Embrace Your Dark Side and Get Free
I enjoyed looking at porn.
There, I said it. I have many years sober, meaning I haven’t looked at porn. But I’d be lying to tell you I didn’t like it. Why would I confess such a thing? Because it allows me to work through those feelings.
I am going to introduce two tools to you today and I think you’ll find them helpful. The first is acknowledging your darker nature, your inner Darth Vader (ok, Darth Maul is cooler).
“But Jay”, you say, “I am a __<fill in the blank>__, which means I couldn’t possibly have a dark nature.”
Well, maybe you don’t have a dark side, but you were watching porn, right?
Having dark side does not make watching porn acceptable.
Read the previous line twice, because if you use this as an excuse to view porn you are missing the point. But, having a dark side or shadow makes you human.
I wrote an earlier post on awareness, which looks at how you need to know your triggers. Knowing your shadow will help you to see why you do certain things and help you build a strategy to deal with the dark side of you.
Get the book
I recommend the book Practically Shameless By Alyce Barry for an in depth look at this topic. I warn you, depending on how you filled in the blank above, she may be a little “out there”. If you really want to get free from your porn addiction, then you should be willing to endure some “out there” to get better.
THE ONE encouraged me to look at my shadow. Despite the sore butt from her encouragement, I really got a lot out of this book.
I had to embrace my “survive today” mentality. As a result of my past, I learned self-reliance. I learned it quite well. I learned if I can just survive today, then I might get something different tomorrow. Which is really not a bad way to approach life, but I took it to the point where surviving today was the only important thing. If it made me feel good, or kept me fed, or got me to my destination, I did it. So, I used people to get through. I survived, how I treated others didn’t matter. Not a healthy mentality. Not good for relationships either.
Once I embraced the shadow part of my nature, I was able to see how I was using porn to get me through some days. How I was ignoring feedback from my wife, because by tomorrow it wouldn’t matter. Then I could do something about these parts of me.
See it is not the fact that you have a shadow living in you; it is your resistance to it giving it power over you. If you dislocate your shoulder and live as if it is not out of place, you will find it still affects you quite significantly. If you go to the hospital and have it re-set, then you can begin healing which will still be difficult but not as bad as the alternative.
So, the second tool for today is see what happens when you stop resisting. Again, I am not giving you license to look at porn, I am giving you license to embrace all of who you are, even the parts you don’t like.
Own the little demon voice saying really inappropriate things that you hopefully catch before you actually say them … to your mother-in-law.
Own your inner “fat kid” who will eat someone else’s lunch from the break room fridge.
Now, give that monster a great big hug and tell them, “I know you really want to do that, don’t you?” And then tell them, “But as much as you want to, there are really more important things in life we need to do.”
Like respect your wife and treat her well even if she “will never find out”.
Man in the Mirror
At one time in my life, I couldn’t look myself in the eye. Now, I like to get so close to the mirror that I can see my reflection in my own pupil. Like this:
To me it is a chance to see the person inside of me, and now I can like him-the real me. All of me – even with the dark side. He is a good guy.
I want this for each of you. I want you to embrace all of who you are and really like the person you are. Not just love that person, but like him too. I love people, but I don’t enjoy hanging out with some of them. I want the person you see in the mirror to be your ally.
Someone who doesn’t let you down repeatedly, someone you can count on when the rest of the world has gone to pieces.