Recently I was sitting in my car at a stoplight after dropping our daughter off at school.
The sun was just starting to come up, and I could see part of it through some trees in front of me. As I sat there for a minute or two, I could see the sun slowly rising through the trees. Then I had the thought, of course the sun isn't actually rising. The sun is stationary. I am the one moving, on the surface of the Earth at roughly 1,000 miles per hour. And I thought how for thousands and thousands of years, the vast majority of the billions of people that have lived, up until a few hundred years ago, believed and assumed that the sun literally rose and set around the Earth. And why wouldn't they think this? Just look at it. The sun is clearly the one moving. It seems absolutely obvious, common sense. I had a similar thought recently about the sun and the moon and how, from here on Earth they look almost exactly the same size (yes, I actually think about these things). This is probably what billions of people believed for thousands of years. And again, why shouldn't they believe that? It's clearly what it appears to be. It's obvious. The actual truth we know is that the sun and the moon are of course drastically different sizes. (Fun fact: the sun is actually 400 times larger than the moon. But the sun also happens to be exactly 400 times further away from us than the moon is. This is why they appear the same size to us on Earth.) It's almost like a big cosmic "gotcha." Yeah, the sun and the moon look the exact same size. Oh, but really the sun is 400 times larger than the moon. And yeah, the sun clearly "rises and sets" around the Earth, and the Earth is stationary. Oh, no actually you're the one moving at 1,000 miles per hour and the sun is the one standing still. Gotcha! Oftentimes, the reality of things is not how it initially appears, even when it seems obvious. Let's look at another example, turning from the grand cosmos surrounding us to the cosmos within us. Think about when you experience a strong, unwanted feeling. It could be anger, sadness, or the urge to watch porn. It's not something you want to feel and it's not something you asked for. But there it is, nonetheless. The first and most natural thing to do would be to try and make it go away. This makes sense. If we're experiencing something unpleasant that we don't want and didn't ask for, it makes sense to think that we need to resist it, fight it, slay it. And if we fight well, it will go away. This seems obvious. It's common sense. But again the reality is not what you would expect. We know that when it comes to emotions, what you resist persists. What you "push down" doesn't go away. It just resurfaces at a later time. We know that instead, what you feel can heal. When you turn towards an emotion, when you allow it to be there with compassion and curiosity rather than judgment and condemnation, this is the best and most helpful way to process a difficult feeling. And this includes the intense desire to watch porn. This, kind of like the sun being stationary and the drastic difference between the size of the sun and the moon, seems counterintuitive. But again, what appears obvious is not always true. Sometimes, game changing and life-altering truths are what we would never expect. So remember, the next time you experience the urge to watch porn, instead of impulsively trying to resist the urge, pause, and think, "turn towards." Here's the good news: you already know exactly how to do this. You don't have to figure out HOW you're supposed to turn towards the urge. You already have the steps at your fingertips. You have the road map, the game plan, the clearly defined and actionable steps so you know how to handle it in an effect way. You guessed it: the P.A.T.H. Plan. So the next time you look up at the sun (although you shouldn't look at the sun directly, I'm told) or the moon, remember, sometimes the most important and life-changing truths are not always obvious. Sometimes they're counterintuitive. This is true in the world around us, as well as our own inner world. Journeying with you, Dan P. S. Here are a few past blogs that discuss concepts that I've found pivotal to remember whenever an urge arises: Apollo 13 and releasing your urges Use this two-letter word A simple phrase to shift from condemnation to compassion