[Editor’s note: this post is adapted from the book Feels Like Redemption – The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing, created by Seth Taylor and David Taylor. Learn more at MyPilgrimage.com]
The issue of porn addiction—both in and out of the Christian church—is a pressing one. The statistics on addiction are shocking, and spiritual leaders and pastors of either gender are in no way excluded from them. The presence of these addictions at the heart of our spiritual lives functions as a signal flare being sent out from the center of our religious systems, screaming out that there is something wrong with the way we understand our spirituality.
If belief in a God who loves and rescues and redeems hasn’t saved us from all our darkness, then what will?
In this book, we are pointing to a paradigm shift. This paradigm shift is meant not only for the way you understand sexuality, but for the way you do spirituality—your faith and understanding and experience of God. And this is for the believer and non-believer alike.
For far too long, we have been told that we are at war with the most sacred drives that exist inside of our bodies.
Our minds have been held captive to control and belief while our spirits have been held underwater by some unseen force, powerless to do anything but push out one muffled scream after another in an attempt not to drown in a culture full of products, both religious and non-religious, that promise they will fill the hole in our core.
“One long muffled scream” is a great way to describe the state of my life after seven years of porn addiction and many more as a slave to depression and anxiety. When I had suffered enough and got tired of battling my sex drive, I laid down my sword, shed my armor, and began to seek another way—I call it “the third way.”
That “third way” has become for me a “pilgrimage”—a Sacred Journey. I rechristened my struggles with addiction as a grace-filled, holy quest. I stopped wasting my energies on feeling guilty and ashamed of myself and instead started asking, “Why do I feel so guilty and ashamed?”
It turns out I needed this addiction to show me the door to freedom, not just from the addiction itself, but also from all the things that seemed set on keeping me from ever knowing true happiness.
The starting point was inside my body—deep within that horrible feeling of being frozen by fear, captive to worry and control; slave to my computer and the universe of medication that was available with the click of a button.
I felt it all in my body, so that seemed like a good place to begin—in my body. I was unable to move, desperately reaching up, hoping there was something real in the universe that could see my hand, grab it, and pull me out of the hole I had been living in.
This was where I was, so this was where I began my pilgrimage.