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He who must not be named

Porn is like Voldemort.

If you're not familiar, Voldemort is the main villain in the Harry Potter series. Now, you might be saying, "Wait a second, I thought that we shouldn't view our struggle with porn as an enemy." You're absolutely right. As we have explored together, there is a much more effective way to approach this struggle. So why is porn like Voldemort? I'm glad you asked. In the Harry Potter series, Voldemort strikes fear into the hearts of everyone. The entire wizarding world is afraid of him. They are so afraid of him, they won't even say his name. Whenever they muster up the courage to speak of him at all, they simply refer to him as ""You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Everyone is fully aware of him, and that he is a problem and a threat, they are just unwilling to speak about him directly. The same can be said about pornography use. Porn is rampant and common in today's world. Statistically, every guy you interact with is more likely to have viewed porn in the last week than not. Yet, like Voldemort, very few are willing to talk about it. It's there. We just pretend it isn't. It's the elephant in the room. It is "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Now, in the Harry Potter series, there are only a few wizards that will say his actual name out loud. And it makes everyone else uncomfortable when they do. Sound familiar? Harry is one wizard that will actually speak Voldemort's name. And another is the old schoolmaster, Albus Dumbledore. At one point Dumbledore is talking to Harry, and the wise wizard tells Harry: "Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." In the case of Voldemort, not speaking his name actually made everyone more afraid of him. Now think about this: When you don't speak of something, when you pretend something isn't there, when there is an unspoken rule that you don't talk about something (at the risk of making everyone uncomfortable), what else does this produce? Shame. That terrible and lonely feeling that says, "I am bad for struggling with this. No one else has this issue, so I shouldn't either." And what feeds the porn struggle? Shame. Shame is a powerful fuel that perpetuates the struggle. When we feel bad, down, lonely, we run to whatever has provided comfort and relief in the past. Porn is a common struggle. We know it. But we keep it to ourselves. We struggle alone. We keep it in the dark. We follow the unspoken rule that it is not to be shared openly. We don't want to make others feel uncomfortable, or we're afraid of how they might respond. And the shame grows and multiplies inside of us. But what if you decided to take a chance and share your struggle with a trustworthy friend or mentor? Why do this, you ask? Why even risk it? Interestingly, it's been said that each time you share something that you feel a sense of shame about, the shame is reduced by half. My own experience confirms this. Want to reduce the shame you feel surrounding this issue? Want to reduce the power that this struggle has in your life? Consider sharing it with someone. Consider bringing it into the light. Can you think of one or two guys in your circle that you could trust to share this struggle with? Who comes to mind for you? Consider taking a chance if you haven't yet. Test the waters with the trusted friend. Toss it out there and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised. Remember, you are not alone in this struggle. Far from it. Journeying with you, Dan

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