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Shteeble's collection of inspiration
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If you've made progress - thank G-d, double your merit by inspiring others as well! Post the tips and advice that worked best for you in your journey to sobriety or tell us about recommendations you heard from others that work.

TOPIC: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 16268 Views

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 03 Oct 2011 16:43 #120864

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#30

Mahogany Man

A Moment with Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z"L #103

QUESTION:
Shouldn't proper Teshuva erase the wrong impressions on one's mind?

ANSWER:
I have to tell you what the Kuzari says someplace else,
he says you'll never erase.
You can never erase any impression on your mind.
And even if you'll repent, he said,
you heard, let's say, love songs in your youth, and now you have outgrown these things; you ridicule it. You cannot erase them from your mind,
that's what he says.

However, a note of consolation which he doesn't say, but we'll add it anyhow.
Let's say somebody was given a mahogany table,
and he didn't realize the value of this piece of furniture,
and he was careless, and he even allowed it to be scratched.
Now, a deep scratch in mahogany you cannot undo.
You can't take off that deep scratch.
A shallow scratch you can varnish over, a deep scratch is going to be there.

So even though you'll varnish it and it will glisten more than before,
you'll take it to a master furniture craftsman,
but a deep scratch, there'll always be a depression in the wood, you can't change it.

What can you do?
If you'll be prosperous enough to buy an expensive gold plate that will cover the entire table,
then it becomes a more beautiful object than before,
and the scratch you won't notice.

It's there however, that depression is still there.

So you do Teshuva,
you're covering with gold the surface that had been marred.
Of course it would have been better if he had never marred the surface,
but if you overlay it with gold, it's like the Shulchan.
The Shulchan was made of expensive wood but on top of the wood it was a covering of gold.

So that's what a Baal Teshuva is,
he's covered with gold and he is better than he was before.
He is better than an ordinary mahogany man.
A mahogany Jew, just an ordinary Frum Jew who never did any big sins,
but he didn't overlay it with gold!
A Baal Teshuva overlaid it with gold, he's more precious.


(chizuk email 1074)
Last Edit: 01 Dec 2016 20:32 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 06 Oct 2011 14:52 #121275

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#31

And then I realized
that every time I am faced with a decision
of any kind,
I am about to crown Hashem as my King.

I pause
and I ask for guidance.
And then I think:
Will the outcome of this decision further my agenda
or Hashem's?


(chizuk email 1073)
Last Edit: 01 Dec 2016 20:35 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 01 Nov 2011 17:22 #123720

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#32

Let's face it,

as an addict,
fear of failure leads to procrastination,
and wasting critical time,
plus the "idle hands are the devil's playground" syndrome.

So another kabolla
was to avoid what I used to do,
taking my lunch into my home office,
and using the excuse that since both my hands were busy while eating
I'll just go onto CNN/Arutz Sheva to catch up on the news
(big time waster cuz I coudn't stop following the news story links)
or watch movie trailers and clips
(time waster PLUS actress/fashion/plot triggers).

Now I have accepted upon myself to

1) always eat those "working meals" in the kitchen,
away from the computer
(this way ALSO I wont forget to bentch in time),
and

2) not to go onto the internet for secular entertainment
or to unwind
or stall -
in the words of the Big Book,
"unless I have a good reason for being there."


(chizuk email 1077)
Last Edit: 01 Dec 2016 20:39 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 01 Nov 2011 17:31 #123728

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#33

Progress Not Perfection

Many of us may be thinking,
"What is the use of my Teshuvah if I may (likely) have slips and falls again this year?"

Rabbosai,
we must internalize and remember that Hashem gave the Torah to human beings, not angels.
He knows that we will have slips and falls.
But it's all about PROGRESS,
NOT PERFECTION.

Hashem loves each and every one of us,
and He is so proud of those who keep trying in such a dark world,
with such difficult nisyonos like there has never been in history before.

Let us resolve now, Erev Yom Kippur, that we will keep trying,
that we will keep fighting,
that we will keep looking for new eitzos that help us
(whether in the GYE tools, services, handbooks or elsewhere).

Let us all resolve that when we come to Yom Kippur in a year's time from now
we will be able to honestly say to Hashem: "I feel I made progress this year".


(chizuk email 1076)
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 11:47 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 01 Nov 2011 18:23 #123741

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#34

Know, my friends,

that the desires we have
are really the yearnings of our souls for a true and deep connection with Hashem,
for the true safety and comfort of His loving embrace.

But the "white-matter" in our brains messes up these signals
and tricks us into believing that we will find all that we are looking for by running after lust.

Many foolish men spend their lives chasing this ever-elusive comfort and "connection",
continuously sure that they will find it in their "next" fix....

Let us realize that ONLY HASHEM HIMSELF can truly fill the deep yearnings of our souls.
Let us return to the warm and loving embrace of Hashem
and tell him on this Yom-Kippur:
Hashem, we don't want ANYTHING ELSE but you, dear Father, forever more!


