Last week, we looked at why it's simply better to walk this journey towards freedom with others.
This week, I want to give you three specific ways I've done this in my own journey, which have all been extremely helpful. Firstly, I've shared my struggle with porn with a few very close friends. This was one of the first ways that I started bringing other people on this journey with me, and it's a great first step if up to this point, no one outside of yourself knows about your struggle. Secondly, I've worked with a few counselors in recent years. I've found this incredibly helpful, and not only with the issue of pornography, but also just in general, talking and working through difficult issues. It's a night and day difference trying to work through an issue in your own mind compared to working with a trusted professional in a safe environment. I think working with a counselor could be helpful for pretty much every man, and I highly recommend considering it. The third thing I did has probably had the biggest impact on my journey: I joined a group, a community that focuses specifically on recovery and freedom from sexual addiction. There are a variety of groups like this, and the one that I have been a part of is called Pure Desire. We meet in person every week for around an hour and a half. (For those of you interested, you can search for a group in your area or online by visiting their website and clicking "Join a group" in the top right: puredesire.org) There are three huge benefits that I have found in being part of this group. Accountability. By accountability I don't mean telling a group of guys, "Hey I messed up again last week," and everyone's saying, "Alright man, try to do better next time." Rather, it's a group of guys cheering you on, rooting for you, and when you do stumble, offering grace and encouragement. Education. In the Pure Desire group there are a few different curriculums that the group can go through. Part of what the curriculum does is provide education about sexual addiction. Before I joined this group, I had never really heard about what is going on in the brain when you are addicted to porn. Learning about this provided so many "aha" moments. I finally understood why simply trying harder gets you nowhere with this struggle. It helped me understand porn addiction in a new and helpful light. Community. I've had some amazing community and friends in my life. I would say probably better than most. But there is something absolutely unique, special, and encouraging about meeting with a group of guys where THE common ground we all share is the one thing almost no one else will talk about. There is a freedom and an unmasking that happens that I have found in no other setting. Is it difficult, scary, and uncomfortable to take that first step and go to one of these meetings? Absolutely. Does it take courage and humility? Absolutely. Is it one of the best decisions I've made in my journey towards freedom? Absolutely. Is it perfect? No. But in my experience it's a game changer and something I am so glad I did. So what do you think? Would you rather push on in your journey alone? Or would you rather have some trusted company to help you carry this terrible burden? You know intuitively that we aren't meant to journey alone. So here's a question: What step will you take this week to involve someone else in your courageous and honorable pursuit towards freedom? Which of the three examples above most resonated with you? Do you need to grab dinner with your close friend and get vulnerable? Did the idea of having a trusted counselor in your corner pique your interest? Or maybe the thought of meeting with a group of guys who are going through the same struggle and the same pursuit sounds amazing to you. Whatever one resonated with you, take some action on it this week. Take the next step towards freedom! Journeying with you, Dan