Prayer and meditation first.
God Loves me more than he hates sin. Don’t get me wrong, he hates sin, but he loves me, and each and everyone of us, more than all of our sins combined. That’s the whole message of grace. I know it’s so easy for me to reverse this, and focus on my sin first, and God’s Love second. But that leads to shame and guilt, and that lessens God’s Power. When I feel guilt and shame, I am forgetting that it’s God that gives me my strength and success. For me, guilt and shame are ego driven, they’re symptoms of me believing that I can do things for myself. Every day I pray that I can focus on God’s Love first, and remain grateful in all things, even in my sorrow and suffering.
Regarding super powers.
I don’t believe in super powers, but I do believe in growth. Continual stretching and constant improvement. I’m a cartoon nerd, and I love the Kung Fu Panda films. In the 3rd one, Master Shifu says “If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than who you are.” This applies to many things, but engaging in loving self discipline against lust, and our own egos, with Nofap overwhelmingly qualifies.
I also believe in confidence, serenity and clarity. Another movie reference, Deadpool 2 and Domino’s “superpower” of being lucky. I disagree with that term, She’s not lucky, she’s endlessly confident. She lets go, and stays present and doesn’t try to control every little detail of the situation. On my best days, when I’m trusting God, and I’m present, and surrendered to the moment and grateful for anything that life gives me, I feel a little bit like that character. It’s a lot more fun than pretending I can control life and my own happiness.
Early on in this journey, my therapist gave me a copy of “Changes that heal” by Cloud and Townsend. That book introduced me to the concept of redemptive time. Time is created for our human benefit, not God’s. When I remember that God is eternal, and that all my struggles are either for my benefit, or someone else’s benefit according to God’s will, it makes my perception of sin and pain much different. It gives me greater compassion and empathy for myself and others, compared to judging and creating distance.
Self care and following my heart
Self care, physical reminders and trusting my healthy and fun impulses are important. When I met my wife, I used to wear jewelry all of the time. Slowly, over time I told myself that I shouldn’t.
Married men and dads don’t need jewelry. I had forgotten the stories behind those pieces to me. At 30 Days No PMO I bought a cross pendant to remind me of my faith. At 60 days a chain to wear it. 90 Days was a black titanium ring to remind me of the truth of my separation/divorce and to tell others about that whenever appropriate. 120 / 150 days I bought a prayer bead bracelet for obvious reasons, and the a triple wrapped leather bracelet that symbolizes time,patience and perseverance to me
I used to get manicures and pedicures often, but when we had kids, I became too busy. The same goes for massages and working out, taking time for myself. I recognize how important taking care of myself is linked to my gratitude and my ability to serve others and God.
And last, but not least was a fun story that just happens in the grocery store the other day. I was walking past a display of pumpkin Donuts that caught my attention. My critical self, walked by and said “I don’t need donuts.” And then I turned around, and again denying my impulse, then finally a third time toward the donuts. A stranger who observed my dilemma finally commented, “Oh just get them, they’re only around once a year.” To me, that sounded like God’s voice, reminding me to be kind to my inner child. When I brought them home, my daughters we so excited and my Nanny commented what a coincidence it was since she and the girls were just talking about them that day. Small, but meaningful.
Love yourself, whatever that means to you. Follow your higher power, and find your freedom in His care.
Last point – It’s not about me
This journey is not about me. I may think that it is at times, but addiction blocks my connection with others, and worse, my connection with God. It doesn’t matter what the addiction is, P, lust, sex, alcohol, drugs, shopping, lying, gambling, eating, even exercise. If I’m putting my desires above others, and in front of God’s and the present moment I’m losing out on genuine connection. One thing that I love about ACOA and AA is that some people in the meetings think of the group as their higher power. It doesn’t matter, if you believe in God or not, as long as it helps you realize that you’re not alone and that your successes and failures exist outside of your own abilities.
by Archangel 77