The power to change – what does it take?
I read an article today from OverComingPornography.org titled “The Power to Change” by President James E. Faust.
It talked about how Saul changed to Paul and dedicated his life to Christ.
It talked about other people who made changes in their lives that helped them see a happier way of life.
It made me think, “What changes have I made in my life that have helped me be happier? And what changes can I still make that will make things even better?”
One of the biggest changes I’ve made so far that has influenced my life drastically is the elimination of social media from my life. Leaving Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks has been a blessing in so many ways:
- I’m so much more productive with work.
- I no longer waste hours at a time browsing the internet.
- Lust has all but disappeared.
- My desires to do what’s right have increased.
- I feel better about how I’m using my time and have less shame and self-pity.
With this change, it’s made abstaining from pornography much easier too.
Am I out of the woods? No. But I feel good about “burying this weapon of war” that, in the past, was a huge justification and ultimately led me down a path I never thought I’d go.
What other changes have I made?
- Go to bed earlier
- Don’t stay up after Becky goes to bed
- Work the sponsorship program
- Become a sponsor
- Minimal watching of TV
- Minimal listening to the radio
- Adding Covenant Eyes to our computers
- Daily talks with Becky about the AEIOUs
- Reading scriptures with Becky at night
- Praying in the moment of temptation, especially regarding lustful thoughts
- Keeping my chin up – not looking at women from the chin down – and praying for help with this
- Attending recovery meetings consistently
- Keeping track of my recovery date and being accountable
- Talking to my parents about the problem
- Trying each day to submit my will to God and let Him direct me for good
These are a few other things that come to mind.
I also think the boundaries Becky shared with me have made a big difference: they helped me realize what I was going to lose if I continued down the path I’d been on for so long. They also helped me understand what I would need to do in order to gain back Becky’s trust, at least on some level.
Another article I’m reading is called “O That Cunning Plan of the Evil One” by M. Russell Ballard. He talks about a fly fisherman and relates that to the deception of Satan:
Like the fly fisherman who knows that trout are driven by hunger, Lucifer knows our “hunger,” or weaknesses, and tempts us with counterfeit lures which, if taken, can cause us to be yanked from the stream of life into his unmerciful influence. And unlike a fly fisherman who catches and releases the fish unharmed back into the water, Lucifer will not voluntarily let go. His goal is to make his victims as miserable as he is.
It is interesting how Satan’s main objective is to make us miserable like he is. He does this by taking away our agency, making good seem bad and bad seem good, and causing us to doubt God’s power to deliver us.
This is an interesting definition:
According to the dictionary, addiction of any kind means to surrender to something, thus relinquishing agency and becoming dependent on some life-destroying substance or behavior. 1
Addiction is giving up my agency. Agency is one of the main gifts of God – the power to choose. And Satan no longer has that gift, or he can’t use it the way we can.
I’m grateful for the words I just read.
I’m grateful for the desires I have to submit my will to God and stay far, far away from the deceptive lures of Satan, at least today.
I’m grateful for the understanding I feel I have that today is the only day I can worry about – I have to live one day at a time and do everything I can today only. Tomorrow can’t be worried about – and years ahead doesn’t even exist.
I’m hopeful for ongoing recovery from my addictions.
I’m hopeful for Grant and for Brandon and for all my friends at the group I go to.
I look forward to today where I can submit my will, plan my day, and do my best to live in recovery.
I’m grateful for where I am today.