Principle 2: Fear of Heaven can’t always stop us, but it can PUSH us
With this in mind, let us explore a few aspects about these sins that can help strengthen our Fear of Heaven to make sure that we indeed take every step we can to break free:
Chazal (Niddah 13a) write that HZ”L is as if one has spilled blood or worshiped Avodah Zorah, and that those who do it are chayev misah biday shamayim. The Zohar even goes so far as to say that it is the worst sin in the Torah. Another terrible result of these sins that is brought down in the holy books, is that they desensitize us to spiritual connection. The more we sin in these areas, the more desensitized we become. This is a commonly experienced phenomenon, where people slowly lose their yearning for spirituality and they start to feel ever more disconnected from Torah, Shabbos and Mitzvos. Unfortunately, this also makes Teshuvah all the more unlikely, as one becomes more and more disconnected.
Also, these behaviors require hiding, lying and living a double life. This cuts us off from the world around us and doesn’t let us feel the tremendous kindness of Hashem that fills our lives. It blinds us to the goodness in the world around us, to our souls and to Hashem. We begin to lose appreciation for our own wives and children. We are unable to find inner peace; we can’t stop lusting and we remain closed up within a shell that no one can penetrate.
It is also brought down in Kabalistic texts that every drop emitted in vain causes souls to be created, and these souls are snatched up by the forces of evil and become demonic forces that cause much suffering in a person’s life. The souls themselves also suffer in misery with no hope (unless we fix ourselves), and after we die they stand as terrible accusers against us.
But do not let all these dramatic revelations cause you to despair. Teshuvah was created even before the world was created, and Hashem knew that we would stumble in these areas. Hashem has infinite patience and He understands us far better than we understand ourselves. Chazal say that Hashem even brought David Hamelech to stumble with Bas Sheva, only to show us the incredible power of Teshuvah.
Also, it is brought down in the Holy books that, through a sincere Teshuvah, all the souls that we created through our sins actually become uplifted, and they change from being “accusing angels” to “defending angels” instead.
So never despair! Although the standard Teshuvah model may not always work well when dealing with these addictive behaviors (see part B where this is discussed more in depth), by learning the proper perspective on this struggle and by taking the steps we can to break free, we are doing exactly what Hashem intended for us to do all along. That is our Teshuvah.