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TOPIC: Introduction 1597 Views

Re: Introduction 08 Mar 2019 00:19 #339470

  • Yerushalmi
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I have done some thinking on this as well. Here are my 2 cents on the matter.
If I were to say that this is not fair, I would probably mean one or both of 2 ideas. 1. I deserve a better fate in life. I do not deserve to be tested in ways that almost guarantee failure. 2. Why is my test so hard, and the next guy's so easy?
Both of these ideas are not true at all. We do not deserve anything from Hashem. Nothing. In His infinite kindness, He provides for us. We do not deserve an easy life and we are not really entitled to expect one either. Hashem loves us, and wants things to work out for us, but we can not have our own expectations as to how things SHOULD be.

Also, life is meant to overcome challenges. If there are no more challenges to overcome, and no way to grow, there almost is no point to life. We are faced with a difficult challenge in a particular area. That does not mean that others do not face their own equally hard challenges in another area. Everyone has challenges, and everyone's challenges are hard. The only difference is that some challenges are more visible than others. Since no 2 people are the same, no person's challenge will be the same as the next guy. We can rest assured, that the neighbor is also faced with difficulties. We really can't compare my challenge to someone else's. Even here on this site, where we all face similar struggles, no 2 people fight the exact same fight. Each one of us is challenged in a slightly different way. Each one of us is aroused by slightly different ideas, and each one of us are exposed to slightly (or even not so slightly) different triggers. We are not meant to compare with one another exactly. (In a broad sense we can and do share experiences and struggles, but they are not exactly the same.) My struggle is not necessarily any harder or easier than anyone else's. My struggle is meant for me to overcome. The next guy might not be able to handle it. Equally so, if I had his problems, who said I would be doing as good a job as he is?

Lastly, this is a very scary thought. I face very hard tests in these areas. (All of us here so. I prefer to speak in first person, and avoid blaming any individuals.) To a large degree, I brought this upon myself. Had I been serious at stopping at 13, before the addictive habits really kicked in, I probably would have had an easier time. It is far easier to quit smoking after 1 or 2 cigarettes than it is after 2 packs a day for 10 years. The first time I was exposed to this stuff may have been beyond my control. The time that I went back to look for it, was in my control. When I deliberately set my filter up in such a way that I could get around it without the wife knowing, that was totally in my control. After years of exposure to filth, I find it hard to break free. I don't think that I have a right to complain about the unfairness of it, I chose to make things this way.
Nevertheless, Hashem still loves me more than I will ever know, and even after all of the evil that I have brought on myself with my own 2 hands, He still is rooting for me, and wants me to come clean. 

Re: Introduction 08 Mar 2019 03:42 #339474

  • Shteigen613
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Thank you for sharing.  I appreciate your honesty and humility. I think, for myself, the frustration is more than just "why is this unfair" or "why is this hard" because life gives it's fair share of nisyonos to everyone, and it's true.
hey, look on the forum of ssa, of men who are having problems going to.the male mikvah bc of issues with their taavah. In a way, they may have more of a nisayon learning in kollel, than teaching in schools with young female teachers like I do. That would be tough.
I think for me, one of my major nisyonos is that I thought I would be tahor, I thought I would be able to truly overcome my lust from my teenage years, if only I would marry, and learn bkedusha. Then I would say, " giri baynai d'satan..." arrows in the eyes of satan.
but guess what, I got married, my wife wasnt so into intimacy (for various reasons which we have, in recent years discussed in therapy... with varied success) and so... my lust resurfaced, and with a fire! Now, there was no chance of being satisfied at home, bc home wasn't interested.
so, internet porn became a real nisayon for me, one that I had kicked for years. It became a nisayon davka after my marriage! 
of course there are many factors here, but 1) I feel that I failed myself and my nisyonos 2) I feel that I will never be satisfied at home 3) I feel that the talk of "be holy" "kedoshim ti'hyu" is really a commandment, at least for me, that can only partially be fulfilled, as long as i live in olam hazeh.
so, this is a bit of a stretch, but imagine you try never to steal, or kill, and then you start killing or stealing, but just a little. You'd probably feel bad, bc a choshev bochur doesn't kill or steal. Then you're told, in today's dor..." epis"- a little bit of stealing is understandable, and that's the nisayon....
I feel, linyanei lust, desire, I try, and continue to try, and I will iyh view this as a life's mission.... still I feel that I can never live up to my potential, and that bothers me, bc bh I have been able to accomplish so much in other areas, and really shtieg.


