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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Overcoming Porn - A plain and simple path

"I've got a porn problem. 
I've tried everything. 
Nothing works."

The recently released Bishop cried in despair.  This is the second time he has been released from a church calling because of porn. (Initially he was on the High Council.)  He had relapsed... again.

This was my message to him and any other person wishing to strengthen and sustain a virtuous life. (By the way these steps work for changing any behavior, managing mental and physical illnesses, etc etc)

I asked him a few questions about what he had been using as resources to overcome his porn habit. (See: Five To Survive). He replied going to the LDS Addiction Recovery Groups, Reading the Scriptures, attended the LifeStar Treatment Program and praying. I count four resources. Four is not five. Five is the LEAST amount of resources required ... My experience is it takes 10 resources for the first few months in overcoming a porn habit. (I also like referring to Sexaholics Anonymous groups).

I instructed the Bishop to get more resources if he wanted to strengthen and sustain a virtuous life.

The soul has three components -The Spirit Body, The Mind, and The Physical Body. (See: Anatomy of a Soul) When a person becomes addicted ALL THREE COMPONENTS - the Spirit body, the Mind and the Physical body also become addicted. Remember "Porn Addiction" is very much an addition of the physical body. See: God's Love Chemicals. The brain changes. ... and yes the Spirit and the Mind also become addicted -  For example check out this: “Addiction to any substance enslaves not only the physical body but the spirit as well.”(Russell M. Nelson, Addiction or Freedom, Ensign, November 1988) 

I congratulated the Bishop on having resources that strengthen his Spirit (Reading the scriptures and praying) and also for strengthening his Mind (Attending treatment and recovery groups- these resources help to change the thinking errors and encourage thought control-all occurring in the mind.) However, the noticeably overweight Bishop has neglected strengthening his Physical Body. 

I encouraged the Bishop to add resources to strengthen him physically if he wanted to strengthen and sustain a virtuous life.

The Bishop recalled during his "first recovery from porn episode" he had and used many resources. However, recently his life had become too busy and he came to believe he didn't need all those resources NOW like he did THEN during his initial porn recovery. He had relapsed and had only been adding resources for the past few weeks. He was discouraged because the masturbation and lusting concerns were still overpowering. I compare resources to  seeds ... plant good seeds, nurture them, and they will grow. It's not uncommon for a person changing a habit to give up ...before the seeds/resources have a chance to sprout. They were doing all the right behaviors, but not for long enough time. The Law of the Harvest never fails. There is no exception to the Law of the Harvest. NEVER! (See: The Safest Road To Heaven Is Gradual)

I encouraged the Bishop to continue using his resources - over and over again - week after week -even though they may seem not to be working if he wanted to strengthen and sustain a virtuous life.

I reminded the Bishop there will be opposition in his recovery.  (See: The Only Pathway-Opposition in All Things)  The initial "honeymoon" of recovery when you acknowledge you have a problem, you confess it to your wife and bishop, you stop using for a few weeks, and the humility and peace that usual accompanies those early days ... WILL in time disappear. Sooner than later the challenges created by opposition will influence you to realize a most powerful principle:
....overcoming a porn habit is indeed not about sex; not about porn; and not about your spouse or parents; but ... between you and God. (See: What Other People Think Of You Is None Of Your Business).
Almost always YOU WILL RELAPSE after your initial commitment to change this habit and promise never do it again.
Get over it! Use your resources.
Do not measure your success by how many times you slipped up ... measure by how successful you are in strengthening your virtuous life.

The porn habit is not more powerful than 
the correct use of the right resources 
and the Law of the Harvest.

I encouraged the Bishop to expect opposition and rely on a power greater than himself-God and press on if he wanted to strengthen and sustain a virtuous life.

See: "Stopping the Sin Does Not Equal Repentance"
I Reminded the Bishop about repentance.

Knowing human nature...
I thought about making this recovery process
... more difficult and perhaps a little confusing,
... or something you can't do on your own without me-or another professional,
... or maybe you have to buy and read a book first,
... or something really really hard to do and only a few people ever succeed,
... or etc etc
(It is amazing how many of those in recovery from porn think they deserve to be punished, to have all this shame and guilt... ....
it's like they never heard of the Atonement.)

Because overcoming porn is a plain and simple path and this blog is short and sweet.
I now have time left over to go re-plant my bean seeds in my garden.
The frost got them.

dr rick
dr rick's blog index

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What Other People Think of You Is None Of Your Business

How many times a day at work as a psychologist do you think I hear phrases like...

