i remember that during the early years of my recovery i had the overwhelming feeling that my whole marriage to that point had been a lie, that there was nothing good or real about it.
i had faked my way through so much; i had lied about my porn use; i had talked a good game of connecting with my wife and pursuing relational intimacy; and i had even held myself up as a guy that other men should listen to on these issues.
All of that came crashing down after The Confession, and i was forced to see my life for the sham it was.
That was an agonizing, humiliating, eye-opening, redemptive and ultimately beautiful moment. Finally, i was telling the truth. And finally, the truth was having an impact on me.
The other night as the Intentional Warriors gathered, one of our brothers said that he felt that his life was a lie. He had been a part of the brotherhood for a while, but something deep was being stirred up: the realization that in his time with us he had addressed some of the issues, but the core issues remained untouched.
Had it All been a lie? No, actually. But there was still a deep lie the needed to be pressed into.
The journey of recovery and healing is much like that. Our lives are complexly layered and much of what stirs in our souls is a mystery even to ourselves.
We need brothers who will lovingly and consistently pull out of us the deeper stuff; the assumptions about ourselves and the agreements we have made with things that are untrue, or things that trap us.
For our brother, he realized that night that all his life he has seen himself as a charming and lovable screwup who cannot really change, but who also doesn’t even need to because people will let him play that role. He had believed that modest, surface-level changes were all he could make in his life and he was stuck. But he also had to admit that because of his age-old self perception, he had no real intention of transformation in his life. In fact, it scared him — as it scares many of us.
He hated the life he was living, and yet he realized he had chosen it because somehow it was the life he felt most safe in.
That’s the biggest lie of all: that there is any safety, security or confidence in a life of cyclical defeat and addiction.
Here’s the truth: real change is really possible. Once you begin to see change, you get a taste for a better life, a life that is much more than you ever thought possible when “excitement” could only be found in porn use.