I am being very transparent with you in this post, because I want you all to know that I am and will always be in a process of healing and recovery for the rest of my life. I may not be struggling with porn or masturbation, but I am battling with the result of those past addictions I used to bear.
Back in 2014 and 2015, I was in a serious relationship with a very sweet guy. He was very respectful of me and never forced me into anything I was uncomfortable with. But I had a problem. Every single time I saw him I had this great urge to always do something sexual with him. I never had sex with him, but at the time I thought, “As long as I don’t lose my virginity everything else should be fine”. So I would tease and tempt him every single time into kissing or any other sexual “favours” (how people these days term it, which doesn’t really make sense, you’re not really doing anyone any favours by doing something sexual, except for getting them distant from God).
The problem lied in my mindset: because of my consumption of porn and also the lies I was being fed by the media, I came to believe that love was nothing more than a feeling of sexual attraction. And so I would arouse my then boyfriend to reassure myself of his “love”.
To this day I continue to have this problem: I have caught myself with my boyfriend checking whether he was attracted to me by teasing him or tempting him to ensure he was in love with me.
The key to this situation was to be very honest with my boyfriend about this issue I go through. I know that sexual attraction definitely doesn’t equal love, but it is a habit still ingrained in me. Honest communication has become a very important component for our relationship, even if it is about an issue I am very embarrassed about (like this one I am sharing with you). Through that honest communication we are both able to problem-solve any issues that arise, tell each other how we can show affection in a purer way and set effective boundaries when purity becomes a very difficult virtue to handle.
So I am setting some practical steps for myself to get better at purity within a relationship:
If any of you have been following the Talitha Ministries Instagram you would have seen me do an IG Live to do a modesty check on my wardrobe and clothe shopping. I found that when I started dating this wonderful man, I suddenly started to buy tight clothing and off-shoulder shirts or dresses. Although these can sometimes be categorised as modest, I had to have a hard look to see my intention behind why I wore certain clothing. I had to throw away two of my favourite off-shoulder shirts because I knew I was trying to show skin to tease my boyfriend.
2. Media Detox
I took a media detox back in 2016 when I first began my serious journey towards healing. But since then I have let myself go. I have been getting back into watching videos on Youtube without restriction mode, I have been scrolling through Instagram and the Facebook newsfeed when I am bored… and you can come across so many indecent things if you are not careful. So I am taking on my media detox again by purchasing the filtering program Covenant Eyes for all of my devices and doing a spring clean of all my social media, movie and music tastes. (You can check out more about the Media Detox in the “How to do a Media Detox” blog post)
3. Prioritise Prayer
This year I fell off the wagon big time when it comes to time with God. I wasn’t prayer every day anymore. I was getting lazy to go to daily mass. I was going to monthly confession rather than going weekly. This had a great impact in every area of my life: I was becoming more selfish in my relationships with family and friends, wanting to have things go my way, I was getting more stressed and anxious because I wouldn’t place my difficulties in God’s hands… So I slowly made some habitual changes. I started a few months ago by praying for 15 minutes every single day, to have a special time with God that was non-negotiable. By starting small but from the heart it becomes much more easier to make time for God by attending the other Sacraments.
Just because I am not addicted to porn or masturbation anymore, doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with impurity anymore. On the contrary, I am still on the purity journey and struggle every single day. But I wouldn’t really call it a struggle to be honest. Impurity is a weakness of mine, but through God I find strength every single day.
Saint John Paul II, intercede for me.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, intercede for me.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, intercede for me.
Mother Mary, Mother of Pure Love, pray for me.