I think that, for the most part, the idea of kedoshim tihuyu is preached, and for me, it is, inaccessible, at least at the moment. Bh, im up to day 3. 87 left.

Re: Introduction 08 Mar 2019 05:42 #339476

  • stillgoing
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Hi Shteig.
Great post, thank you.
And kedoshim tihuyu - let's say that a guy is sitting in a filthy alley. He can't leave, but he can clean it up some. So he starts clearin up some of the stinkin stuff, and manages to clean out 4 bags full of the stuff. Did he do kedoshim tihuyu? Sure. Does he have more work for tomorrow? You bet! Just cause the job's not done and it's not yet all clean, doesn't mean that he's not being mekayim kedoshim tihuyu. Btw, in 87 days, the alleys not done. Wez gotta constantly keep on cleaning. Kedoshim tihuyu is not a one time event that you pass or fail, it's an entire life mindset, of constantly trying and striving to take out our garbage, who cares if we win or lose. That's for Hashem to keep score. Our only job is to try. And as long as that oxygen is flowing to the brain, it's our job to do the next right thing, and leave the future up to the One who creates all mankind .
BIG SHOT!
Free Choice?!
Yirai's Memories
STORY TIME :)

Dr. Seuss - You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go.

FSKOT! (Fell Shmell--Keep on Trucking) (The Rebba R' Bards)
Last Edit: 08 Mar 2019 07:57 by stillgoing.

Re: Introduction 08 Mar 2019 05:56 #339477

  • Shteigen613
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You're most welcome! Youre making a good point. I would like to argue with one nekuda. I agreee, taking out the trash in a dirty alley is certainly kedoshim tehiyu. Thats one level. What about having a clean alley? Wouldnt that be grand? To feel fulfilled, and satisfied, just like one who eats (and doesn't have an overeating problem).
meaning - the way I understood kedoshim tihuyu previously was that my alley needed to be clean.and that was something that I aspired to.
I guess I need to get used to the fact that my alley may never sparkle, and that my new kedoshim tihuyu is the struggle which I engage in.

Meaning, by Hashem granting me the situation that I'm in, my early exposure to porn, my teenage lust, my wife who does not engage emotionally in intimacy, all these factors combined lead me to believe that my mind will desire and lust... that's what it's programmed to do. I can, however, use tools to fight it. And that's my kedoshim tihiyu.
if I accept that, then I'll be happier.
maybe even take out some.more garbage from the alley!
it's just that I didn't really plan on being in this position in life, so its a little difficult to accept the reality.
thanks for posting.

Re: Introduction 08 Mar 2019 08:31 #339479

  • stillgoing
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Shteigs, your very name means to grow. Who ever said that we're in this world for results?
 Sure, a sparkling clean alley is a wonderful feeling, and we might even get there one day, but that's entirely up to Hashem. The "good feeling" that we sometimes get after doing the right thing is simply a gift from above. I am only speaking how I was taught and what I believe. The only 'power' that any person -addict or not- has is simply to put in the effort. The end result isn't and never was up to us.​

Be that as it may, I do very much relate to what you wrote, since I too had a clear vision of where my life should go. I was filled with frustration and self-loathing when I wasn't reaching my goals. Even the thought of lowering my goals to more "realistic' levels made me feel like a failure. Until I realized that while goals were nice to motivate me to put in the effort, that was where their usefulness ended. I try to minimize the goals, and focus on My job, which is only the effort.

To sum up the whole megilla that I just wrote, a wise man once said "I am not God"
BIG SHOT!
Free Choice?!
Yirai's Memories
STORY TIME :)

Dr. Seuss - You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go.

FSKOT! (Fell Shmell--Keep on Trucking) (The Rebba R' Bards)
Last Edit: 10 Mar 2019 17:20 by stillgoing.

