All of us, at one point or another, can get into a perpetual state of trying to fix every single thing about ourselves. Whether it's a porn habit, losing weight, or anything else, what often happens is that we fix one thing, only for another to surface, and so the cycle continues.
While our brains are programmed to look for what’s wrong with us, it’s not true that there’s always something wrong with you. Constantly fixing and solving what we perceive to be a problem is exhausting. And this week, I want to offer the idea that all parts of you are wise and have something valuable to offer, even the part of you that desires porn.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 135, Fixing Things Is Exhausting You.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you how to stop viewing pornography and never go back to it. If you want to learn how to train your brain out of a pornography habit, completely shame-free, then this is the show for you. I’m your host Sara Brewer, a certified life and faith-based coach.
Hey you guys, welcome to today’s podcast episode. I want to just jump into the topic today. Let’s not dilly-dally. I’ve recently done a training with my coaches and I want to share some of the things that I talked about with them with you on the podcast today. So just so you guys know, and actually, this is good for me to bring up.
So right now, let’s see, this is going to be released on the 21st. So right now we’re in the middle of taking applications for one-on-one coaching. We’re opening up more coaching spots, there’s more coaching spots available when this is going to be released on the 21st. Anyways, if you go to SaraBrewer.com, I think it’s forward slash private coaching or something, anyways I’ll have us link it in the show notes, you can go and sign up for that.
And my coaches are amazing, amazing, amazing. They’re such amazing coaches. And they have to have certain certifications, and they have to have certain credentials and then I also train them on my processes. You are in such amazing hands with these coaches. And I train them, we do specific trainings once a month and we do lots of meetings throughout the month. And this is one thing that I was talking about them with and it’s just this idea that all parts of us are wise.
Every single part of us is wise. All of the emotions that we feel are wise. If you’ve listened to the podcast for a while, you know we’ve talked about this with anger. Anger is wise. Sadness is wise. And that cute kids show, Inside Out, teaches you this, right?
The whole show they’re trying to get rid of sadness, they’re trying to get rid of sadness, they’re trying to get rid of sadness. And at the end they say, no, wait. For us to be healed, for this little girl to be okay we need to accept sadness, listen to sadness, and integrate sadness as a part of just the human experience instead of always trying to push it away. So sweet.
But this idea that all of us are wise, and so even buffering, even the part of us that is trying to buffer. The part of us that is trying to escape emotion, the part of us that wants porn is wise. And so buffering and this desire for porn is not a problem to get rid of. It’s a wise part that will teach you what you need in order to live your best life. And I’m going to give you some examples here, but let me just repeat that. Buffering is not a problem to get rid of, it’s something to learn from.
And so we really want to explore this part when you notice yourself buffering, and I’m assuming you guys know what buffering means. But if you don’t buffering is any action that we take to escape negative emotions. So pornography is an escape from emotion. You’re feeling anxious, stressed, scared, lonely, bored, restless, antsy, whatever. You’re feeling some kind of emotion that’s a little bit uncomfortable and you use porn as an escape from it.
So typically, we’re like, oh, well I just need to fix my buffering and everything will be back to normal and great, right? This can become a problem when we’re just trying to get rid of the buffering before we’re learning from it. And it becomes a problem to solve instead of this part of you, that’s actually really wise.
So we really want to explore this part before we get into the solving. And many people don’t realize that they are doing this, they are shaming their desires, they are shaming their buffering. They just think they’re trying to fix themselves. So really look out for any time that you’re trying to solve a problem before listening and learning from this problem.
Really look for anytime you’re just trying to fix yourself before you listen to and learn from yourself. That’s why I titled this podcast episode fixing yourself is exhausting, Fixing Things is Exhausting. And listen, we can get into this perpetual state of fixing every single thing about us. I’m too fat, fix that. I’m too lazy, fix that. I’m not enough here, I’m not enough there, I’m not enough, I’m not enough, I’m not enough. I need to fix this about me, I need to fix that about me.
Listen, it’s never ever, ever, ever going to end. I promise you. Really you’re going to fix one thing and then there’s going to be another thing to fix and then there’s going to be another thing to fix. It’s not true that there’s something wrong with you all the time. The truth is, our brain is just programmed to always look for things that are wrong. Our brain is programmed to always think that there’s something wrong with us.
And so where did I hear this first? Jody Moore maybe? Yeah, she said, like our brain programming is there’s something wrong, there’s something wrong, there’s something wrong. There’s something wrong with me. There’s something wrong with others. There’s something wrong with the world. And if we’re not intentional about what we’re thinking and if we’re not intentional about what we’re putting into our brain, we’re going to live in this constant state of there’s something wrong.
Don’t you know so many people who do this? There’s something wrong all the time. It’s exhausting. It’s freaking exhausting. And so I want us to be careful that we don’t get into this, especially with pornography. And so many of you are like, well, pornography is it. It’s just the one big thing that really is wrong, Sara. There really is something wrong there and I really do need to fix it.
Listen, I’m not saying we’re not going to quit. Yeah, we’re learning how to quit porn. You’re going to get rid of it, but we’re going to change the mindset here. This buffering, this part of you that wants to escape with porn, it’s not something that just needs to be fixed. It’s actually something wise that is trying to tell you something. And so hold up before we just try to get rid of it, let’s listen to it. What’s it trying to tell us?
Here’s some examples. You might be thinking, how do I stop viewing during my tired hours of three to five pm? You come to me, you’re ready to be coached, you’re like tell me how to quit viewing porn between three and five. That’s just my trouble area. It’s the area I need to fix right now. And I stop and I ask you, hold up, why do you think this part wants porn between the hours of three and five? What is this part telling you?
