This will be a hard blog for most people to read. We often would rather live a lie than be open and honest with ourselves and loved ones. Below is a list of 6 characteristics of an “Open” person, if you are lacking them, you might be living a lie.
We live in an “I think therefore I am” kind of world, though personally, I resonate with what James K. A. Smith wrote: “I love therefore I am.” At any rate, here is what I know: personally I am driven (sometimes maddeningly so) by my desires. Yes, I live from the heart.
This reality is captured in phrases like, “give me your heart,” or “you stole my heart,” or “my heart skipped a beat when I saw you.” You get the picture. Even the headiest among us can admit it would be kind of weird to attempt to win someone’s affections with an award-winning line such as, “Wow, you are so beautiful. I hope to steal your brain some day and make you mine.”
See what I mean? Just doesn’t work.
We are creatures of desire, but often our desires are dark and convoluted. As such, they quickly take us in the wrong direction; to the wrong places. In other words, desire itself isn’t wrong – it just gets misdirected toward destructive ends (Tweet This!).
For instance, it’s normal for us to desire to love and be loved. The problem occurs when we follow our desire to be loved into the world of false love such as pornography. The answer is not to run from desire and pretend it is something bad, but to seek ways to direct desire using boundaries that are protective and full of hope.
A good analogy might be to compare desires with the waters of a flowing river. Much like a river needs the boundaries of its embankment, so my desires need their own embankment to help them flow smoothly through life. But what happens when a river exceeds and goes past its boundaries? We call that a flood. The same is true of my desires. When they exceed boundaries, they cause flood-like damage and destruction.
Below are some boundaries I have spent years forming. When respected, these boundaries protect, direct, shape and honor my desires.
1. Accountability. Simply put, I am completely accountable to my wife and closest friends with my media usage and my social calendar.
2. Accepting responsibility for my actions. When I do fall down, I do not resort to blaming other people or circumstances. This boundary prevents me from playing the role of ‘victim.’
3. Authenticity in my relationships. I strive to be truthful and honest in all my relationships. Lying is a root of destruction that I simply cannot allow to grow.
4. Awareness of my emotions. I routinely assess how I am feeling, because one of my triggers is loneliness and lack of intimacy. Being aware of this helps me assess my feelings and take appropriate actions to prevent any emotional flooding.
5. Acknowledge my need for others. Functionally speaking, this means that I am a part of groups that are committed to similar boundaries and walking together on a weekly, or sometimes daily, basis.
6. Admitting my own weakness. I do have real weaknesses; for me to pretend that I don’t is a sure sign that I am heading for a fall. Admitting and knowing my ‘weak spots’ keeps me alert and engaged.
These boundaries represent years of success and failure, joy and pain. Many, if not all, are transferable to other situations. I hope they encourage you to establish some boundaries of your own as you take your own journey out of porn!
6 Boundaries to Keep Your Desires in Check by XXXchurch.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.