Monday, October 18, 2010
Last time we discussed the ravages of pornography upon the individual, family, and society. Now let’s take a look at ways of overcoming this insidious vice.
Have you ever tried to lose weight? I know when I decide to lose a few pounds, I immediately start to fixate upon food. Ice cream, cake, breads, mashed potatoes, and tons of other delicious treats become the focus of my thoughts. The moment I decide to force my will and overcome eating, I find I can think of nothing else but eating. This holds true for any habit we want to end. Smoking for example is one of the most difficult addictions to defeat. People would rather give up food than give up their cigarettes. So, what are we to do?
The very first thing to do is look inside and figure out why there needs to be a change. What is the motivation for change ... becoming a better person, saving the marriage, being a better father or mother, son or daughter? Is the motivation that's chosen strong enough to help overcome the whirlpool of temptation which will assuredly come?
Find a Reason
In my experience, the greatest motivation is "other" oriented. Attempting to accomplish any task for the purpose of another person or for a cause almost always gives added strength to the resolution to change.
I know a man who managed to quit smoking because he didn’t want his infant son to grow up and become a smoker. In times of stress or temptation, he was able to focus upon this righteous desire, look at his son, and receive added strength to overcome this powerful addiction. Ultimately, he did quit smoking and hasn’t smoked for over 30 years.
Being a part of a larger purpose gives the strength to overcome. Indeed, this is true in war. Those units which had a greater sense of brotherhood, fought harder. People are always willing to give more of themselves when it means helping others they care about deeply.
While examining the reasons for quitting pornography, it helps to recognize how much it hurts loved ones. Those selling the filth of lust often peddle the belief that it doesn’t hurt anyone and is victimless. This is a great lie. Everyone is hurt by pornography. Those who suffer the most are immediate family members.
When considering the reasons for change, it's beneficial to reflect upon not only the behaviors to change, but also new behaviors to acquire to replace the old ones that are bound to pornography . Change is ever occurring, so thoughtfully consider life's current direction and where it will end up. Mentally ask, "Is this the person I want to be?"
The best process for change is visualization. This means seeing one's self in the future as a person who does not view pornography. Picture the details of what this person does instead of watching pornography. Imagine even small details to the picture. How does he go about his day and how does he treat people?
Crystallize the view of that new self until that presence can be felt within. Do this every day, several times a day. Start living life as this person and soon, the necessary changes will be within reach and then, accomplished. Mentally rehearse how this "new you" would respond to temptations and consider how to better occupy time instead of spending it viewing pornography. The more detailed the visualizations are, the better equipped the mind is to handle the temptations when they occur.
Additionally, become re-involved with family. Spend time walking, talking, playing games, and loving the people that matter the most. In this lies a hidden strength that will generate great power in overcoming the longing to view pornography.
Monitor Your Monitor
To help with re-focusing on family, place a meaningful photo of loved ones next to the computer monitor. Listen to uplifting music, and never use the computer in a closed room. At night, if unable to sleep, go and read from a good book until sleep comes along rather than going to the computer in the dark.
I once had a client who read the Old Testament when he couldn't sleep. He found that he quickly became sleepy and returned to bed.
The process of change takes time but by consistent and persistent effort, success will happen! The key lies in proper motivation, visualization, and monitoring your monitor.
It has been said that life is not a process of having and getting, but of being and becoming. Always try to become the best person you can be.
Until next time …
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