Sunday, 22 January 2012

12-Step Workshop With Harvey

Part 4/5 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

I had the unique opportunity to join a 12-Step workshop with Harvey, one of the founders of SA (Sexaholics Anonymous)... He's sober for 26 years from a raging sex addiction that was completely out of control. Harvey is Jewish and semi-religious (he puts on teffilin every day) but he said that he definitely believes in miracles, because splitting the Yam Suf was "easy pickin" compared to G-d getting him sober :-)

I took some notes from the talks, and I'd like to share some of the wisdom that I heard from him. Here are some of the things he said:

by GYE, Harvey (one of the founders of SA) (See all authors)

Acceptance

We can't accept G-d's power to help us (step 3), until we first accept the power of the group (step 2). In the groups, we see that we can share all the crazy things we did, and people still accept us. That gives us a vision or a glimpse of how G-d, who is so much bigger, can accept me as I am. After all, He made me! He knew what I would do even before I did it!

A Decision

If there are three frogs on a log and two of them decide to jump off, how many are left? Three! Deciding to jump is nothing unless they jump. In step 3 we make "a decision" to give our will and our lives over to the care of G-d. But a decision means nothing without action. So steps 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are how we do step 3.

Not My Will, But Thy Will Be Done

In step 1 we are powerless. "We admitted we were powerless over lust." But in step 11, we get the power back. As the 11th step states: "We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." We get the power back, but it's His power, not ours. My Will will kill me.

Letting Our Will Go

Through the steps we learn how to let go of our will. Lust is not our real problem. Our character defaults are our real problem. As we work though our resentments, jealousy, dishonesty and greed, we see that our addiction stems from our character defects, (and most of our character defects stem from "Fear").

In step 6 we tell G-d, "Take this sh*t away, I don't want it. I am entirely willing for You to remove these character defects".

Many times we are not really ready yet for G-d to take it away. We say, "G-d, take the masturbation away from me, but don't take the porn". That's like saying, "See the cancer on this arm, G-d? Please take it away. But the cancer on my other arm, I'm not ready for You to take away"...

Making Amends

Step 10 says, "We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, we promptly admitted it." That means doing steps 4 through 8 every day.

When my wife says something hurtful to me, even if she's wrong, I make amends and apologize for having talked to her in that "tone of voice". And when we disagree, even if I'm sure she's wrong I'll tell her, "you might be right". This helps me not to get upset at her.