Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to Deal with the Yetzer Hara

I originally thought about naming this post "how to defeat the yetzer hara," but defeat is the wrong word. As you now know from yesterday's post, I don't view the yetzer hara as "the enemy." 

But even if the yetzer hara isn't the enemy, what do we do with its bad suggestions? Merely one gem out of the book The 6 Constant Mitzvos, the authors (thanks to the Talmud) provide a step-by-step plan to conquer the yetzer hara's temptations. 

1) Consult your yetzer tov. Remember that both the yetzer hara and the yetzer tov want you to succeed and pass this challenge. This language doesn't resonant with me personally, but the book often refers to the yetzer hara as an "illusion." If this perspective helps you, use it!
2) If that fails, study Torah. This hopefully will remind you of your long-term goals and how the yetzer hara's suggestions don't fit into that plan.
3) If that fails, recite the Shema prayer. Like the first step, the Shema can remind you that Hashem is one, which means that the yetzer hara and the yetzer yov are the same force from the same source.
4) If you're still considering the yetzer hara's offer, think of the day of your death. "Think about what you want to be remembered for, and what you must do if you want to be remembered for it."
5) And if you're still having problems, resort to child psychology. If you procrastinate long enough, you will eventually forget what the yetzer hara suggested. Distraction and procrastination can actually be your friend here, even though they are often the tools of the yetzer hara!

Good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment