Crutches are an aid to my learning to walk, but they cannot walk for me.
When learning to walk in a new way, every step requires that I be present to what is in front of me, not assuming the way is clear, but instead depending on these two (ugly but practical) metal devices to assist me.
As one friend put it, they are my “guard-rails” guiding my recovery.
Healing is a process, not a destination.
Learning how to take it just one step at a time.
In my work with Truessence, one distinct privilege I have is working with men who struggle with pornography.
I say privileged for three reasons:
- For a man to be vulnerable about this topic takes real courage
- Struggling with something that cultural deems “normal” is hard work
- Shattering the silences changes their intimate relationships
I believe culture, family of origin and stereo-typing of gender can lead to intentional and unintentional lies men believe. Things like:
- sexual drive is uncontrollable – so why bother
- a sexual drive = shame – so just keep it hidden
- entitlement – sex is my right
Are we willing to struggle with the vulnerability of a new goal?
Right now, with these two crutches, I can only take one step at a time. Everything within me wants to run again, but that will never happen unless I engage fully with the process of healing and learn to walk in a new way.
So God being God makes things practical for me – honestly I don’t like all these, but I do have a goal and so I must submit to:
- asking for help (a lot),
- admitting my weakness (a lot)
- discovering I am not alone (a lot)
- seeing obstacles for what they are, obstacles not failures
Easy to say – harder to walk out (pun totally intended).
Time to start walking in a new way.
What happens when we suddenly realize that we can no longer walk in the way we have been walking and we want to walk in a new way — sexually? Jean Vanier says it this way,
“It is not possible to grow to greater love if there is no space for error.”
Too often it is an illusion of health that robs us from seeing the inclusive nature of God’s love that is always seeking to teach us to walk in a new way towards wholeness.
As I see men struggle to learn to walk in a new way sexually, I find that they have to address the pain that prevents them from seeing their bodies as:
- crafted by God to experience pleasure
- designed as a sexual and spiritual being
- seeing beauty as something to be in communion with, not something to consume
There is no simple solution, no pill that can be taken and white knuckling it out seems like a bizarre form of torture if God is love. What if God wants to meet you IN the dark places in order to teach you to walk in a new way?
What I know about a bone stress-fractures is that in order to heal it takes time and rest from the previous activity that caused the fracture. My slow clumsy cantor is a part of the process of healing. My vulnerability requires an inner strength that is learning to submit in new ways to one who created me to experience wholeness.
Newsflash: we all need help learning to walk away from old unhealthy patterns.