כי בחוזק יד הוציאנו ה' ממצריים
The Torah reiterates a number of times that it was "with a strong hand" that Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim. It took much suffering on the part of the Egyptians until they were willing to let us out, and Chazal also tell us that it took the "extra" suffering at the end (when Pharaoh made the Yidden gather the straw to make the bricks) to cause the YIDDEN to fully WANT to go out.
We see from this that both the Egyptians (the addiction) and the Yidden (the addict himself) both need to suffer "the strong hand" before they will be ready to leave Mitzrayim, and in our case, to break free.
Mussar, Chizuk and inspiration are all niceties that don't work very well with addiction. The only thing that can take us out of this Mitzrayim is a "strong hand".
There are two ways that this can be accomplished, either by willingly making the addiction suffer (like the 10 plagues on the Egyptians) or if Hashem pours suffering on the addict himself until he hits bottom and is ready to let Hashem take him out (like the suffering the Yidden underwent in Mitzrayim).
Of these two options, which one do we choose? Are we willing to cause suffering and "dinim" on the addiction by making strong fences for ourselves (like the TaPHSiC method), or will we have to wait until Hashem takes us out with His strong hand, like when our wives find out or our name gets ruined, or we lose our jobs, self-respect, our children's respect, our marriage, etc, chas veshalom?
Chazal tell us that when there is din limata (judgment below), there is no din limala (judgment above). For example, when Pinchas killed Zimri he halted the din limala and the plague stopped. Basically, this is the same idea. If we choose to make "din limata" and create "dinim" for ourselves on the addiction by making shvuos, fences and knasos, then Hashem helps us mercifully and takes us out of Mitzrayim will much less personal suffering. But if we don't take this route of din limata, we may only be ready to leave Mitzrayim when we hit-bottom, r"l, and then we'll finally surrender to Hashem and let Him take us out (the 12-Step approach).
Chizuk, mussar and inspiration are simply not enough when dealing with addiction. We must employ strong-hand tactics if we don't want to hit-bottom, c"v.
Study the TaPHSiC method today to learn how to create serious fences coupled with k'nasos. This method works for many people where all else has failed. It makes us feel the strong consequences of acting out "on our skin" (as opposed to the abstract threat of "gehenim after 120", which doesn't stand up to the powerful pull of instant gratification NOW).
Going All The Way
We can employ these tactics for Shmiras Ainayim on the street as well. How many of us have already been clean from real acting out for a while, but we still can't seem to get a grip on the Shmiras Ainayim (offline)?
You see, the addiction causes us to lust wherever we feel we can get away with it. If we don't make ourselves knasos for what we look at offline as well, we will continue to look! Inspiration might help for a day or two, or even a month, but in the end we will often find ourselves struggling once again with Shmiras Ainayim. If we want to have a real connection with Hashem and get past this stumbling block, we have to get TOUGH with this too and go all the way.
To be Mischazek in Shmiras Ainayim now in Elul, let's try this:
Shvuah for one week that:
-If I am outdoors or in a car, and I intentionally gaze at a female that I find attractive, for more than 3 seconds in any given 30 second period - after remembering that I made this shvuah, I will donate $15 to GYE.
-If I intentionally turn my head (anywhere from 20 degrees or more) to gaze at a female that I find attractive - after remembering that I made this shvuah, I will donate $50 to GYE.
-If I am indoors, and I intentionally turn my head or walk more than 5 steps in order to gaze at a female that I find attractive, and I gaze for more than 10 seconds in any given 30 second period - after remembering that I made this shvuah, I will donate $15 to GYE. (Disclaimer to say): If the female is in front of me or in my peripheral vision and it is difficult for me to turn in a different direction (like if I'm standing in line in a supermarket behind a woman) this shvuah will not apply.
Other Disclaimers to Say Toch Kidei Dibur:
- If I forget I owe the money, I will not owe it.
-This shvuah should not apply if I need to speak to a female or a female is speaking with me.
- If I stumble once, I will not owe more money for the next 5 minutes, regardless of what I do in the next 5 minutes.
Note: If the shvuah works for you well, renew it next week when it expires (and make it for two weeks!) If the Shvuah needs some adjustments, you can fix the nussach before renewing it.
An inspiring anecdote from the forum today
(Read the first and second post)