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Posted by on Apr 29, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Every Time I Visit My Parents’ Home I Feel Triggered. Is That Weird?

Hey, it’s Craig again.

The question that I’m going to try to answer this week is this:

“I tend to look at porn after I visit my parents’ house. Is that a trigger?”

The answer to the question is… yes. If you identify something that triggers this response, then yes, it’s a trigger.

And I think it’s something you should look into. What’s the history there? Does it have something to do with your upbringing? Is it somehow related to childhood memories?

What is it about your parents’ house? Does going there bring up bad feelings or bad memories? Maybe the reason you’re feeling triggered is because visiting your parent’s home conjures up feelings that you’d rather numb than engage with.

When you go to your parents’ house next time, do something that brings you life beforehand.

If it’s too much (and you know it’s too much) then be honest with your folks. You don’t have to tell them everything, but it’s alright to tell the truth: “Hey, I can’t visit for a while because I’ve got to take responsibility for some things that I’ve realized affect me a certain way after leaving your place. I don’t want to put myself it situations that I know will be too tough to handle.”

Dig deeper into the why behind that response. Find out what the root is.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • If you identify something that triggers this response, then yes, it’s a trigger.
  • Maybe the reason you’re feeling triggered is because visiting your parent’s home conjures up feelings that you’d rather numb than engage with.
  • What’s the history there? Does it have something to do with your upbringing? Is it somehow related to childhood memories?
  • Dig deeper and find out what the root is.

 

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

The post Every Time I Visit My Parents’ Home I Feel Triggered. Is That Weird? appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

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Posted by on Apr 22, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

I Feel Like Crap When I Look at Porn, Which Then Makes Me Want to Look at Porn Again. How Do I Break This Cycle?

Hey, it’s Craig. The question on the podcast this week is “I look at porn and I feel like crap. But then I look at porn and I feel like crap. How do I break this cycle?”

Well I know that what you’re describing isn’t a pleasant experience, but your answer is actually right there in the question.

You’re doing something that gives you a few seconds or maybe at most a few minutes of pleasure but then afterward you feel terrible. The ecstasy is fleeting and then you feel awful.

If you feel like crap without porn you’re going to feel like crap with porn. I think the bigger question is, why do you feel like crap?

Like really dive into that question. It’s so easy to run away from how we’re feeling and mask it, but spend a moment really asking that question.

Did you have a bad day at work? Did you get in a fight with your spouse? Did you get some devastating news?

Sometimes we blame porn for a lot when instead we should dive deeper to the root issue. If porn was out of the equation would you feel the same?

Ask yourself, “Why don’t I feel joy? Why don’t I have peace? Why am I walking around feeling like crap all the time?”

Obviously adding porn to how you’re feeling is just going to make it worse. So just take some time and dive deep and see what comes up.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • If you feel like crap without porn you’re going to feel like crap with porn.
  • I think the bigger question is, why do you feel like crap?
  • Sometimes we blame porn for a lot when instead we should dive deeper to the root issue.
  • Obviously adding porn to how you’re feeling is just going to make it worse. So just take some time and dive deep and see what comes up.

 

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

The post I Feel Like Crap When I Look at Porn, Which Then Makes Me Want to Look at Porn Again. How Do I Break This Cycle? appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Help, I Always Look at Porn When I’m Bored

Hey, it’s Craig again. Today, we’re talking about looking at porn because you’re bored.

So… is the problem that you’re bored? Or is the problem porn?

We talk about triggers quite a bit, which is certainly valid, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing making you look at porn. Each new realization about our triggers can either be used as a motivator beyond the problem, or as an excuse to stay in it.

Hopefully, this realization will motivate you to avoid the boredom that leads you straight back into the clutches of addiction.

“Oh, I get it! When I have nothing to do, I find myself looking at porn,” or “I’m on my phone – where porn is readily available – more when I’m bored, scrolling through some person’s feed.”

I mean, if you want something practical, let’s get down to brass tax: fill your time with something else. Learn to recognize boredom, and learn to be aware of the fact that boredom loves to lure you into places you don’t want to go.

