Please prepare yourself.
I'm about to give you a powerful question to ask yourself, and I'm willing to bet you've never asked it before. Answering and really processing this question was one of those milestones that produced a major shift on my journey towards freedom. And if you take the time to really answer this question for yourself, I know it can have a significant impact on your journey. Ready for the question? Here it is: How has your struggle with porn helped you? Think about this for you. Maybe porn has been a struggle in your life that's lasted for years. Maybe even decades, like me. And maybe, for the majority of that time, you've seen this struggle as an enemy that must be defeated. But in what ways has it helped you? Now, your first reaction might be, "HELPED me?! Dan, you don't understand the amount of pain, shame, guilt, anguish that this has caused me and those around me! It hasn't helped me. It has only hurt me!" Believe me, I fully understand this. I've experienced mountains of pain, shame, guilt, and hopelessness that this struggle causes. For decades. But if this struggle causes so much pain, then why do we keep coming back to it? There are reasons, right? What benefit does it give you? For starters, hasn't it provided a place of temporary escape? When you're feeling stressed, lonely, or overwhelmed, hasn't porn been a source of relief? Now of course, it wasn't a healthy way to escape or experience relief, but didn't it still provide what you were seeking? It's been a reliable place of escape, comfort even. It's helped you in those moments. You can almost think about this struggle as a very unwise, but sincere friend giving you bad advice. He was earnestly trying to help you. He really was. He just doesn't realize that his advice is absolutely terrible, and that following it actually causes more harm than good. Okay, so maybe it's helped you. So what? What's the point of even thinking about it in this way? When you view this struggle as an enemy, something to fight, to resist, to wage war against, to conquer and defeat, it tends to actually add fuel to this struggle. It creates feelings of condemnation, judgment, anger. And this adds stress and pressure to an already difficult struggle. Condemnation, anger, and resistance actually fuels this struggle. Remember, what you resist, persists. Imagine instead if you approached this struggle with an attitude of curiosity, of compassion even. Yes, this struggle has caused loads of pain and shame and guilt. But what if it's actually like a sincere, but misguided friend trying to help? What if you had this attitude instead? Instead of heading into battle, your guard up and ready to wage war, you approach this struggle with an ounce of curiosity. You feel some of the pressure lowering, being released. It's helping take the edge off a little. Feelings of anger, guilt, and shame are lessened, and are replaced with curiosity and compassion. Here's the key: Which of those two approaches do you think would be more helpful? Well, I can tell you that I've done both. One of these approaches never led me to experience any kind of lasting, enduring freedom. And the other one paved the way for me to experience freedom in a lasting, true way that I had never known before. Yep. You're right. When I shifted my approach from condemnation and resistance to curiosity and compassion, it felt like something finally clicked. The journey to freedom became much more clear, smoother even. So what about you? How has your struggle with porn helped you? Can you start to see this struggle with curiosity, compassion, even gratitude? Next week, we're going to discover why viewing this struggle with curiosity and compassion is actually an essential foundation, and how it will help you handle that next intense urge in a healthy way. Stay tuned! Rooting for you, Dan