Re: Introduction 09 Mar 2019 23:31 #339489

  • ColinColin
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To answer the original question:

I have read on other sites, that this generation has many reincarnations of people who struggled with sexual sins in an earlier incarnation.

So we are being tested again, and given another chance to pass that test.
Last Edit: 09 Mar 2019 23:32 by ColinColin.

Re: Introduction 10 Mar 2019 19:40 #339520

  • Tzvi5
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"all these factors combined lead me to believe that my mind will desire and lust... that's what it's programmed to do. I can, however, use tools to fight it. And that's my kedoshim tihiyu.
if I accept that, then I'll be happier.
maybe even take out some.more garbage from the alley!
it's just that I didn't really plan on being in this position in life, so its a little difficult to accept the reality.
thanks for posting."

From experience it's possible to have mostly clean thoughts.
Email aronieberger@gmail.com to find out how an ex sa member found serenity through Torah Study.

link to my story guardyoureyes.com/forum/19-Introduce-Yourself/339218-My-journey-to-sanity
Last Edit: 10 Mar 2019 19:41 by Tzvi5.

Re: Introduction 10 Mar 2019 20:50 #339522

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Tzvi5 wrote on 10 Mar 2019 19:40:
"all these factors combined lead me to believe that my mind will desire and lust... that's what it's programmed to do. I can, however, use tools to fight it. And that's my kedoshim tihiyu.
if I accept that, then I'll be happier.
maybe even take out some.more garbage from the alley!
it's just that I didn't really plan on being in this position in life, so its a little difficult to accept the reality.
thanks for posting."

From experience it's possible to have mostly clean thoughts.



Can you share what you did?

Re: Introduction 10 Mar 2019 23:56 #339525

  • Tzvi5
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"Can you share what you did?"
See essay enclosed.
                  "Addiction: Reality or Myth

In this essay we discuss the basis of addiction and its solution. We will take a look at the concept in Chassidus of the mind ruling the heart and its application for addiction.

The primary source of this essay is the Rebbe Rashab's explanation of intellect creating emotions.

Definition of Addiction

The basics elements in the addictive process are as follows:

a craving for an activity substance or behavior that brings temporary relief to the user. [1]

the belief that he can use his "drug of choice" like other people without the consequences, forgetting the pain and shame of even a day or week ago. [2]

the resulting cycle which leads to more and more destructive behavior which can cause psychological issues, injury, or even death. [3]

Upon the subject of addiction, the book Alcoholics Anonymous [4] is an important authority. The book was published in 1939 when the group contained one hundred members. Since then the book has been reprinted four times and membership is an estimated two million in one hundred ninety countries. The message the book gives is one of recovery from addiction based off following a set of spiritual principles to recover from a life of resentment, fear, and grudges, and to allow the grace of G-d to expel the desire for alcohol (or other addictions). The book was met with wide approval from the medical and religious communities.

According to Alcoholics Anonymous the spiritual elements of addiction are the alcoholic's fear, resentment and grudges towards others.

To paraphrase their teachings:

-We set on paper our grudge list of those who harmed us, whether it was our ambitions, self-esteem or pocketbook. We mentioned those whom we were upset with, and what was the root of our anger. Was it our self-esteem that was hurt, or our pocketbooks, ambitions, or personal relationships? These parts of our emotions are the flaws in our makeup that need to be discarded in order to live a happy and useful life.

-In order to be free of the spiritual disease, resentment needs to be let go of, it's the thing which causes alcoholics to drink more than any other causes. Fear is also one of the great flaws in our spiritual makeup, it corroded our inner being and had to be dealt with. It proved that "self" had failed us; self-reliance, self-confidence never solved our problems for we were still afraid.

-Self-centeredness and selfishness are the root of our problem, and must be uprooted if the alcoholic wants to live.