(chizuk email 1076)
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 12:02 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 02 Nov 2011 11:41 #123836

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#35

Rabbi Avigdor Miller on Teshuvah

QUESTION:


How does one repent for certain sins, that he knows he will repeat?


ANSWER:

That's a question that is being always asked. And the answer is as follows. If a man smokes forty cigarettes every Shabbos, and he decides he's going to smoke only thirty nine, that's a fortunate man. That's called a Miktzas Teshuva. A little bit of Teshuva, which is the easiest thing to do, is the biggest obligation. To stop all forty, not so easy for him, but to stop the fortieth, YES. And therefore, if you can stop even a little bit of your sin, then you must do it, and it's the biggest obligation, that's the easiest thing to do.


And so any sinner, even though he's a confirmed Chotai, if he's able to make a resolve, at least one little bit of that sin he won't do anymore. Let's say, he does a sin ten times a week, now he'll do it nine times a week; he makes up his mind no more then nine times, he is a LUCKY man. If he neglects that opportunity, he's in great sakona; Hashem is very angry at him. The tenth time was easy to avoid. And so everybody can do a Miktzas Teshuva.


That's why we say Hashivainu Avinu Lesorasecho, Hashem bring us back to your Torah, that's Teshuva we are asking for, Teshuva, for repentance. Then we say, V'Hachzirainu B'sehuva Shelaima, then we're asking for a perfect repentance. First we are asking for a little bit of repentance, any kind of repentance, a little bit at least. Then once you ask for a finger, you ask for the whole hand, too! Then we say give us a full repentance.



(chizuk email 1075)
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 22:48 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 02 Nov 2011 18:26 #123933

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Wow! That's great shteeb! thank you
ישראל אע"פ שחטא ישראל הוא
If you're connected above, you won't fall down below - Reb Shlomo
ולבי חלל בקרבי
לולא האמנתי לראות בטוב ה' בארץ חיים
Last Edit: by .

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 06 Jan 2012 09:04 #130220

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#36

Dov Quote:




If "starting fresh" is not accompanied by any real action that is different, then everything will stay the same. It's not 'a start', at all! Instead, it is just a cop-out to feel better. Blech. Useless. Poor me never got me anywhere, and it still doesn't. The emess is as Chaza"l say:  "kol mi (me!) sh'ein bo deyah, asur lerachem olov!" - especially if that one is me!

Real change hurts - or it is not real change. It is mechayev - otherwise it is just a show of willpower (more shtuss, for 'willpower' never worked before!) If I am the one making the neder, or rewarding myself, or punishing myself, then the fox is guarding the hen-house. It's goofy. May work for some - but if it doesn't work for me, I know that it's not that I need to try harder - it means that the entire thing is garbage! I obviously cannot be my own mechayev!

That is why rehab rarely happens alone. Joining with other people face to face and admitting it all to safe people is the only way for so many. It is really the only thing we have not done! The ikkar problem for us is that we hide!

The porn and zera levatola are actually tofeil - our common standby of hiding and lying and disconnection is ikkar!

                     
**************************

So, start today! Definitely start from today. But starting today does not happen in the attitude - that is just more land-of-make-believe. Like the porn is.

The only real starting is in taking new, meaningful actions. Not promises, not hopes, not talk. Different actions.

As I heard a wife of an addict say once, "If nothing really changes, then nothing will really change."
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 22:49 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 17 Aug 2012 15:55 #143882

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#37

R' Leib Kelemen says over (B'Sheim Omro, don't forget!) that R' Chaim Vital writes: He was have a conversation with his Rebbe, the Arizal, and he asked him why the Arizal keeps saying that he (R' Chaim Vital) has a special neshoma. "We, who do not reach the toenails of the previous generation, can't possibly be considered special compared to those that have come before us."
The Arizal answered, because in every generation it is far more difficult to do the right thing, because of the forces arrayed against us, we cannot judge ourselves by our accomplishments. Rather, if we are anywhere near the previous generations in our activities, it means far more than it appears to mean, because the fight is tougher. On that scale, concluded the Arizal, you have a special neshoma.

(thank you E-Tek)
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 22:51 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 27 Jan 2016 15:57 #275639

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#38
eslaasos wrote:
Hi Shteeble (that name seems to stick),
The thoughts percolating in my head earlier today seemed like they might be helpful to you.
I've been having interfering thoughts and temptations for the last few days. I've surrendered them privately and also with friends by email and chat which has helped but they keep coming back.

First, I was reminded of AlexEliezer's mantra of surrendering, and then surrendering again, and again, and again, as many times as necessary until you're out of the moment.
Then when I was getting frustrated that I'm seemingly stuck in the mud, I recalled the lessons of acceptance I learnt in therapy. I accept the fact that for this week (I can't think further ahead right now) this is who I am and where I'm at. I am not going to be finishing Shas, winning the lottery (to be able to give mammoth amounts of tzedakah of course) or solving the world's problems. I'm going to be just little me being mind-blasted by negative thoughts and tempted to escape in stupid ways. I'm going to be the best I can be at keeping my head above water.

