‘Road to porndiction’

By: Francis B. Ongkingco October 14,2016 - 10:51 PM

(Part 3 of 3)

How can one overcome addiction to pornography? In the previous parts of this article, we had gone through the process of identifying what may lead to this addiction.

The approach was more anthropological than psychological. It concluded that pornography, which has gone mainstream in cyberspace, is a real health issue as something that disrupts the growth and development of personal integrity and donation.

Addiction, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.” The key word here is “enslaved.” It means something that impedes the person from fully experiencing and exercising his freedom.

Passion, on the other hand, is that which propels a person to excel in a particular field or talent. It is a driving force consolidating his different qualities, focusing them to achieve a particular vision and keeping the heart and mind unceasingly engaged until the goal is attained. Passion is, therefore, liberating while addiction is enslaving.

Any addiction renders people incapable of — depending on the degree of enslavement — properly and fruitfully living their role within their family, work and society. If that isn’t something unhealthy, then I don’t know what else it can be called.

Now a person’s indulgence in pornography does not immediately become an addiction or may never be. But exposure to it still has a major disintegrating effect on the indispensable equilibrium required by the person’s rich interior and exterior qualities. And being gifts from God, these qualities are only best offered when one possesses oneself entirely and not when one is enslaved by a particular vice or vices.

What could be an effective way of escaping from the enslavement of pornography? I recently read a “surefire program” for those who are sincerely seeking a deep spiritual conversion. The program, although focused on growing in the spiritual life, can also apply to escaping a vice like pornography.

Fr. Thomas Dubay in his book “Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer” enumerates very interesting seven Be’s. They are be concerned; be determined; be committed to meditative and contemplative prayer; be motivated; be humble; be specific; be persevering.

a) Be concerned. Fr. Thomas describes that we cannot remain as being mediocre and “feeling a cozy at-home-ness” with our illness. The first step in every change is being aware of what one has to change and to “be bothered about the level we have thus far reached or not reached.” Thus, the first step is never to take pornography sitting down. We must be bothered, that is, “vibrantly concerned” when we indulge in it and to be ready to do something about it.

b) Be determined. The success of great achievers is often mistakenly associated with talent. Fr. Dubay says it is not so. In most cases, it was because they were simply determined. Let us not see our weakness negatively. It can be an occasion to turn more to God’s grace and mercy. This requires “determination and solid repentance.” The day we say “I give up!” would be the beginning of the end in our battle. Instead, we should say, “I give up myself to God!” This means not just giving up pornography but giving up something positive of yourself, time, leisure, ambitions and goals, etc.

c) Be motivated. Our determination is linked to being motivated. If determination is the firmness of the will to overcome one’s weakness, motivation focuses on the reasons moving us to struggle. A positive motivation against pornography could be to struggle for love of one’s family and children. Another could be aiming for a higher virtue other than “just being chaste” such as constantly struggling to think, serve and love others more through concrete hidden details.

d) Be committed to daily prayer. We could broaden the idea of prayer, for those who may not be too acquainted with it, as being “committed to some moments of personal reflection daily.” This always makes us face ourselves sincerely. But it may also help to us face others as we ask how they are affected by our selfish indulgence in pornography, in our family, work and social dealings. Of course, ultimately, facing God is what will help us to see the malice of this addiction, and with this daily conversation, we hope for liberation through the healing power of His mercy.

e) Be humble. Fr. Dubay says, “Humility offers practical know-how in solving wisely the thousands of nitty-gritty problems that come up in anyone’s life, and especially in one who is trying to avoid even small selfishnesses.” It is what helps us to be fully honest with ourselves about our failures and mistakes. This attitude “invites light” because one avoids the proud stance of depending solely on himself. He is more aware that if he can manage to do things, materially and spiritually, it is because he allows himself to be helped, cured, forgiven and sanctified.

f) Be specific. In conquering any defect or vice, one must be ready to divide and conquer its cause or causes. In pornography, one must deal with the concrete occasions that expose him to the material. This includes what we may continue to interiorly harbor of what we have been exposed to in the past. The struggle must focus on concrete areas that allow the mind, will, heart and passions to gradually heal. For example, living a schedule, learning to abstain from certain comfort forms of lifestyle, saying goodbye to our former but negative acquaintances.

g) Be persevering. Our endurance in this “program” will undoubtedly depend on our personal sincerity to constantly live the other Be’s even though the results may not be so patent. It could help, in order not to give up fighting, to have a life coach or spiritual director to whom we could regularly assess our progress. Then we learn that it is not only about the porn but about who I can be without it and what else I am supposed to be if I focus on my other positive qualities and struggles.
It doesn’t imply that by a surefire program of these seven Be’s, our attraction or addiction to pornography will sublimate immediately. If there is one other Be that we can add is that of being patient. Change does not happen overnight. It happens one day, not because of what we have done or changed but because of what we have allowed God to do or change in us.

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Anthropology, concern, determination, faith, freedom, God, humility, motivation, Perseverance, porn, pornographic, pornography, prayer, psychology

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.