Finding Sufficient Motivation to Stop Sexual Lusting
When I first came to Sexaholics Anonymous, it was the greatest relief for me to finally come to a full acceptance of my powerlessness over lust, so that I could finally stop fighting lust. Insanity had kept me thinking that I could fight something over which I have no power. But as sanity returned (through the process of working the Steps with my Sexaholics Anonymous sponsor, giving up the fight, and surrendering myself to God), powerlessness finally made sense to me. God became my only hope for freedom, and that remains true for me today. I’m still powerless over lust and I still desperately need a Power greater than myself.
We read in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone--even [lust]. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in [lust]. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. (Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” p.84-85).
In a recent Sexaholics Anonymous meeting, the topic was "Sufficient Motivation to Stop."
As we read in the SA “White Book” (pages 39-40):
We find it confusing and difficult, if not impossible, to see the physical manifestations of our addiction as cause enough for surrender. Knowing we must stop, we go to great lengths to find reasons for quitting:
"I might get a sexually transmitted disease, or the wife will leave me."
"I'll have a heart attack if I keep on eating like this."
"I just know this weed will give me cancer sooner or later."
"I'll wind up with hypertension if I keep on working like this."
"I'll get cirrhosis of the liver and brain damage if I don't stop drinking."
"If I don't unglue myself from this tube I'm going to turn into a vegetable."
Such reasons are seldom enough to make the true addict stop, because they deal only with externals. The clue here is that we must differentiate between the physical action and the spiritual action (attitude) taking place at the same time in the same individual. Because he lives inside his attitudes, the individual doesn't see them; he sees only the physical activity and thinks he's feeling guilty for that. It is truly puzzling to him. Hence the confusion on the proper motivation for wanting to stop any given addiction. When we look only at the activity itself, most of us find no sufficient motive to stop, but if we can see its spiritual consequences, this can help us despair of it sooner and surrender. Thus, we must look behind the physical to see what's really at work in our sexaholism. But first, let's take a look at lust, for it is this concept that serves as a bridge between the physical and the spiritual aspects of our sexaholism.
I really believe that it was God's grace that allowed me to perceive the connection between my attitudes that led to my wrong actions, and to recognize the spiritual consequences of my separation from God and others. It may well be that God was revealing that to me through my "showing up" at Sexaholics Anonymous meetings as well as through my personal faith practice. But I cannot take any credit for that;
I give the credit to my Higher Power Who led me to Sexaholics Anonymous
For me, experiencing that separation was crucial, because I had not experienced any of the more obvious external consequences. Those "externals" remained only potential consequences that might have happened if I had continued.
So the thing that caused me a sense of complete defeat--as well as causing me "sufficient motivation to stop"--was the separation I felt both from God and from others, because I was living a lie. I hated who I had become. I had no integrity when it came to lust and my sexual acting out. I felt terribly alone, because if I was not real, then all of those relationships must not be real either. My life had been built on a foundation that was an illusion.
Seeing the spiritual consequences of my disease helped me "to despair of it sooner and surrender" to God and work the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous. And that has made all the difference in my life and my sexual sobriety.