Reconnecting to your body is key when battling any kind of addiction -- here's where you can begin.
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An addiction has the same effect on those who suffer from it as a pebble in their shoe: it’s a constant distraction and, in the long run, it hurts a lot. But by putting a little pebble in your pocket instead, you introduce a new mechanism to help you overcome addiction. That pebble is a tool for reconnection with yourself. But more on that in a minute.
There are many reasons why a person may fall into a behavioral addiction such as pornography, masturbation, etc.: a lack of motivation, injured self-esteem and self-confidence, a lack of identity, crippling shame and guilt, difficulty in managing emotions, an insufficient bond of attachment, and past trauma or abuse. Regardless of the cause, there is a main feature: disconnection from one’s own body.
It’s never the body per se that causes compulsive acts, including those related to sexuality. The only organ responsible is the brain, due to maladjusted, obsessive thoughts that we lose control over and to which we submit. The body is not the enemy. It doesn’t ask us for anything, except that we take care of it. In the process of regaining control of ourselves, our body is an ally, a solid support.
Reconnecting to your body necessarily means anchoring yourself in the here and now and returning to reality. This practice has several positive effects: it cuts off the sickly anticipation of the addictive “reward,” it diverts attention from your thoughts and helps your brain to switch off, and finally, it soothes you organic functions, which can be overwhelmed by emotions and excitement (heart, breath, stomach, lower abdomen).
Each of us can practice this reconnection in our daily lives, as a preventive or curative measure: thinking about our breathing (inhaling, exhaling) in a more conscious way, being attentive to our internal sensations (what “it feels like” in the center of the abdomen, for example) and finally, putting ourselves in a state of receptivity with one of our five senses.
It is precisely this last one that we practice, without seeming to do so, by placing a small pebble in our pocket: each time we become aware of its presence, anywhere and anytime, we can decide to focus our attention on this object. With our sense of touch, first of all: what is its shape, its weight, its texture? But also with the other senses.
Of course, this simple exercise is not enough. Breaking free from an addiction requires long-term in-depth work on all dimensions of the person: mental, emotional, physical, behavioral, and spiritual. But having a pebble in your pocket allows you to move forward more easily. Freedom and love won’t wait forever!