Imagine you find yourself in a situation where all you can see is what is right in front of you.
You’ve lost peripheral vision. You’ve lost depth perception. All your eyes will allow you to see is what is sitting on the tip of your nose. Your vision has been severely compromised.
Maybe you can closely relate to this illustration. Your perception of life, the pain you’re experiencing, and the trauma you’ve endured has shaped how you see the world.
I can most definitely relate to this scenario, especially in the many years of addiction to pornography. What started as innocently discovering a video tape under the couch would eventually send my life into a spiral.
And as a young adolescent who begins experiencing painful moments, I had no idea what to do with all those feelings except to turn to porn and the “comfort” it gave me.
When we experience something we know is wrong, we experience shame: The lie that tells us that WE are the problem.
And the more shame that we take on and learn to live with, the more we fear the things we shouldn’t fear. We believe the lies we tell ourselves and the lies that pornography tells us too.
And then what happens? The more you believe something, it becomes deeply rooted and the brain learns new ways of thinking.
As I think back on my addiction, it’s almost as if I was holding my hand in front of my face and that’s all that I could see. I couldn’t see beyond my most present pain.
I’m so thankful that with the help of my wife, an incredible therapist, and countless amount of men in my life that helped me SEE what I doing to my life, I found freedom. Throughout my recovery journey, I was able to break through the fear of judgement and the fear of rejection.
I realized over time that I wasn’t alone! But I first had to acknowledge the deep seeded pain that I was trying to medicate.
In a previous post on Small Groups Online, I wrote about Four Lies We Tell Ourselves in Addiction: https://smallgroupsonline.com/blog/four-lies-we-tell-ourselves-in-addiction/. I encourage you to check out that article as I identity what I think are four of the most common lies that we tell ourselves in addiction.
SPOILER ALERT: Of all four of those lies that I write about, perhaps the worst one could be this: “I’M ALWAYS GOING TO BE THIS WAY”
For someone who’s been struggling with addiction for years, this lie has the potential to be the last nail in the coffin if left unchecked. This particular lie falls especially into the category of what are called agreements.
Agreements contain words like “always” and “never”. Statements based solely in false perception, not truth. And with a mindset like this one, growth is virtually impossible because the decision had already been made ahead of time.
A promise that I love to return to often in Scripture is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17. I particularly like the way The Passion Translation says it:
“Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.”
Jesus is the only one who can break the mindset that says that change is impossible in my life. His death and resurrection are what MADE it possible.
Transformation has to not only be something I want, but it’s also something I must choose. And that transformation lies in Christ.
Thankfully, change is possible. You & I don’t have to live with shame and fear anymore. I encourage you today to find some safe, healthy people in your life that you can share your story with. It might be a pastor, a therapist, or you might even take the courageous step of finding a group of men or women are in the same boat as you.
Sometimes, what we fear most is change. The possibility that you could be healthier, stronger, & free from the things that have held you captive for years is beyond what you can see.
But take it from one who nearly blew up his life, you are never too far gone for the Lord bring you out of your darkest moments. That is why He sent Jesus.
Trust Him today to help you see beyond your pain and become the person He created you to be.