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When I lived in Alaska my friends and I loved to go out into the woods and camp
I loved the ferns. I loved the birch trees that had such great bark for starting fires.
I loved four wheeling and snow mobile-ing with my friends.
But, on occasion I would go out alone. I would test my capabilities. I would camp on the side of a mountain alone.
In those moments I needed to rely on my ability to read a map and orient myself on the map.
One of the most important skills in reading and following a map is knowing where you are.
Knowing where you are is the very first thing you must do if you want to end up getting to where you want to go.
If you don’t correctly identify your position on the map you are trying to follow, you will invariably end up in a place you were not intending to go.
The same is true of pornography use
In fact, just this week I had a conversation with someone who enrolled in my individual coaching program who was very frustrated because he had done so much work, put in so much effort in so many important and critical ways. Yet, he didn’t feel like he was succeeding.
As we spoke it became clear to me that he had not yet admitted to himself that he had been using pornography because it had helped him deal with his stress and with his loneliness.
That’s right, I said it helped him. In those moments when he had been stressed, it had provided relief. In those moments when he had been lonely it had given him a break from his feelings.
So many of us would just like to demonize pornography and users of pornography. It is a convenient and easy story that makes it so we stand on moral high ground, seemingly above the problem.
We say things like, pornography is just the next step toward infidelity.
We believe that people who use pornography are addicted and powerless.
We hide it and hide from it whenever people discuss it because that kind of person is disgusting and they look at things that are disgusting and everything about pornography is disgusting.
When this is what we believe about pornography and by extension, inference and explicitly users of pornography we are creating shame that withholds from the users and from ourselves the love that we all truly crave and wish for all of our HF’s children.
- Just ask yourself, where did Jesus spend his time?
- Moral high ground doesn’t help anyone
What I really find interesting about this is that it is not just the wives who think and believe and behave this way.
It is the user’s themselves.
Just like my client who had up to that point, not really accepted where he was on the map, we all try to pretend that things are different than they really are.
We do this so we can feel good about ourselves. We do this so we can feel good about our judgement of ourselves and others.
Pornography users judge themselves for using pornography the same way non-users do.
Here’s the problem. None of that helps you become the person you want to be.
None of that helps you find the path away from pornography.
None of that is even true.
All of those thoughts actually hold you back from becoming the person that you want to be, if you are the user, and can hold your spouse back from being the person they want to be, if you are the spouse of a user.
So, what do we do? How do we properly orient ourselves on the map that leads to eliminating pornography use from our lives?
Start at the beginning. Start by taking a clear and simple assessment of where you really are.
I have a free download on my website you can follow the link in the description, or you can go to zachspafford.com/roadmap if you have not gotten this already, please go to my website and get it so you can follow along.
But lets take a few minutes and talk about how you can orient yourself properly on the map.