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Can I Change?

by Craig Gross on February 4th, 2019 in Podcast, Whiteboard, Men, Women

Hey, Craig here. You might have come to XXXchurch because you feel frustrated with yourself. Maybe you’re feeling sad and defeated because you haven’t been able to beat your porn or sex addiction. Maybe you feel like you’ll never be able to stop…

In this week’s Whiteboard Session video, Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of CA, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure on-line recovery program, answers the question, “Can I change?”

And really, the question isn’t can I change, but rather: am I willing to change?

Change takes work. You can’t think that you’re going to be in the same environment doing the exact same things and your life is going to be different.

Our brains are wired in such a way that, when we are hurt by something, it warns us away from whatever it was that hurt us. Over time, we become conditioned to respond in certain ways when we encounter grief, or pain, or loss. It can be really hard to make new pathways in the brain.

But it is possible.

What are you willing to do to change your life? What are you willing to do to rewire the circuitry in your brain? Some pathways you inherited, and some you co-created because you turned to porn, sex, masturbation and other “drugs” to manage fear, grief, loss and/or the fact that what you really want in life evades you, and you don’t know how to seek it out.

If we continue to respond to our environment the same as we’ve always done, then the pathways that we’ve wired will continue to keep firing the same way that they always have.

In the video, Steven had this great metaphor of your brain as a river: 

Your brain is going to find the easiest path and it’s going to be very, very hard to divert a river into a different path.

But it can happen.

It can be done. It’s simply going to take time.

The river doesn’t want to change the channel that it’s traveling down. Years of time, motion and energy have trained it to flow in a certain way, and if you try to divert it, well… it’s going to fight against the change.

It’s going to resist, because it likes going the path of least resistance. But eventually – through the hard work of digging new trenches for it to traverse – it’s going to find new ground upon which to flow. It’s going to run in new territory.

It is possible to change. It is possible to rewire your brain. But it’s going to take a lot of work.

Don’t miss the 6 things Steven lists at the end of the video to start the process of rewiring your brain!

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • You cannot heal in the same emotional environment that made you sick.
  • Change takes work, and it requires a shift in both thinking and action. You can’t stay the same and expect life to be different. You have to change the entire way in which you’re functioning.
  • Our mind is made up of cells. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. And what fires together wires together.
  • Pay attention to your environment. You might start thinking, “Oh wow. The way I relate to my spouse is the same way I related to my mom and I don’t want to relate that way. I would like to start to relate different and I’m going to communicate with my spouse about these things and to start to make different choices about how I manage my emotions.”
  • Change is not easy and it’s not perfect. Change is sloppy. There’s loss in change, there’s confusion in change. But the more you fall apart, the more you’re falling together.
  • Compulsive masturbation and porn are ways of “fixing” your problems without having to enter into the risks of relationship. In other words… you can’t change on your own.
  • We are neurologically designed to be in relationship, which means that if relationship was troubled or broken in our childhood, the way to fix the way the brain was wired is to start to have new relationships that are adaptive, that are unconditionally loving and supportive (like support groups).
  • Another way to change is abstinence. You have to stop whatever your compulsive behavior is. (Sorry.)
  • If you don’t surround yourself with people who can give you healthy opinions, you’re going to remain lost and confused about which direction to head.

 

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