Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drop the Rope

In 2003 Rick Moody gave a talk entitled: For Ecclesiastical Leaders, Family, and Friends: Supporting Those Who Struggle With Sexual Compulsions.

In that talk he gave a metaphor which has been powerful for me as I think about recovery. He talked about picturing my struggle as a tug-of-war with a monster. I pull and pull as hard as I can, putting as much resistance on the rope as possible, but the monster keeps pulling also. As I fight, I am slowly pulled towards the pit which seperates us, and no matter how hard I fight, eventually I get pulled into the deep dark abyss of relapse.

Bro. Moody says that rather than fight and fight a losing battle, what I really need to do is drop the rope and walk away.

How does this apply to me?

I spend so much time fighting the addiction. I despise every sexual thought I have. I sing a million hymns and quote a thousand scriptures trying to get these thoughts out of my head. I tell myself I "cannot think that"... and I battle to clear my mind of it. I white knuckle my way through situations where temptation feels so strong I can't breathe. And often I end up losing the battle.

So how do I drop the rope?

I guess maybe that is the real question, and I'm not sure I have an answer to that question completely. But I do think that focusing my life on other pursuits is a good start.

Perhaps a concerted effort to build my marriage and get closer to my family.

Maybe an exercise program designed to lift my health and my spirits.

Or a program of service to help others.

This blog acts a bit as an outlet for me that leads to recovery, but hopefully isn't obsessed with a constant fight against addiction.

What I do get from this metaphor is a desire to set my sights on what is good, and what is uplifting, and what is encouraging, rather than spending all of my time fighting against the evil that seems to invade my life.

I can drop the rope. I can let it go, and spend my efforts pursuing righteousness and a relationship with my Savior.

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