Contributed by Andrew Love
Hello again from High Noon!
On the journey towards sexual integrity and creating a life that is free from the shackles of destructive habits, it is extremely important that we become more aware of how our choices deeply impact those around us and the world at large.
A common question that we get at High Noon, which is actually more of a veiled justification, is:
“Porn is just between my phone and me. Am I really hurting anyone by watching it?”
There is an unlimited vault of variations of this “question,” all of which come from the same place in our psyche. Humans love the path of least resistance. Would you rather walk 5 minutes to work or 5 miles? Most would be quick to respond 5 minutes, let’s be honest. Even when we are involved in destructive relationships or self-sabotaging habits, our impulse to choose what is easier more often than not overrides our desire for change.
Because in the end, staying the same is easier than changing – even if we are hurting ourselves, even if what we are used to is horrible for us.
So, we throw out justifications in an attempt to believe that change wouldn’t be beneficial, even if deep down we know we are fooling ourselves. Every told yourself any of these justifications?
- Just one more chip…
- I’m too tired, I’ll work out tomorrow…
- I’ll just watch one more YouTube video…
- I probably deserved to be treated like that anyway…
- I’ll say sorry when they do…
These affirmations of procrastination all emirate from the same desire to avoid change at all cost. In this state, we are choosing the slow burn or slipping away from integrity in the hopes to bypass the immediate sting of growing pains.
But what happens over the long run? What happens when avoidance becomes your default setting in a certain area of your life?
Let’s use stress as an example. Many doctors are calling stress the new “smoking”. Others go further and have dubbed stress as the Black Plague of our time. Stress is interested because it starts out in your mind and expands outward. When someone cuts you off on the road, the stress you feel is purely psychological. Without a healthy release though, this mental anxiety will eventually find a place in the body to manifest itself. Over time, a person carrying stress will begin to experience health problems. Insomnia, heart problems, difficulty focusing, and the list goes on almost without end.
This example of stress is very linear. It can be first dealt with on a spiritual and emotional level. We can address the stress through meditation, prayer, time in nature, etc. We can catch it early and diffuse it, undermining its grip on our lives.
What happens if we don’t deal with stress as it arises?
Well, it goes deeper into us. It shimmies its way into our unconscious mind and effects us in surprising ways. Have you ever bottled something up inside, only to have an emotional explosion at a later date? Breaking down and crying for no apparent reason…yelling at a loved one without cause…having a deep compulsion to escape your life through the most available means at the time…
At that point, stress has become a virus that has burrowed into us just like that stomach bug you wonder how you caught after the fact. Stress has started to control you. If you have gotten this far along without repairing the damage, then it is often the case that you will need to involve someone else in fixing the situation. You need someone to help you uproot this stress because they can see something that you can’t. You have already started to merge with the stress, it has become apart of you. This could be a mentor, a coach, a psychiatrist or any number of functions for self-help.
If the stress continues past this stage unabated, this is when symptoms often become apparent physically. Have you ever had an anxiety attack? Someone in the throes of a panic attack has a mind that thinks the body is dying. You are a full panic mode at this point. Other examples are feeling a deep tiredness, an unnatural lethargy seeps in and it’s hard to get out of bed or be remotely productive. Headaches happen here too, as well as myriad of other symptoms.
All of these physical experiences are warning signs. Cease and desist your present course. Adopt a new way of living. Stop doing what you are doing!!!
Can you see yourself in this story of stress? I use it as an example because everyone reading this on a phone or computer knows ALL about stress. It’s such a prevalent part of our modern lives. But let’s bring it back to the question that was posed at the beginning:
“Am I really hurting anyone by watching it?”
Yes. Yes you are.
First off, you are hurting yourself. You are hurting your potential. You are avoiding life and instead choosing fantasy. You are teaching yourself that sex is a series of emotionally meaningless but physically gratifying encounters which is not sustainable in terms of the span of your life and also in terms of growing a meaningful relationship with another human being.
There’s more. There’s a lot more. Consider the impact on society, the people in porn (average woman lasts less than 2 years in the industry before getting kicked out or running away and many didn’t start willingly in the first place), the support of a multi-billion dollar industry that needs to churn out people and get more toxic in order to maintain it’s relevance through novelty, it’s connection with organized crime and human trafficking, etc, etc, etc, etc.
But let’s forget about all that for a second. Let’s forget about the rest of the world for a moment and focus on one person: YOU.
You are better than porn. You are better on a scale that isn’t even measurable because the gap is bigger than any possible comparison. The sooner you feel this in your bones, the sooner you will be able to experience the liberation of making your own choices and experiences love on your own terms.
If you invest in developing your heart, character, spirit, and integrity, you will eventually get to a place in your life where you experience a love that is so fulfilling, the notion of porn will become laughable.
At High Noon, our quest isn’t to start a witch hunt against porn. There is no need. Porn isn’t worth the effort. Instead, we are investing all of our energy to help people like to you understand your infinite value so that pornography becomes utterly irrelevant. We don’t need to fight with porn, we need to let it go and start to instead embrace our God-given power as children of the source of love.
Allow yourself the opportunity to experience your inheritance, the endless flow of love, creativity, and power, and you will be walking in the opposite direction from porn. It will continue to cry out to you, but the more you walk in the other direction, the more its voice will become faint and slowly fade into eventual silence.