“The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in our ourselves.” – Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act I, Scene II.

Yes, I brought Shakespeare into a discussion about recovery. That’s because Shakespeare really understood human nature. Our tendency as human beings are to blame our poor choices on our circumstances, bad luck, or someone else. 

What this quote is really saying is quite simple: We can’t blame our present circumstances entirely on luck or fate or misfortune without taking personal accountability for our part.

As pastor and author Charles Swindoll has said, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” (Goodreads.com author quote) https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll.

Swindoll points out that while some of what happens to us is outside our control, how we respond is under our control. 

There are so many examples of people throughout history who kept an amazing attitude in spite of difficult circumstances. 

One who has always inspired me is Joseph in the Bible’s Old testament. 

I’ll spare those of you who know his story all the details, but for a quick summary, he was sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexually harassing his boss’s wife, and forgotten in a prison cell.

Yet, he kept a positive mindset and continued to do the right things, believing that God would ultimately work out everything for his good. And guess what? In the end, that’s exactly what happened. And in the process, he turned from a cocky, immature teenager, into one of the Bible’s greatest examples of faith.

You may say, that’s great for Joseph, but you don’t know the stuff I’ve been through. The truth is, I don’t. And our pain from our past does matter. I don’t want to minimize what each of us went through which led us to seek porn as a source of escape or comfort. 

Yet, if we are emotionally healthy, we must admit that turning to porn was not the right way to deal with the pain, stress, or trauma we have faced. Counseling and inner healing may be needed to take place for us to become whole again.

The bottom line is that we must take responsibility for our part in the mess we have made.

The good news is that if we were part of the problem, we get to be part of the solution. 

We can choose to change our attitudes, adopt healthier mindsets, and make better choices. It will not always be easy, and we may face setbacks, but the important thing is that we keep moving forward.

We are all works in progress. In my own life I am still working to overcome my own tendency to minimize my part in my mistakes, or to blame others. Yet, I know that I must learn to take personal responsibility not only in my recovery but other areas of my life as well.

Recovery is a choice, and it won’t happen by accident. While we may have fallen into this trap unintentionally, we need to be very intentional in working our way out. 

Take a few moments and write down three things you can do this month to move your recovery forward. If you need some direction, I encourage you to purchase XXXchurch’s X3 Pure video series, which is a great way to kick start your recovery.