What comes to mind when you hear the word “forgiveness”?
Perhaps you recall the religion of your childhood. Maybe you think of a resentment you’re trying to let go of. You might even think of someone you’re hoping will forgive you for something you’ve done.
I believe that forgiveness is a forgotten skill. It empowers you to overcome some of the things that hold you back most in your porn addiction recovery. Holding onto anger keeps you a prisoner of your emotions. But learning to forgive provides the freedom you’ve looked for in many different avenues up to this point.
Are you harboring any grudges over things said or done to you in the past? It’s difficult to reach the later stages of your reboot if you don’t let go of those past harms. However, I understand that it’s challenging to release these things which is why I believe that forgiveness is a skill.
Take a moment to recall some of the worst times of your life. Think of some of the worst things you said and did during your porn addiction. If you’re anything like me, I said and did many things that caused a lot of harm to other people. My words and actions resulted in much emotional, physical, psychological, and financial damage.
I also found that I was holding onto a lot of grudges. I was so angry at others for the way they treated me despite the awful things I did. I was angry at women who rejected me and friends who said things behind my back. It didn’t matter that I’d hurt them, too; I was still furious.
It’s safe to say I had a lot of baggage when I finally decided to end my out-of-control behavior. I had to release some of the weight I was carrying if I wanted to reboot because I was at a point where it was too painful to carry on. While forgiveness was the last thing on my mind, it wasn’t until later that I realized letting go of these things meant I was beginning that process.
Forgiveness begins with you, brother. It starts with forgiving yourself for the harmful behavior you’ve engaged in for so many years. Learning to do this frees you from the heavy load of guilt and shame you’ve carried for so long. As you truly embrace forgiveness for yourself, you’ll find a lightness in the world that you never imagined possible.
Once you forgive yourself, it’s time to start extending that forgiveness to others. Think about all the people you’re carrying grudges against or felt resentment toward. Call each grudge and resentment to mind one at a time. Consider whether it’s worth it to continue carrying it or if it’s time to forgive, let go, and move forward.
Oftentimes people believe that forgiveness is for the other person’s sake. I’m here to tell you, brother, that forgiveness is for you. It’s a process that frees you from the mental strain of carrying all this frustration, rage, and resentment. These things take much more energy to sustain than you may think.
At the same time, this doesn’t absolve you of responsibility for the harm you’ve caused. You must still acknowledge your wrongdoings and make restitution to those you hurt. A simple “sorry” is often not enough; it’s time to make genuine amends.
But this won’t come until you learn to forgive others, which starts with forgiving yourself. It takes time to develop this skill but it’s necessary if you want to be successful in your Porn Addiction Counseling or Porn Reboot Program. You will never overcome your out-of-control behavior if you don’t learn the art of forgiveness. But as you continue working on yourself, your ability to forgive will develop and grow.