Letter of Encouragement

My Dear Friend,
I know you are going through some things right now, and it can be overwhelming. I want you to go into the bathroom and splash some cold water on your face, take a few deep breaths, and look in the mirror at a hero — someone who is breaking out of a deeply ingrained pattern and taking care of herself against a torrent of self-destructive conditioning.

All of recovery comes down to a simple choice — do I want short-term pleasure and the long-term pain that goes with it OR do I want short-term pain with long-term deep satisfaction and true joy. Just for today, your actions are those of a hero, a person who chooses to act with self-integrity in spite of your own imperfections along the way. You are a child of God who chooses to endure the extreme discomfort of a major pattern change in a series of acts of faith and trust that Hashem (God) will bring a new day of peace, light and joy.

Do not give up. Do not give up on the process. Do not give up on yourself. Persistence is a most valuable spiritual principle. The past does not equal the future. You are further along than you know. Don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens. I’ll say it better — don’t quit five minutes before you have a profound realization that the miracle is already here — that you yourself ARE the miracle. You are a precious gift that G_d has put in the world to serve a purpose that only you can fulfill. You may not fully understand what exactly that life mission entails just yet, but that is not the issue. What is unfolding inside of you is what is REALLY going on. You are doing so much better than you know. Imagine what it will feel like when this reality becomes as clear to you as it is to me.

But — you say — I don’t know the things you have screwed up along the way. Here is what I do know: we are allowed to falter, to botch a step or two or ten or even a hundred. The part of your brain that tells you that you are a piece of garbage is a liar. My experience is that his voice gets softer over time, then louder, then softer. That inner critic has not been removed from me. Perhaps he’ll always be with you, too. But that is okay. Hashem is always and absolutely with you too, no matter what kind of mess you have made. He has not given up on you, even in the moments when you have given up on yourself.

You are awake, moving forward — albeit tenuously — staying clean today. This is all the proof I need that you are walking through this phase of your life admirably. Remember not to do it alone. Sleep — or at least give your body and racing brain a rest. Breathe, eat as nutriciously as you can. Keep your body moving — gently, not to exhaustion. Use the gift of words to express your feelings, frustration and thought processes to a few trusted confidents. Stay connected to people who love you and have your best interest at heart. Try to choose companions with stabile heads on their shoulders and avoid temptation of surrounding yourself only with people who won’t challenge you.

I know there are moments when this process feels horrible, but stay open to the possibility that you may be DOING way better than you are feeling. Your willingness to move forward in faith — trusting a loving Higher Power that you cannot see, hear or touch — makes you a hero in my eyes. May G-d as you understand Him give you the clarity to know and feel what I’ll bet you already suspect deep down in your heart — that you are a miracle and that miracles are happening through you every moment.

With love and respect,


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