After all, what’s that saying about idle hands as the devil’s workshop…?

So, first things first: figure that out. If you’re struggling with porn (or anything for that matter), start writing down the times when you find yourself struggling the most.

I’m not saying be busy constantly, for your whole life, but I think there’s some wisdom in filling up your otherwise-empty time so that when temptation comes knocking, you’ve already got other plans.

If you’re bored, go do something! If you’re sitting behind a computer, get off of it! Get out of your room. Get out of your house.

I mean, do you know how many people I’ve talked to that don’t have a hobby? 

What do you like to do for relaxation? For fun? To relieve stress? What do you enjoy? So many people that I speak with have completely neglected those questions. Practice self-care. Dream and discover what you might be able to replace your boredom with. There’s a big, amazing world out there.

Find a hobby. Find something you like to do (other than “liking” photos on a screen all day).

Quite frankly, you’ve got better things to do with your day than to spend the majority of it jacking off in your bedroom.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • We talk about triggers quite a bit, which is certainly valid, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing making you look at porn. Each new realization about our triggers can either be used as a motivator beyond the problem, or as an excuse to stay in it.
  • Learn to recognize boredom, and learn to be aware of the fact that boredom loves to lure you into places you don’t want to go.
  • If you’re struggling with porn (or anything for that matter), start writing down the times when you find yourself struggling the most.
  • There’s wisdom in filling up your otherwise-empty time so that when temptation comes knocking, you’ve already got other plans.
  • If you’re bored, go do something! If you’re sitting behind a computer, get off of it! Get out of your room. Get out of your house.
  • You’ve got better things to do with your day than to spend the majority of it jacking off in your bedroom. 

 

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

The post Help, I Always Look at Porn When I’m Bored appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

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Posted by on Apr 8, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Why Do I Look at Porn When I’m Angry?

Hey, it’s Craig.

Today we’re talking about why you look at porn, when you look at porn and where you look at porn. We talk a lot about “triggers.” Some of you are, perhaps, familiar with that language, but for those who aren’t…

Figuring out your triggers means, “Asking yourself why you’re doing something.” Then, after you have asked yourself why, the idea is that you would dive beneath the surface to explore the answer. It’s simple to say, “Well… I saw a billboard that turned me on,” but more often than not, especially if something like pornography is a debilitating struggle for you, there is still deeper work to be done.

Why do I look at porn when I’m angry? It’s like asking, “Why do I go eat dinner when I’m hungry?” Because you’re hungry.

In our Pilgrimage 2.0 series, we talk about specifically about the connection between pornography and anger.

Anger is not only the easiest emotion to defer to, but it also acts as a “protector” of whatever hurt lies beneath. Likely, then, your anger is indicative of a deeper issue. The question then becomes, What triggered your anger?”

This may come as a shock to some of you who read this post today, but when I asked Seth – one of the brothers who wrote My Pilgrimage – about the relationship pornography has to anger, he said that he has a go-to method for getting the point across: He tells the guys in his group to watch all the porn they want.

And why in the world would he do that? Because he wants them to feel. Because just the “permission” given becomes a thought-provoking deterrent from what is normally, thoughtlessly habitual. It forces them to reevaluate why they’re running to pornography in the first place.

So many guys have just stopped feeling. They’re angry and reactionary. They’ve become numb. He wants to force them to feel, because it is in the context of feeling that one is then forced to ask himself, “Why am I looking at this?” And if it’s because you’re angry or you’re bored or something triggered you, then you can kind of back up and go, “Oh, that’s what I need to deal with, not just the porn.” 

The next time you’re upset, ask yourself why. Next time you’re angry, don’t just thoughtlessly run to porn as a numbing agent. Go on a run or go to the gym or go do something else besides just sit there and dull yourself in front of a computer screen.

