I am a big Lord of the Rings fan. I don't dress up as Gandalf for Halloween or anything, but I really enjoy the books and the movies.
I also love the use of language that J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the books, used when writing the story. There is a scene in the third and final movie where Aragorn, the one who would become the returning King, has to go to a terrifying place called the Paths of the Dead. Once there, he attempts to summon the dead, cursed army to fight for him and help defeat the enemy. The leader of the dead army comes out to meet Aragorn and uses an interesting phrase: "The dead do not suffer the living to pass." Aragon, knowing his right and authority to summon the army, responds, "You will suffer me." It's an interesting use of the word "suffer," and one we are not used to hearing. Typically we think of "suffer" as experiencing pain or discomfort. But "suffer" can also mean to allow, to give permission, to endure, or tolerate. When the leader of the dead army tells Aragorn they will not "suffer" the living to pass, they are telling him they will not allow him or give him the permission to pass. So it can mean to give permission, or to experience pain. Here is another way to think about it: in order to allow something or give permission, it costs something. It doesn't come free. There is a price to pay for the one doing the allowing, doing the "suffering." As always, let's apply this to the true culprit preventing most men from experiencing true freedom from porn: the urge. The intense feeling of desire. Using the P.A.T.H. Plan to effectively handle that urge when it arises, we know the best way to help it leave is to pause, acknowledge the urge, and then to give it permission to be there. To condone it. This is the third step of the P.A.T.H Plan, setting a timer for ten minutes. During this time, you are simply giving permission to the urge to be there. You "suffer" the urge. This is a great word to describe what you are doing during the "T" step, because to allow the urge during those ten minutes, it costs you something. It's uncomfortable. It's not necessarily pleasant to endure that feeling. It's good to acknowledge this and expect it. But it also makes sense. Think about any other change or training you want or have ever attempted. If we want to get in shape, build muscle, train for an upcoming race, there's no other way to do it other than to put yourself through discomfort. Wouldn't it be amazing if getting in shape or running a marathon were easy? If it didn't require discomfort, over and over?! Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. There's no way to get the result you want without that discomfort. But, the discomfort that you experience in the "T" step is building a "muscle" and a skill that will take you places you never imagined you could go. So, expect that when you "suffer" the urge, you will "suffer" a little. Just like any kind of training. It's the price to pay. But the reward? The amazing, lasting, fresh air of freedom. It's yours for the taking. Let's go! Dan P. S. Got questions? Simply reply to this email with any questions or experiences you've had with this strategy. I'd love to hear from you!