They made me... !
He thinks I... !
They told me... !
She said that I... !
I heard that they... !

Too many to count.
The amount of "power" some folks give to others is incredible!!

I've seen people ... stop going to church ... stop talking to family members ... stop eating ... stop having kids ... etc etc ... because of what others have said (or what they thought they have said or thought)... 

Here's a rule I've come to respect:

What Other People Think Of Me 
Is None Of My Business.

You might think... wait a minute dr. rick what about My wife? My church leader? My boss? Shouldn't I care what they think of me...
 You'll understand what I mean as you learn and practice this GOSPEL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRUTH. Your eternity will change! Your outlook will immediately become more hopeful and your freedom to act will increase.

FIRST:You are accountable for you - your "thoughts, words, and deeds" (Mosiah 4:30)!
... it ultimately is impossible for another person to offend you or to offend me. Indeed, believing that another person offended us is fundamentally false. To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else. In the grand division of all of God's creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation… (And Nothing Shall Offend Them, October 2006, Sunday Afternoon Session. David A. Bednar) 
There is no exception. The responsibility for your anger, your depression, your weight, your whatever ...BELONGS TO YOU! YOUR SPOUSE CANNOT MAKE YOU SAD! YOUR CHILDREN CANNOT MAKE YOU MAD! (Even if it is a physical or mental illness-you're responsible and accountable to manage your condition whatever the circumstance.)

Did I say, there is no exception?

Brigham Young illustrates personal responsibility when he says:
If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed [for my behavior]. (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], pg. 390.)
"We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Regrets and Resolutions” Conference 2012.)

SECOND: Your accountability is to God.
How you behave, think and feel is "Between You and God." This is the starting point for solving any personal or emotional problem-you are accountable for you and your accountability is to God. 

You come to my office expressing a marriage concern-eventually I'm going to tell you It's not between you and your spouse. It's between you and God. You come to my office expressing a parenting concern-eventually I'm going to tell you It's not between you and your child. It's between you and God. You come to my office expressing a pornography concern-eventually I'm going to tell you It's not between you and porn. It's between you and god. There is a pattern here... do you understand it? .

This is an eternal truth. It will work ALL the time every time.
"Making your behavior an issue between you and God" has to be done FIRST before YOU change and before YOU CAN CHANGE ANOTHER.
Study these scriptures carefully for their hidden treasures: 3 Nephi 14:1-5 and Alma 60:23.

Check these out. There is an emphasis placed on the individual’s behavior being between God and the individual, not between the individual and someone or something else.
In Acts the story is told of Ananias. He and his wife sold a possession and hid some of the money, not giving it to the church. The sin would appear to be only between Ananias and the church. However, Peter confronted them saying: “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:4) Also see: Alma 12:3.

For days Joseph resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39). Nevertheless, he is falsely accused, and cast into prison. In verse 9 we discover the source of his strength to resist when he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) Joseph wasn’t worried about offending Potiphar or Portiphar’s wife, but God.

Anti-Nephi-Lehies figthing Lamanites. The Lamanites come against the people of God—The Anti-Nephi-Lehies—They choose to fight using the most powerful offense available to them (and to us) - GOD! "Now when the people saw that they were coming (to war) against them (their enemy) they went out to meet them, and prostrated themselves before them to the earth," And how did they fight: "began to call on the name of the Lord; and thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites began to fall upon them, and began to slay them with the sword." (Alma 24: 21) The Anti-Nephi-Lehies won the battle as they realized the real battle wasn't with the Lamanites, but with the Lord. Also see 3 Nephi 4:7-10.
Christ is the judge "The keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate.” (2 Nephi 9:41) Jesus is at the gate-not your spouse, your child, your parent, your neighbor etc. etc. (See Alma 41:3-4)

What God Thinks Of Me 
Is Very Much My Business.

Amen. :)

The moment you take responsibility for your life and make your personal challenge an issue between you and God you'll immediately gain freedom to clearly see and do the right thing. 

Don't believe me. 
Test it.

Remember, remember ... the next time you sense you are reacting to a family or ward member or neighbor or someone else, say to yourself....
How  I behave, what I think , and what I say
... is between God and I.

Within a week you'll recognize the power of which I speak. You will experience more clearly the eternal power associated with correctly understanding the gift of agency.

dr rick
dr rick's Blog Index
(P.S. If you apply this TRUTH and it doesn't work, I'll refund your money.)

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