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CHIZUK-----spiritual highs & lows

This year, throughout the whole year I've felt myself growing as a Jew and as a person, my love for Hashem was great, my self esteem was high (not too high), I loved my friends, I felt like a really good person overall.

I’ve always been a bais yaakov girl but all of a sudden after an amazingly uplifting shavous I came back from Israel (I live in new York) and I got involved in some things that are pretty inappropriate, and right now I pretty much feel like a horrible Jew.

Now, I’m just like I don’t care anymore- I’m having fun but I do still have that guilty conscience telling me that this is so wrong. But its not like I want to stop what I’m doing cuz I’m having a great time but then again I know how wrong it is. yet I feel like no matter how much good I’ve done this year- Yom Kippur is going to roll around and I’m still gonna go straight to hell.

I know the whole meaning of teshuva but even if I did do teshuva I don’t know how much teshuva I would need to be forgiven for this. Is there a point in even trying? Please help me I don’t think I’ve ever been more confused in my life! Thank you!

Here's the thing. Lots of people, especially teenagers, value too much the feeling of being uplifted that they get form their year in Israel, or from some other growing experience.

Of course the feeling is valuable, but when I say "too much" I mean that when you experience what is called a "rifyon", a "dip" so to speak in your spiritual life, like when you do aveiros, you lose the momentum of the spiritual high that you were on, and suddenly you don’t feel so wonderful anymore, and then hopelessness sets in.

The reason for this is because you use your "high feeling" to measure your status, which is a mistake.

Spiritual highs are like any other highs - they're great while they last, and they make us feel good but they don't stay forever. In Gan Eden they will, but not in this world.

Yom Kippur gives us (or should give us) such a kind of high, when we feel that our neshomas were cleaned out and we have a new start. The greatest Gedolim have said that they feel the effects of Yom Kippur until Sukkos, or, the latest calculation I've heard, until Chanukah.

Nobody can stay on the high that they got in Eretz Yisroel forever. When we break the momentum of that feeling with some sins it feels like we've fallen off a cliff.

But that feeling is the Yetzer Horah. He wants to take that "high" and use it against you. He wants you to use it as a crutch, get used to leaning on it, knowing full well that its not going to be here forever.

Don’t let him do this. Here's the reality:

Teshuva helps for everyone, no matter what they did, because it is a gift from G-d. G-d gave you the Yetzer Horah and He gave you teshuva to fix the damage the Yetzer Horah does. When you do Teshuva, not only are your sins forgiven, but all the damage that was done to your soul is repaired, good as new. Better, even.

And whatever that spiritual "high" you had meant, doing Teshuva means much much more. You will be totally pure, clean, and higher than you were even before you did the aveiros. Here's what you have to do:

1) regret what you did

2) commit yourself not to do it again

... that's it. It's harder than it sounds, I know, but Hashem loves you so much and He knew that one day "Deens" is going to do these sins, but she sincerely really seriously wants deep down to grow. So Hashem gave Deens the ability to do teshuva, so that the Yetzer Horah will not be able to stop Deens from getting what she wants. Teshuva is a miracle - it undoes the past. it's like having Hashem Himself on your side against the Yetzer Horah. Deens and Hashem fight this war together against the Satan.

It's like that Disney story where this little baby lion, the baby of the king of lions, gets lost in the neighborhood of wolves and suddenly some wolf sees the king's little kid lost far away from home and he figures he's gonna have a good snack. So he corners the little lion cub, his mouth watering.

The little baby is scared stiff, knowing its all over for him. Then, right before he gets eaten, this big shadow covers the room, and the wolf hears this great big ROAR in back of him. He turns around, and it's the cub's father, the king of lions himself, who came looking for his lost cub. Well, you can imagine what happens to the wolf.

OK, so you’re a lost cub cornered by the Satan. Don’t worry. your Father is stronger than the Satan, he is the King of Kings, and Master of the Universe, Who is looking for you because He knows you are lost. All you have to do is call out to Him and he's going to come and rip the Satan apart with Kavyochol all of His power.

That's right. You have Hashem's power itself at your disposal. "Rav L'Hoshiyah" we say in Shmoneh Esrei about Hashem. One translation is: Hashem uses His power, His greatness (He is "rav") to save us ("L'hoshiyah"). All you have to do is call out to him. Do teshuva, that's how you call on Hashem. Then He comes in and uses ALL HIS POWER, i.e. all of Hashem's power, to undo the damage the Satan did to your soul, forgive your sins, rewrite the past, and make sure that you don’t get eaten.

When Hashem made you, He knew that you were put in a world of wolves. And He knew that you cant survive alone. That’s why he created the "calling system", where whenever you get in trouble, you call Him - through teshuva and tefilah - and He comes and saves you. Then you continue your journey. It's you and Hashem against the wolves.

So don’t get eaten. Do teshuva and Hashem guarantees He will comes and save you.
And when you’re saved through Teshuva, you become higher than you were even before you sinned.

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