Have you ever thought about the light that we get from the sun, and how seriously powerful those rays are?
Think about it. The sun's rays light up our world. They provide the warmth that we need to live and not freeze. They give our trees and plants what they need to survive and grow. All that and more, from one source: the sun's rays. Those are some serious beams. Now, did you know that you have some seriously powerful rays yourself? It's true! Let's discuss. Our awareness has often been compared to a flashlight or a spotlight. When you turn your attention towards something going on inside, like a feeling you're having, it "brings it to light." So often we have feelings that we experience that are driving our behavior, like the urge to watch porn. But we never are really conscious of it. It often runs in the background of our lives, staying in the "dark," the "cold." The feeling becomes frozen down inside. It still greatly affects us, but it's stuck and can't go anywhere. When this happens, the feeling is never processed. It simply reoccurs over and over again, whether we want it to or not.
Does this sound familiar in your life? But when you notice a feeling arising in you, and you consciously pay attention to it with curiosity and compassion, it is like the warm rays of the sun reaching it. When the warm rays reach that feeling, the ice around it starts to "melt," and it can start moving. With enough light and warmth of your attention, it can finally leave. How can I possibly say this? Because this is exactly what I experienced with pornography, and the intense desire that would urge me to watch it. So how do you use your powerful rays of attention? Let me give you two practical ways to do this. 1. If you haven't yet, implement the P.A.T.H. Plan. When you feel that strong urge to watch porn, the first two steps of the P.A.T.H. Plan are to pause, and then acknowledge the feeling with specific language. This is turning your spotlight of attention towards the feeling and directing your rays of attention onto it. 2. Have an attitude of curiosity, not condemnation. When you are acknowledging the urge, that's exactly what you're doing. You're acknowledging it. You're noticing it. You're not making a judgment about it. You're simply noticing it. You're an observer of your internal world, not the judge of it. Back when I was struggling with porn, I would often notice the intense desire to watch it, but I would try and resist it. I would see it as an enemy to fight. So, my attention was turned towards it, but with anger and resistance and judgment. It was like a "cold" light that I was shining towards the urge. And of course, cold light is not going to help anything that is frozen. But when I turned my attention towards the feeling with a curious stance, and even with compassion (as you would towards a friend), that's when everything started to change. The feeling was able to start moving, and eventually leave. Going back to the sun analogy, this is exactly how the sun works too. The sun's light and warmth falls on everything, on everyone. The sun's rays don't discriminate. It shines the same light, the same warmth on everyone. That's how we want to use our "rays of attention" when we experience the urge to watch porn. Acknowledge and notice the feeling with an interested, curious mindset. The next time you experience that desire to watch porn, remember, your rays of attention and curiosity are the most powerful and effective tool to help you not give into the desire, and to help that desire ultimately leave. Hopefully you understand now, if you didn't before, how powerful your attention and awareness are, and how you can use it to start experiencing true, lasting freedom from porn! Journeying with you, Dan P. S. If you're like me and enjoy podcasts, don't forget to subscribe to The New Paths Podcast with Dan Johnson. New episodes come out every Friday!