Did you ever see the movie "Apollo 13?"
There is a scene towards the end where, after experiencing multiple life-threatening challenges during their mission to the moon, they are finally almost back home to Earth. There is one last challenge they have to survive: passing through the intense heat of the Earth's atmosphere. In this emotional scene, as they travel through our planet's barrier, their small spacecraft shakes violently. Heat and fire engulf the outside of the capsule. The three astronauts are grimacing and holding on for dear life. They don't know if they will survive. Finally, after a few intense minutes, they make it through the atmosphere. They arrive into Earth's safe and fresh air, and gently land in the ocean. In order to gain entry into the fresh air of home, they had to pass through the intensity of the planet's atmosphere. Imagine this reversed. Instead of the Earth's atmosphere burning things coming in, it burns things that are leaving. This is how it works with the urge to watch porn. Here's what I mean... Imagine that all-to-familiar scenario: You're alone. The thought enters your mind to pull up that website or image. Your heart starts beating faster. You get that excited, butterfly feeling in your stomach. Your breathing becomes more shallow and quick. You're experiencing the urge to watch porn. As we've discovered together, the best way to handle that urge in a healthy, effective way is to allow it. To give it permission to be there and "vent." The P.A.T.H. Plan gives you the exact steps to actually do this. So, back to Apollo 13... Imagine YOU are the Earth. But instead of having an atmosphere that scorches things coming in, your atmosphere burns things going out. What "things," you ask? Feelings. Emotions. Including that intense craving to watch porn. The only way to process that urge and "release" it is to allow it to be there. To experience that unpleasant, uncomfortable feeling as it "burns" out of your atmosphere. When I was first learning this skill, I started to imagine that I had urges down inside of me that needed to be released. When I experienced the urge to watch porn, I imagined that one of those urges had risen to the surface, and reached my "atmosphere." When I did all the steps in the P.A.T.H. Plan successfully, that urge inside me was able to finally leave. That's actually what it felt like. It felt like each time I was able to allow an urge, it was "burning up" in my atmosphere and leaving permanently. Oftentimes I would even thank the urge for sincerely trying to help, and tell it that it is free to go now. On the flip side, when I felt an urge and I resisted it, I fought against it, or if I gave into it, it didn't leave my atmosphere. It went "back down," only to resurface again at a later time. This explains why for over 20 years, I didn't experience freedom. I wasn't processing those urges and helping them leave. I was either giving into them or trying to fight against them. Having this image in my mind each time I felt the urge was incredibly helpful to me, especially when I first started to implement this strategy. It gave me some context, an idea of what was happening as I was allowing that intense urge. It helped me understand the benefit of allowing the urge. So, the next time you feel that urge rise up in you and you implement the steps of the P.A.T.H. Plan, picture this scenario in your mind. I found this super helpful. And my hope is that it will help you as you journey towards true freedom. Next step, Dan