Do I want to take the easy road to give in and end the struggle? Heck, yes.
Is it worth it? HELL, NO!
Will I? I hope not, and I have a small plan to keep me from it. Not perfect but so far still clean, thank G-d.

Hope this helps, and wishing us all hatzlacha.
Last Edit: 04 Dec 2016 22:52 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 12 Dec 2016 14:40 #299710

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#39
fulfillment1989 wrote on 12 Dec 2016 03:13:
I had a big fight today...
             Should I go to the movies or not?I knew if i would go that i would feel like a piece of garbage.I also reasoned that i am eventually for sure going to fall.So why does it matter if I fall now?
            I had a talk with my rebbi last week.He told me the question isn't if i am going to fall or not.Rather the issue at hand is,'Do I want to live a healthy life?Do i want to have a relationship with my wife?(hopefully soon)Do i want to be a father,to properly care for my children and to have a healthy stable home?
             Or am I going to be a Nebach? Someone with no self control and who is a slave to his desires and addictions.
           This is my deterrent whenever I have a battle.I think to myself not 'what's one more time going to hurt in the big picture?'Rather,who do I want to be.What type of life do I want to live?There are always going too be falls,that's life.The question we have to ask ourselves is who are we and where are we heading.
P.S. Baruch Hashem I was able to pull through and made it out!! 

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 14 Dec 2016 09:46 #299894

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#40

ur-a-jew wrote:

When we come up to shomayim, we will see what it is that Hashem wanted from us. We are not Neviim and we have no way of knowing. But we do know this: Hashem gave us a Torah and to the best of our abilities He wants us to keep it. So what that means on a practical level is that we need to take one day at a time and serve Him each day to the best of our abilities. Some days we will succeed. Others we won't. If we take that approach after 120 we can look back and see a lot of single days that add up to a mountain of accomplishment. The other alternative is that we can start out each day, say today there is no way I can finish the day as the gadol hador so I might as well not try. At the end of 120 we will look back, see nothing and say "you see I told you I couldn't do it."
I forget which Rishon says that our mission in life is to perform 1 mitzvah l'shem shomayim. And that is pshat in רצה הקבה לזכות את ישראל לפיכך הרבה להם ורה ומצות. Since there are so many opportunities hopefully the person will perform one right during his life time. So we don't have to write the hammek davar, we don't even have to be a tzaddik, we have to be good Jews. Treat our wives properly (not as a sex object), raise good children and be honest in business. 
If you start working on that TODAY you will be able to look back in a year from now and hopefully say that I don't know whether I have reached my potential but I know that I am a better person than I was last year.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 21 Dec 2016 15:06 #300717

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#41

eslaasos wrote:

With regard to the chazal you mentioned about needing Hashem's help to overcome the YH, I have mentioned to you previously that this is discussed by the Lev Eliyahu on the posuk of lapesach chatos rovetz. Essentially he cites contradictory statements from chazal and answers that there are 2 different Yetzer Hora's. 
There is a natural physical YH that we are expected to overcome ourselves using the tool of borosi YH, borosi Torah tavlin. Then there is a spiritual/supernatural YH that it is impossible for us to overcome without Hashem's help.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 21 Dec 2016 15:11 #300720

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#42

eslaasos wrote:

I've been listening to Rabbi Twerski's calls to Duvid Chaim's group and he explains how AA is really not an addiction resolution course but a self-improvement course, and he has been a member since 1961 despite never being an alcoholic because until he dies he will always have character traits he needs to improve.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 21 Dec 2016 15:24 #300722

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#43

eslaasos wrote:

In the future, Hashem will bring out the YH and slaughter it in front of everyone, Tzadikim and Reshaim, and both groups will be crying, The tzadikim will see the YH as a mountain and will cry out of amazement and fearful awe that they were able to overcome it, and the Reshaim will see it as small as a hair and cry that they were not able to overcome it.

(Firstly, if we feel that our YH is a mountain, where does that put us? OK, put that aside because we are not objective.)

So what is the YH - a mountain or a hair?

The simplistic answer is kol hagodol mechavero, yitzro godol heimenu, but that itself requires more understanding.
So here's 2 answers drawn from GYE and the 12 step program.

1. ODAAT! We have to look at each temptation as it presents itself as a single event. A single event is indeed a hair that we can overcome. It's only when we look at it in the context of the last (fill in your number) of days or years that I have been fighting this and the foreseeable future that it becomes a mountain. So the YH is both a mountain and a hair, depending on your outlook. 

2. Surrender to Hashem! If you try to fight this by yourself, it will feel like a mountain is pressing down on you, and you will end up buckling under the weight. Let the Creator and Master of the Universe handle that weight for you, and you will only have to face what's left - as small as a hair.

The irony in both of these approaches is that if you look at it like a hair by taking it one day at a time, or surrendering the mountainous weight to Hashem, at the end you can look back at hundreds of single events that you overcame that now add up to a mountain, but if you look at it like a mountain you're likely to look back at too many falls that by themselves were only as small as a hair.
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