By Josh Gilman:
Your brain has been hijacked. That’s not good news.
You see, your brain is incredibly plastic. Your whole life it has been shaped and formed by everything your five senses are taking in. You were born with a natural desire to know and be known by someone; to pursue love. You were born with an incredible ability to think and to create, and to find wonder in the world.
Picture every thought and desire in your brain like a little tiny airplane. It has a starting point, and then goes on a journey to a destination. You were born with a natural urge to be nourished. You need to eat. When you were very, very young, you would cry every single time you wanted to eat because you thought you might die. Then your mother would come and save the day.
As you got older, you learned how to feed yourself. You learned where your thoughts about hunger should lead you. But even that got messed up. The thought-plane named “hunger” would have a scheduled departure at 12pm. The “thought-plane hunger” took off with an intended destination of “nourishment”, but it was hijacked and, instead of real food, it ended at the destination “McDonalds”. You didn’t wake up that day planning on eating McDonalds, but because of previous experience, a different pilot hijacked the “thought-plane hunger” and pointed it in the wrong direction so at 12 o’clock, instead of craving vegetables and other nourishing foods, the thought headed to the destination “I want McDonalds”.
This is what has happened to your sexuality. When you watched pornography, all the dopamine receptors in your brain were firing like crazy. They replaced all your “thought-plane” pilots of Love, Relationship, and Sexual Desire, and replaced them with pilots whose final destinations were Violence, Novelty, and Selfishness.
This is why you are so frustrated right now. You know this isn’t where you want to end up. So you keep hitting restart on the journey. You delete all your porn, throw away your phone, cancel the Internet. Yet, at the end of the day, it doesn’t help. You keep finding yourself back where you don’t want to be.
You see, the problem isn’t the initial feelings and desires. It’s not the triggers’ fault. Not even the triggers of stress, worry, & loneliness. It’s the pilot. He is a hijacker and you need to replace him.
Dr. William Struthers on brain modification via truthaboutporn.org
You keep trying to start over, but the pilots directions aren’t changing. You need to replace the pilot. Or at least reprogram him. You need him to leave from “desire” and end up at “seek out companion”. You need to have the pilot of stress not lead you to porn and “emotion suppression island”, but to friendship and accountability.
How do you do this?
Block access: Of course it starts with removing the access to the hijackers’ old pilot. Lock their access door and throw away the key. Download Covenant Eyes to help protect all your digital devices. Each one is a doorway for the hijackers, so ensure they stay closed.
Bring back the good “pilots”: Fill your head with goodness. Fill it with good books, good exercise and good friendships. Go outside, take a walk, chat with someone you didn’t know.
Retrain your brain: Not every “hijacker” or trigger can be gotten rid of. You’ll always have stress, fear, and the temptation to lust. But you can retrain them to take you to a better destination. Start off by figuring out who they are. If you’re starting to head in a wrong direction, or if you get to the destination you didn’t want to be at, think about it. Write down what lead you to that moment and then make a plan to do things differently. Do you start to veg out and binge on Netflix when you’re stressed or lonely? That’s your porn hijacker telling you to isolate yourself. Write a note and stick it on your computer screen telling yourself to call a friend next time.
Make new habits! Renew your mind! Take back your brain! Many others before you have and you can do it too!
For more on how your brain works and how to recover, read Covenant Eyes excellent free E-book THE PORN CIRCUIT