Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Searing Light that Keeps Us in the Cave of Addiction
However... that brilliant light coming from the mouth of the cave won't incinerate, it will heal! Here are three reasons why:
1. Her measuring stick is horizontal, not verticle. I want to measure up in her eyes. However, when she measures, it's to see if we're close. It's her deepest instinct. More than whether I'm doing well or poorly in life, she's concerned with whether we're in it together.
She wants to know what's going on inside for me. She wants to be one, collaborating as partners. She wants me to let her in. Shame and pride can rule my inner world, but that doesn't mean it's the lens she sees me through.
Over and over again in my office I hear women tell their men: "Even more than your struggle with porn, I have a problem with your secrecy. You kept me out of an important part of your life. I can take working together on anything; it's feeling apart from you that kills me."
2. An unseen need for support can't be met. I'm going to reach for something when I'm in need--my wife or my addiction. If I hold back from revealing my struggle, how is she going to know that I'm in need?
Touch and talk are healing salves that can be applied once the everyday wounds are revealed. I know, I know, they seem like weak medicine compared to solo sex, but they truly start the healing process instead of just temporarily numbing the pain.
3. Our vitality depends on being real. When I let down my guard, I'm vulnerable. Vulnerability is a two-edged sword. I may feel anxiety when I go to a sexaholics annonymous meeting and say, "I'm a sex addict," but I also experience the exhilleration that comes from everyone there seeing me exactly as I am... and still embracing me!
Vulneability--being real despite the risk--is not just a way out of addiction, it's a key ingredient for a fulfilling life.
A double life ends up being half a life--or less. Between the highs of the acting out, we feel phony, disconnected, insincere, divided.
So when you feel the light on your face and you're about to lose your nerve, keep walking! You're headed in the right direction.