Duvid Chaim wrote us the following inspiring e-mail in response:
I appreciated Miri's Sharing about completing the 4th Step. I remember how difficult it was for me as well. How could I actually put down on paper all the history and "stories" that I had that I considered to be so shameful? And how could I possibly share it with another person; my sponsor; who was practically a stranger??
I even remember telling my sponsor that I was such a happy and easy going person that I didn't have any resentments! After he stopped laughing, he asked me to be really honest with MYSELF.
And that's when it really hit me. It wasn't bad enough that I being deceitful with my wife, my children and my friends, but I was also lying to MYSELF! Yes, I couldn't even tell the truth to myself. It was as if I had taken my poor Neshama and locked it in a dungeon - in solitary confinement, far away from the light.
My sponsor told me - and I share this with others today - that each of the 12 Steps is like a KEY. A key that unlocks the dungeon in which we incarcerated our Neshama. Each Step is a KEY that gives us the freedom and the light to achieve sustainable and progressive recovery from our addiction. Each Step is a KEY that opens the door to make room in our lives for Hashem. (In case you think you are already so religious and have Hashem in your life, just read chapter 4 of the Big Book called "We Agnostics").
Once I started working B'Emes - with real honesty - on my resentments, I found that I filled up two pages on my Resentment worksheet. And then, as if I was having an out-of-body experience, I (a man of great emunah-or so I thought) completely filled up multiple sheets on the Fear worksheet. And I don't have to tell you how many ugly and regret-full experiences ended up on my Sex-Conduct Worksheet!
And when I was done, I felt like I had tossed a huge weight off my back. Like the story in the Gemara about the man who placed a baby calf on his shoulders without any big deal. And he fed the calf while it was still on his shoulders. And as the calf grew, so did the man's strength and ability to keep the growing calf on his shoulders. With the passage of time, the calf grew into an ox. Yet thanks to the gradual growth of the cow and the man's "conditioning" that allowed him the carry the weight; he spent a lifetime walking around with a huge ox on his shoulders.
The "ox" in our lives is the lustful addiction that we carry on our shoulders. It grew over time, starting off like a sweet innocent calf and then becoming the nightmarish burden that most of us resign ourselves into thinking that we can never get rid of. And who's surprised? Not only was the calf (addiction) growing into an ox, but so was the "acceptance" and resignation of our condition growing along with it.
Fortunately for us, the 12 Step Program gives us the tools and the Keys to unload this burden from our shoulders and give it over the Ba'al Ha'Milchama - the Master of Wars - who can carry this - and any - burden we have, as long as WE LET HIM.
So to Miri I shout: "Yasher Koach on working the 4th Step. Be honest. Unload your Burden. Feel the Freedom, and enjoy the Light!"
"Keep coming back!"
With warm regards,