-The alcoholic must be willing to take inventory of himself, and discard all flaws of the makeup of self. If he is to have any recovery, he must be willing to clean house. His encounters with others, his day-to-day life needs to be examined and worked through, to find his selfishness, fears, grudges, resentments, and find his own part, clean his side of the street and forgive those who wronged him. [5]

This brings out the theory that the basis of an addict's addiction is the inability to handle life like healthy normal human beings. He is constantly resentful at other people, and can't handle viewpoints other than his own. He is constantly sore from the "wrongs" done to him and is fearful of things not turning out how he planned.

An Addict’s Mindset Can be Compared to That of a Child

The above mindset is comparable to the emotional state of a child who is resentful at others who wronged him by not following his wishes. He is fearful of not receiving the award he hopes to win. He is selfish and does not wish to coexist with a viewpoint that is against his. His emotions do not give room for ideas, opinions and situations that are against his.

We find support for this notion from Tanya which states:

"A child by nature desires things of little value and gets angry about petty things, because his intellect is minute, and therefore the emotions born from his mind are petty." [6]

This shows that due to the lower level of intellect exhibited by a child his emotions are more foolish. The natural mastery of the mind over the heart is missing. In Tanya we see that human intellect by nature can rule one’s emotions:

"A human being by nature of his birth, can with the will in his mind, control the desires of his heart, to not think, speak, or do, what his heart desires." [7] (I.e.: a person can control his emotions with the power of his mind.)

We further see from Samech Vav, that since emotions are created from the mind, the latter contains natural mastery over the heart's emotions:

"The mind creates emotions through thinking about the positive or negative qualities of a concept, and therefore has the ability to control the emotions that are created. The brain’s control over the feelings are manifested in two ways: first, the emotions do not get overly passionate in an out of control manner, and second, two opposite emotions can exist simultaneously.

Therefore, a child who lacks control over his emotions will have emotions that are out control, and will not agree with an opposing viewpoint."[8]

As was stated earlier the mind contains within it the ability to control the emotions and feelings of the heart. It can prevent the emotions from making one uncomfortable and can handle a viewpoint that is different than his own. However, a child whose intellect is not developed will not control his emotions and will be uncomfortable when life does not go his way. His emotions are not kept in check to allow room for other people's feelings, or opinions if they differ from his own.

In our scenario the addict's mind is not developed, and therefore he is upset, resentful, and cannot deal with life (which fuels his addictive behavior with which he looks to medicate himself.)

The Solution Would Be a Developed Mind

The solution would be for him to develop his mind which would allow him mastery over his feelings and negative emotions and allow him to be feel comfortable in life.

One of the proven ways of developing the mind is through comprehending one's studies. A good method to use is to learn with a study partner, and repeat over in his own words all that he learned to the partner. The advantage is that each time he uses his own words, the concept becomes more and more clear in the mind of the learner, allowing him to fully comprehend the subject at hand. As one studies and comprehends what he learns, the brain becomes stronger and can use the inherent ability contained within the mind to control the emotions of the heart.

With the mind becoming developed and its intellect growing, one will gradually become able to control his emotions, and will be able to be comfortable with viewpoints other than his own. The entire basis of the addiction will dissolve.

Contrasting to Other Approaches

The steps which AA uses entail reviewing one’s day to day encounters with other people, and if any resentment comes up to see his part in the situation. The advantage of developing the mind is gaining mastery over the emotions, instead of working them through after the fact. This allows one to have an enjoyable life all the time, as opposed to having times where he is not comfortable.

[1] Alcoholics Anonymous, p 16

[2] Ibid, chapter 3

[3] ibid

[4] See Forward to Alcoholics Anonymous 4th addition

[5] See Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 63-70

[6] See Tanya chapter 6

[7] See Tanya chapter 12

[8] See Sefer Hamaamorim 5666, Pg 481-483, Leil Beis D'chag Hasukkos 5667"


Plus from my experience the lust thoughts are mostly automatic ie: they come by themselves, so if you gain control of your mind (See attached essay) you will easily be able to ignore them.
Email aronieberger@gmail.com to find out how an ex sa member found serenity through Torah Study.

link to my story guardyoureyes.com/forum/19-Introduce-Yourself/339218-My-journey-to-sanity
Last Edit: 11 Mar 2019 00:01 by Tzvi5.
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