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Tool 3: Guard Your Eyes

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 09 November 2011
Part 3/7 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

Guarding our eyes outside

As addicts to lust, we must be extra careful about where we go. It is best to refrain from frequenting malls and other such public places where we know that we will have difficulty guarding our eyes. If we must be in such places, we can try to spend as little time there as possible, and perhaps even remove our glasses if we have bad eye-sight. Otherwise, we can try wearing sunglasses covered inside with non-see through lamination, or color the inside of a special pair of glasses with a black magic marker, leaving only a small hole to peer through (the Steipler Gaon gave someone this idea). For those who need to take public transportation to work, bringing a sefer along or an MP3 player with shiurim to listen to while keeping one’s eyes closed has been known to help. Even weddings, Simchos and family gatherings can be problematic for us, and we can try to prepare ourselves mentally beforehand. We can resolve to remain in the non-mixed areas as much as possible, or try to find a seat facing in a direction opposite from any possible triggers.

If we will have to be in an area where we know there will be a struggle, we can try to offer a short prayer before leaving the house: "Please Hashem, help me not to take any second looks". And if we find that we do stumble and take a second look, we can quickly offer another short prayer and say, "Hashem, I surrender my lust to you! Please take it away from me".

Guarding our eyes off-line

If we are serious about breaking free of lust addiction, we need to try to refrain from watching TV, movies and reading secular magazines and newspapers as much as possible, since all of them are full of promiscuity. Even the most innocent-sounding children's movies today are filled with imagery which can be very triggering for a lust addict and we must therefore try to avoid them as much as we can.

Let's talk about movies, for example. Movies are one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a proper healing from lust addiction, because often we find them very hard to give up. They serve as a source of entertainment for millions of people around the world, and they are often a welcome distraction from the difficult realities of life. But movies are filled to the brim with triggers to lust. And even if one is successful to find a movie with absolutely no provocatively dressed women or kissing scenes in them (almost impossible today), will there still not even be any attractive female actors in the movie at all? If we are trying to guard our eyes in the street - and we must be; how can we allow ourselves to stare at attractive women in a movie for about 2 hours straight? As lust addicts, most of us simply cannot look at attractive women - even modestly dressed - and not think or feel any undercurrent of lust. The nature of the addiction has taken this ability away from us. And we must admit this truth to ourselves; as long as we are lusting - we are still feeding the addiction.

Therefore in the GYE community, we know that if we are truly serious about breaking free from the poison of lust, we must let this be our sacrifice for Hashem's glory and give up non-Jewish movies for good. And surely this will be considered a most precious sacrifice in Hashem's eyes, a sacrifice brought on the altar of our hearts!

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