Thursday, 22 March 2012

Is it Worth it?

by Aaron (See all authors)

I was on the street, walking back from getting lunch at a milchig restaurant in Manhattan because of course, it's the Nine Days so we don't eat meat. But the Yetzer Hara doesn't mind that one, it seems. He was much more intent on getting me to lust after women who felt that 90 degrees and humid justifies... fill in the blank. So I played out the following scenario:

Let's say I let him win and give in to lust. Of course, the fantasy alone will not satisfy the craving, it will only make it worse. So let's play it out and assume I can actualize the ultimate fantasy, whatever that is. What then? First I thought of the worst case scenario, which is quite plausible and something I have no control over. Here it is:

I get AIDS. Since I'm too embarrassed to tell my wife, I pass it along to her. Within a short time, we're both dying in the hospital. I've given up everything good, even in THIS world! My beautiful children will C"V be orphans. Even in the best of circumstances, they will grow up rightfully hating me, resenting their mother for leaving them behind, and struggle mightily to overcome this huge setback in their lives. I will have MURDERED by beautiful, deserving wife. She will be taken from me when I go to Gehenom. I haven't even mentioned the pain, shame and embarrassment of living the short time I'd have left under the cloud of ridicule, scorn and disapproval heaped upon me by the world. Rightly or not, my wife and children will suffer likewise. And the worst part (no, I haven't gotten to that yet): IT'S ALL MY FAULT! Yes, that's right. This is not something decreed by Hashem on Rosh Hashanah. It's not a test to prove myself. It's nothing more than the result of perfectly avoidable actions that I TOOK.

Then I said, wow, that's pretty bad. But what are the chances of that? Let's say I don't get AIDS and I live. I've "simply" fallen and need to get back up! No big deal, right? It happens all the time on the Forum. But I would still need to tell my accountability partner, therapist, Rav ... and my wife. The first 3 might "understand" and applaud my commitment to move on. But my wife is a different story. I will have damaged my standing with her. Maybe not irreparably (I hope), but certainly to some degree. And regardless of how committed I am to moving on, I will need to reevaluate my arsenal, perhaps join a live 12 step group, etc, all while feeling horrible.

And that's the best case scenario.

So it occurred to me that not falling was infinitely better (and MUCH EASIER) then getting back up!

So I got to my office and typed this out...