When we struggle with porn, often there is a lack of awareness of the behaviour that surrounds our porn use. This behaviour becomes almost second nature in that we don't give it a second thought, and it becomes a ritual when it keeps leading us back to using porn. Being self-aware of these routines or rituals is a key component to breaking free!
This week, the guys discuss rituals that are a pattern of behaviour we often aren't aware of that keep leading us back into porn use.
Porn use has a pattern of behaviour that runs in the background without us knowing
When we struggle with a porn addiction, there often is a routine that we enter into before and after each instance of porn use. This behaviour becomes a ritual in our lives that becomes ingrained in us. It traps us by becoming a subconscious behaviour that we don't often link to our sexual behaviour. Breaking free requires us to partner with God in exposing this pattern of behaviour so we can become more self-aware.
Ritualistic behaviour is often tied to an emotional trigger
When the cycle of ongoing porn use becomes ingrained in us, we have triggers that will lead us back into that cycle of behaviour associated with looking at porn. For instance, if we have a bad day, the emotion of frustration or sadness can trigger us to enter into a ritual that we have associated with feeling better or ignoring our feelings altogether. Porn is so powerful because looking at it causes dopamine to be released, which is highly addictive. Beyond feelings, behaviours can become rituals as well. It could be looking at YouTube videos, gaming, driving by certain places, or avoiding our support people (accountability partners). Eventually that behaviour gets associated with looking at porn and it acts like a bait on a hook, pulling us deeper into the cycle of porn use.
It's not all bad news! We can develop healthy rituals and routines
Part of a recovery plan is building healthy routines and patterns. Once we get rid of bad rituals, or at least become aware of them, then we can fill that void with good routines that will build growth and health in our lives. Building the habit of spending time with God is one key example that changes our ability to regulate our emotions and move away from bad default patterns of behaviour.
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Next week, Matt and Braden talk with author and speaker, Josh McDowell, on why porn is so harmful in the church and what church leaders and parents can do to tackle the issue.
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What is Pure Victory Podcast?
Faith-based inspiration to win at sex, conquer porn, and find purpose in staying free forever.