No. 5 – Be careful little eyes…
Last week a friend was sharing about her trip to Vegas to celebrate her 40th. She had two friends in tow, and splurged on a helicopter ride from Vegas to the Grand Canyon. Her remark clearly shared the vision of what took place. “As we approached the rim of the Grand Canyon, there was a moment of silence…then we all burst into to tears.”
When I was moving from California to Colorado, I put the Grand Canyon on my trek. We drove from Vegas, and weren’t sure if we would make it to the rim of the canyon before sunset. On the very last leg, we hit the parking lot, paid the attendant, and scurried to the entrance. I walked up a small concrete trail, and all of the sudden was hovering over the Grand Canyon…live! I stood. Felt my heart race, and never felt it more appropriate to say “Oh…my….God.”
When we see things like this for the first time, it awakens something in us that is in no way threatened, so our heart is much more inclined to engage and take it in. It is beauty in true form that is capturing something deep in us, that we long to connect with. We want to experience that beauty. We want to encounter losing our breath over a view. We want to assume that it is a reflection of how we are seen in the world. Right?
What we see matters. What we see has tremendous impact on how we process everything around us.
I was six years old. Somehow, I managed to tag along with my childhood neighbor friend, as he spent the night at his step-sisters parents house. They were strangers to me, and to this day I have no recollection of the parents presence. That evening myself, my friend, and his step-sister explored the satellite channels that their parents installed. It was apparent that both kids had watched the playboy channel many times before.
I had never seen pornography. I had never been taught anything about sex. I had no idea that men and women do that to one another. I had never been exposed to that kind of anger/screaming/moaning. I was six, trying to contemplate what this meant.
Until wee hours of the morning, the three of us kids reenacted what we saw on the screen, with one another. Somehow, I interpreted being an adult to mean having power over someone, and chose this power as a little escape. For one night, we were “in the know” and adults. We were making adult decisions. We were doing adult things.
The history of pornography has been treacherous to the human heart, and many relationships. Yet, there is still so much unknown. Years ago, the evangelical christian church would never speak of anything having to do with sexuality, so anyone who was exposed to, impacted by or curious about pornography, would secretly put pornography in their side pocket, and devour it in times of need to escape.
After the introduction to the internet, the church (christian culture) started to make very dynamic and progressive moves toward addressing that pornography is a problem, especially with men. They came up with programs that you download on your computer, and have an accountability partner view your history. I believe a lot of people were able to accomplish growth through this movement, but what is coming of age now, is the actual impact of pornography on the brain, as well as how what you are seeking through pornography is directly related to your own history.
I am not sharing these details about pornography from a place of righteousness, or historic success. I am sharing it as someone who has devoured enough pornography for multiple addicts lifetimes. The greater the pain, the greater the destruction. I have shared with my counselors many times, if you pay attention, you will know the days I have looked at pornography. I am angry. I am edgy. I am short tempered, and not willing to fully engage. I am hiding. I am distant. I am hoping that at some point the desire to destruct my heart through my eyes, will fall away. What I seek in pornography is a connection to things I have lost. Connecting with what I have lost is far too painful, so I default and take the easy way out. With pornography, I will always know the outcome. I know when it is over, I will feel shame. I will be angry. I will sometimes justify it, because I was abused as a kid. I will comfort myself with “everyone does this, and it is not a big deal.” But, none of that helps my heart heal.
That one Saturday evening watching pornography opened pathways in me to have pornography as an alibi from living life as a healthy human being. It has been destructive. It has been consistent. It has been reliable. And each time, it opens up a newer, wider pathway for me to get lost, and desire more. It is never enough. It is never fulfilling. It lies to me every single time and says “Check this out. You will be in control of everything in your life.”
If I sit, read, listen to myself, and healthily address how out of control I feel, I will be calm. That calmness will influence the other decisions I make. If I am fearful, busy, extreme, chaotic, and choose any pathway of escape from being present, then I will make each next decision based on a continual sense of running from myself and my own heart.
I am terrified of my own heart. I am afraid of the impact it has when fully alive, embracing sunsets, and daydreaming about further redemption. It feels unreachable, yet those places are where much of the growth happens.
Be careful little eyes. Be careful little eyes, what you see. Your eyes are a pathway to your next step to healing….or a step away from your incredibly powerful heart.
This is more than a blog about pornography. Pornography for me has been a forfeit of intimacy and pleasure, and so many other things fall in to that category. This is a reminder for us all, that our eyes are connected to the heart. The heart longs to be tended to with gentle hands, curious minds, and respect for its wildness. My own desire is to stop taming it, trust it to show me how to be still, and see with pure eyes.
What are you focused on now that has you on a continual cycle of despair and making the same wrong decisions? What are you using as a buffer to not feel what you are truly longing for? What is blocking you from taking a deep breath, listening to the deepest parts of yourself, and hearing echoes of your good worth?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made! Catch the vision that takes you to the most sacred place in you, that echoes your heart, and all it’s desires, as big, wide and awe inspiring, as the most stunning sunset over the grandest canyon. Fearfully. Wonderfully. Made…
Be well. I am fighting for each of you!
PS: I am honored to be on the launch team of a book coming out in September. “Unwanted” by Jay Stringer is full of research, data and incredible stories regarding sex addiction, pornography and how the brain processes stimulation while being connected to key life experience. ie: I (Nate) believed I was a horrific human with a horrific sexual drive, until I dug deeper, and found that my sexual behavior was perfectly in line with my life experience. This book is revolutionary for those looking to become better acquainted with how their brain responds to sexual experience. Be prepared: it is going to help uncover much of why we do what we do when it comes to unhealthy sexual behavior. You can download a chapter free, OR pre-order to get your copy as soon as it is released in September. I have waited for powerful work like this to be done for years. This will forever change the lives of many folks who find that accountability simply is not enough:
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