It’s no secret that snares and traps are everywhere; the magazine rack at the grocery store, Facebook, movie trailers and pretty much any Carl’s Jr commercial. It’s just impossible to get away from that fleshly temptation that could eventually lead to a late night under the covers dimly lit by the glow of your computer screen.
I’ve heard some people say that they’ve simply given up because the spark to temptation is everywhere. Can you really think of a typical day in your life where you don’t see some major cleavage, some smooth tan legs, a butt hanging out of shorts, or any other number of provocative images and that’s probably all before you take your first morning coffee break. Yes, that spark is everywhere but that’s no reason to call it quits on your sobriety. The key is to find a way to manage your eyes and how you take in those images and thoughts. You can’t just shut yourself off to the world. It may be smarter to take a gander at the impulse buy candy rack rather than the magazines, although that could lead to a whole new problem.
The availability of actual pornography has obviously increased immensely since the invention of the internet but along with that growth, came a shift in the type of person who consumed the product. No longer was it as taboo as it was in years past, no longer was it only dirty old men sneaking into X-Rated theaters and shops. Now, it was being beamed into every home in the world, just a few clicks and seconds away for anyone with an internet connection. This meant that no one was safe, and the even crazier part? It’s totally easy to get hardcore photos and videos absolutely free. Once you’ve wandered to the far corners of the interweb, consuming every sick and depraved image and video you can find, it boggles the mind to think of what you’re missing out on by only opting to look at the free stuff. Frankly, I don’t want to know what you’re missing. It’s a cliché that most youth learn about sex through their dad’s or friend’s Playboy Magazine but now, kids can satiate their curiosity in mere seconds all alone in their room while the parents are away. It’s much more out in the open and much more secretive and personal all at once.
Once again, I cannot stress the importance of accountability enough. Because there are those sparks seemingly everywhere, we have to train ourselves not only to make it a habit to not browse that particular section of magazines at the store or turn off that one commercial every time its on, but we have to really care about what we take into our minds and how that can slowly and strategically affect way more than we’re aware of in that brief moment of enjoyment. That’s how the enemy works; stealthily and with the long game in mind. As important as accountability is, you cannot trade one addiction for another. Set up accountability with a friend or a group of friends but lay out some guidelines. If you need to text someone every time you see a spark, go for it, but lay that out with the friend beforehand and make sure your buddy is up for the challenge. More often than not, I’ve seen sobriety broken due to laziness on the friend’s part. Make a commitment, make a change and I promise you that you’ll see the benefits almost immediately. Your future spouse and your future self will thank you.