All of us who have had a porn addiction have at one time or another asked the question, “How do I go about finding real freedom from this crap?”
If you’re like me, you thought the answer to finding real freedom was in reading your Bible more or praying louder and more frequently. Making sure you had five quiet times a day or turning off your phone. Reaching out to someone when you feel tempted and confessing to your best friend every time you looked at porn.
Perhaps these things worked for you for a while but then they didn’t and you got so depressed from all the shame and guilt, that you reconciled yourself to the fact that this was just the way it was going to be for you; for the rest of your life.
I’m going to let you in on the secret to finally finding real freedom from your porn addiction once and for all: There is no secret.
I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but here is why it shouldn’t.
It means you can stop working for something that you will never find and start working toward real freedom.
I tried everything, but it wasn’t until the realization that nothing was really working fully that I decided I needed to let go of control.
When it comes to finding freedom from something like addiction, we are often so desperate that we just want someone to tell us the one thing that if we truly do it and don’t give up, we will be able to stop.
But none of those things on their own is enough, and if left to us, we are not likely to keep up with them, as good and useful as they may be.
What I needed was a truly holistic approach. One where I was getting deeper than simply controlling the behavior.
At the height of my addiction, I was trying the same things over and over hoping that one day they would just click if I just got my theology correct or if I was just more honest with my accountability partner. But my search was for something far more profound than simply perfecting the next tool.
I was searching for feeling something. Anything. Something that would allow me to feel connected to other people and to myself in a way that meant I didn’t have to pretend anymore. I needed to get into the depths of myself and uncover what I was trying to “fix.”
The truth is that finding real freedom does require some work and a lot of steps. There are many great ways to start such as accountability, filters, and setting up boundaries but ultimately those are just part of a bigger picture that involves being able to understand why we believe we need porn to survive. There are deeper wounds and pains we are unconsciously trying to medicate.
We don’t need more control. We need to release control.
We want answers but we’re often unwilling to really ask the questions that matter.
That’s why things like My Pilgrimage are changing the game and providing places where people can come together, not just to confess but also work through who we are at very deep levels.
Where we come and say, “I’ve tried this for years and it hasn’t worked. Why is that?”
Where we sit down and decide that our pain is not something to hide but something that can be our teacher if we let it.
Where we declare “I’m willing to change everything I think about what freedom looks like and how to find it”
Where we admit our beliefs have abandoned us.
Where shame is left at the door.
And maybe, where we’ll truly be surprised about what we’ll find.