Every person, without exception, has interior pain. An interior pain that tends to define our self-image or self-perception.
At Road to Purity, we follow a saying, “If you don’t transform your pain, you will transmit it.”
We all transmit pain in our lives. In our actions and in what we do. So, what do we do about it?
At Road to Purity, our primary focus is to transform the pains of porn and sex addiction, as well as the underlying roots of the behavior. So many people see the compulsion or addiction of pornography as a stand alone problem. In fact, you will be surprised that porn is not the problem! It is merely a symptom of a deeper issue. Namely pain.
In actuality, this pain is present in some fashion in all of our lives. It is merely a path of how we reveal that pain. All of us reveal pain in some way. Whether it is an addiction or compulsion to porn, alcohol, video games, shopping, food, success, overachieving, underachieving, etc. All of these actions are at their root a self-centered, narcissistic behavior and tendency. All are fueled by pain, an inner unresolved, unhealed pain. This pain transmits, or reveals itself, as a false self-identity and shows up in a behavior pattern. These behavior patterns are often, but not always negative or sinful.
To explain this concept of people revealing an interior pain, here are two powerful stories..
Story 1 – Anger and road rage
Bob was an angry person. His anger was his way of protecting himself, a pattern of behavior resulting from many poor experiences and abuse from his father, growing up. Bob frequently turned to pornography to experience a sense of connection, as well as a release of inner stress caused by the constant anger. (Note that the connection he achieved from viewing porn was a false connection – and thus for only a few minutes the stress was released due to the surge of serotonin after ejaculation, a process that induces the addiction cycle, as learned in earlier lessons.)
Here’s how Bob transmitted his pain:
Bob was driving to work when another driver needed to make a quick lane change to exit. Bob perceived this action as a personal attack, as if the other driver had no regard for him. This triggered intense anger and feelings of revenge within Bob. The anger was disproportionate to the situation, but it was fueled by Bob’s inner feelings of rejection and shame from his abusive father. As a youth, he felt disregarded, belittled, and dismissed as a person and now anytime someone ignored or rejected Bob, he felt intense anger. Anytime he experiences anger, it is compounded by the pain and woundedness he experienced from his father. Angry, Bob now sped off the next exit toward his usual stop at Starbucks. Bob was now in a foul mood. While placing his order, he snapped at Jennifer, the barista, making her feel incompetent. He was angry inside and was transmitting that anger to those around him. Barista Jennifer ultimately had a horrible day, experiencing feelings of rejection herself.
As you can see, Bob has been wounded from his youth. This unhealed woundedness causes Bob to overreact to events in life that trigger the same deep feelings of rejection, belittlement, and dismissal. His reaction is typically anger. These feelings are triggered by seemingly minor life experiences, like being disagreed with, a waitress making a mistake on his order, someone not listening to him, and, obviously, a driver cutting him off on the freeway. Bob has not transformed his pain (emotionally healed) and, therefore, transmits it frequently. This untransformed pain that causes Bob to behave the way he does is the river under the river. The reaction of feeling incompetent that Jennifer, the barista, experienced, is a ripple effect of Bob’s untransformed pain. This untransformed pain spreads to those around us.
Story 2 – Anxiety and medical issues
Lisa grew up with a mother who was very critical. Lisa’s mother was much like Bob in the previous story, as her mother (Lisa’s grandmother) had belittled and rejected her daughter (Lisa’s mother). The constant criticism of Lisa’s mother made Lisa feel very insecure and unworthy. In Lisa’s case, this caused her to be a person who was always reaching out to friends and neighbors to offer help, almost in a compulsive way. Lisa was the type of person who always jumped in to help at parties. While it may seem like the criticism of Lisa’s mother led to a very admirable personality trait in Lisa, the deeper result was that Lisa was starving for acceptance, and to be liked.
Unfortunately, Lisa was a very unhappy person and felt deeply unworthy of anyone’s love. She had many medical problems stemming from intense anxiety and her constant seeking of approval. People who didn’t know Lisa well simply thought that she was a wonderful, giving person. Yet it was transparent to most that she was starving for the love and acceptance that she never received from her mother. Note: It is this lack of love and worthiness that often causes women like Lisa to seek false intimacy with men through various forms of sexually promiscuous behaviors, in an attempt to fill that void of being unloved or invalidated.
Lisa’s story is an example of how untransformed pain can be transmitted to multiple generations. In fact, the pain that Lisa transmits is not visibly harmful to the outside world but is certainly damaging to herself. While Lisa’s pain is not outwardly negative, it results in her behavior choice being for personal gain, to fulfill an emptiness, rather than a genuine giving of self.
As you can see from these 2 stories, unresolved pain dramatically impacts a person’s life and perception of self. We refer to this self-perception or false self, as a false identity. We all have feelings at some level of unworthiness, unloved, unvalued, incompetence, insignificance, etc. These feelings show up in our self-identity. If we are honest with ourselves, we all can see some of these false self-images. It’s just a matter of how they show up in our behaviors.
When the pain of these feelings, this self-identity, begins to transmit themselves in a behavior of porn or immoral sexual actions, this is when Road to Purity and our programs exhibit powerful healing techniques.
What is interesting is that so many of our clients and students of our programs see how our techniques actually help resolve much more than their porn habits. They actually begin to change as a person and how they see themselves.
We all have behaviors that we would like to change. I invite each person reading this to take a look at their inner self, their self-identity and make a mental note of any of the painful negative feelings listed above and try to match how they affect a behavior you have. Essentially, what is the pain that you are transmitting, and what is the pain that needs to be transformed? Use these steps to grow in your own life. Awareness is the first step to change. Be the person God created you to be
Help loved ones get on the path of recovery – If you or anyone you know has any level of porn habit, issues with lust or deeper, please take advantage of our free in-depth Catholic sexual integrity program Restoring God’s Foundation by clicking here.