about this)... And the opposite is true too. The more we cut down and purify ourselves, the more we start to feel spirituality and regain our Emunah... So, yes, Wow. That shows you are truly making some serious progress there. Keep up the great work!

That description from Kaballah seems really accurate. I've really felt spiritually dead for as long as I can remember and it sounds crazy, but now it's all coming back to life (or being born, more accurately). I've been davening to Hashem each night not to take this close feeling I have to Him away and I can really thank Him every morning that it is still there. I can't believe it, but this is all thanks to you and the 12 steps. Is that book "Light of Ephrayim" a good one to buy?

It's a good book to read... it has some great insights, but it mainly addresses the spiritual side of these issues, while on GYE we try to address both the spiritual, emotional and psychological issues as well... But sure, some people have told me that the book changed their life.

I just want to warn you that what you are feeling now (more spiritual) is a gift from Hashem to show you what your goal is and how much you can achieve. However, these feelings are sometimes taken away from a person after he was given a "taste of it", and then he must go it alone. It is important to train yourself not depend on these good feelings for recovery. Very often when these feelings leave, the person feels disillusioned and experiences as fall. However, if you try to see it now only as a gift and you prepare yourself properly, then even when the feelings are taken away, you will still be strong. Also, you should try to store these feelings for the future - to recall what it is like to be close to Hashem. In Jewish Hashkafic/Kabbalistic works, this is what is known as a "Reshima". We need to keep the Reshima from the "Highs" to keep us strong in the "lows".

Thank you for the advice and for always being there. I've really worked hard this past week on changing myself and recovering. The 12 Steps have been great - changing how I think and understanding that Hashem will take care of me through this. It's hard to explain but all the mitzvos I'm able to do I am starting to see in a different light and really appreciate.