Porn, oftentimes, is just something you’re using to medicate a deeper problem. It makes you feel better or numb or distracted from what you’re really feeling in the first place. And you can’t work on your addiction until you figure out the underlying issue.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

  • Figuring out your triggers means asking yourself why you’re doing something. “Why” is an indictment, and it forces you to dig deeper down for the answer to the real question.
  • Anger is not only the easiest emotion to defer to, but it also acts as a “protector” of whatever hurt lies beneath. Likely, then, your anger is indicative of a deeper issue. The question then becomes, What triggered your anger?”
  • So many guys have just stopped feeling. They’ve become numb. And so when they’re forced to feel they can ask themselves, “Why am I looking at this?”
  • The next time you’re upset, ask yourself why. Next time you’re angry, don’t just thoughtlessly run to the porn as a numbing agent. Go on a run or go to the gym or go do something else besides just sit there and numb yourself in front of a computer screen.
  • Porn oftentimes is just what you’re using to medicate your problems. It makes you feel better or numb or distracted from what you’re really feeling in the first place.

 

LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

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Posted by on Apr 1, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

What Triggers My Bad Behavior?

  • Hey, Craig here.

    In these Whiteboard Sessions, I leave the talking to Steven Luff, a licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist) in the state of California, co-author of Pure Eyes: a Man’s Guide to Sexual Integrity and creator of the X3Pure online recovery program.

    I love these sessions. If you’ve never been to therapy or counseling, it can be helpful to learn about the kind of things that trigger behavior, and the science behind it. Luff does a great job of describing some of that here. I think it helps connect the dots for a lot of people.

    In today’s session, Steven is answering the question, “What triggers my ‘bad’ behavior?” or more specifically “What triggers behavior?” 

    When I say “bad” behavior in this context, what I mean is addictive, compulsive sexual behavior, but as Steven says in the video, all behavior — whether you see it as good or bad — is triggered by circuits in our brain, and by our conditioned responses.

    For some people, triggers are sensitized by different internal circuits, such as fear, grief, lust, etc.

    A lot of stuff triggers behavior because we’re human. We’re organisms, we’re mammals and we’re built to survive.

    When the light bulb turns on, and we discover the consequences of our behavior – whether good or bad – we can better make rational decisions about life. What do I want my life to look like? How can I address these primary circuits and begin to behave differently?

    You need to pay attention to the ways you’ve been conditioned to behave (and begin to recondition yourself).

    This week on our site, we’re relaunching our most successful program: My Pilgrimage 2.0. And when I say “most successful,” I mean that members who have gone through this program have discovered true freedom. The content touches on many of the things Steven mentioned in the video: triggers, root issues, reflecting on conditioned behavior, and dealing with pain in our past.

    Definitely check it out this week, we’ve got some special bonuses for you. This could be the year that you get things turned around and on track!

     

    MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE

    • Saying a behavior is “bad” shuts down our exploration of it. If we can’t explore it, we can’t get a better understanding of who we are and how we want to change.
    • We don’t think first, we just are.
    • Our brain circuits are related to basic survival. If you don’t recognize that you have these primary circuits in your brain and that we evolve for the sake of survival, it’s very easy for us to confuse and equate compulsive behavior with an identity statement like, “I’m bad.”
    • You can’t get healthy in the same environment that made you sick, right? You need to start rationalizing and thinking through your triggers. It may be scary to recognize that what you experienced as a child triggered – or, sensitized – your fear circuits. Maybe you’re experiencing PTSD.
    • Challenge your conditioned responses. You’re never going to realize that your wife is a safe person unless you also realize that much of your own logic is irrational. Hopefully she is. You may have married your mother (but hopefully not). Likely, your wife is a safe person, and you don’t have to be afraid anymore. But you do have to start to do the work.
    • For people who haven’t dealt with past trauma, what happened to them when they were 4 years old is happening to them still, now. 
    • It’s time to let this go. And, not just, “I need to let it go and I’m bad because I can’t.” Not just, “The Bible tells me to forgive, but because I don’t feel capable of forgiveness, I’m bad.” No, you’re not bad. It’s just that your brain circuits are sensitized. And you need to bring in some tools to recalibrate them.

     

    LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

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