How might this part that is trying to view porn between three and five actually help you? And what we might learn, right, this is just one example. What we might learn is that porn use is telling you that you need to rest and that by 3pm your body is done working. And a lot of people are going to reject that because they’re going to be like, no, I have to be productive all day long.
And it’s like, okay, that’s the belief that’s keeping you viewing porn, is that you need to be productive and that you shouldn’t rest. But it sounds like your body here is telling you that between three and five is when you just need some downtime. I see this a lot. Many clients, they buffer with porn, because they aren’t allowing themselves to take a break.
I mean even at night, it’s 9pm and they’re like, I still have to be working. I can’t sit down and relax. And if I do, I’m going to be exhausted and burnt out to the point where my body is like, I feel like I don’t have any control and I need to view porn, right? So there’s beliefs around productivity and worthiness here. Your worthiness is not tied to your productivity. I did an episode on this recently, right?
But if we’re stopping and listening, okay, what is this part that needs an escape from three to five, what is it telling you? And like I said, that’s just one example, that maybe it’s telling you that you need to rest. From there with that information, then we can go into healing or working through this part so that we’re not viewing porn. Then we can, oh, if it’s telling me I need rest, maybe I can find some rest activities that fit within my value system, right?
That could be a nap, that could also just be going for a walk. Maybe what you need is invigoration. This is something that we talked about in this coach meeting too, right? Porn is a lot of people’s excitement. It’s your outlet for excitement and desire. So that desire for porn is just telling you that your soul is craving some excitement and desire. So if that’s what it’s telling you, how can we create more excitement in your life? What can you get passionate about that isn’t porn, right?
Do you see how it’s so wise? And when we learn from that we can make a lot more progress than just trying to make it go away. It tells us what we need. The buffering isn’t a problem we need to get rid of, it’s actually telling us what we need, right? So once we understand that, then we can do all this work, then we can figure out what to do and then we can start implementing the tools you’ve learned in the podcast like planning ahead of time, the mindfulness skills, the over desire stuff, right?
Okay, so another scenario, you just come to me and you’re like, how do I stop buffering? It just seems like whenever I get lonely I want to view porn. Okay, and so, all right, instead of looking at this as a problem to solve, what is this part telling you? And what wisdom does it have for you? And just that question alone, if you just journal on that question alone you’ll come up with a lot of really beautiful answers that I’m not going to have for you, right?
My job as your coach is to be a little mentor and a guide, but you have the wisdom. You are the hero. You have the things that you need. I’ll ask you the questions and prompt this, but that wisdom is going to come from you. So what is this part telling me? Just write it all out.
Maybe you learn that there’s a wounded part of you that needs some healing. Or maybe you learn that there’s a lonely part of you that craves some connection. Maybe you learn that there’s a part of you that’s trying to escape from your current reality.
And if it’s during work, there’s a part of you that’s always trying to escape from your job. It’s like this part of you that keeps popping up that says, we hate this job. We hate it, we hate it, we hate it, we hate it. And so instead of just trying to push that away, let’s listen to it.
That might be scary. That might be terrifying. I hate my job. I hate my career. Whoa, that’s scary to look at. But let’s look at that. Okay, thank you, buffering part, for telling me how much you hate this and reminding me how much you hate this, that we need to find something to escape it with all the time, right?
So it’s this part of you that’s popping up and telling you not to just settle. And so then we can use the wisdom from that part to create this life that we want that’s about so much more than just not quitting porn, but is also going to allow us to live a life without pornography, right? There’s a lot of truth and wisdom that we can learn from these parts that we really miss when we’re just focused on fixing and solving all the time.
Another example that we recently had in our program was that someone came to the coaching call and said, how do I believe that I don’t need a sexual outlet? In my heart of hearts I know that I don’t need a sexual outlet, but I just can’t seem to stop believing that. And what I could have done is I could have just gone directly into, okay, well, here’s how you’re going to believe it. Here’s the things you’re going to do, blah, blah, blah, right?
But we explored it and I asked him, well, what if that was true? What if you did need a sexual outlet? And I said, we’re just going to play with this. We don’t have to believe anything, let’s just play with it for a little bit. So we dove into it. What we learned was he was gone for six weeks away from his wife on a military assignment. And the six weeks were going to be hard and he felt really stressed about it.
And so we explored this idea that maybe this part is telling him that he values and craves that connection with his spouse. And maybe there’s still a way to do that while being apart for six weeks through sexting, through virtual sex with his spouse, through phone sex with this spouse, and how that requires maybe a little bit of a different view about sex and masturbation and what’s okay and what’s not okay.
But we were just kind of exploring it and one thing that he came up with is he said, the truth is, is that all I know is that God cares about the results. And sexuality that brings me closer to my wife, even if it’s like we’re doing it virtually instead of in the same bed because we can’t do it in the same bed because I’m gone for six weeks, that still is a good thing.
If I’m still creating these things and these experiences and this connection and this goodness and this love with my spouse, maybe that’s okay and maybe that’s good, right? And so that’s something that we explored. And that felt really true to him and really rung true for him.
Every person might have different ideas and experiences and wisdom around this, right? For someone who maybe they’re not married and they don’t have someone to do this with and one of our values is to be abstinent before marriage, right? There’s still other ways that we can look at this and unshame this. So what is this sexual outlet trying to teach you?
If you remember, if any of you listened to my episode with Jennifer Finlayson-Fife we had talked about how sexual energy is really creative energy. And so sometimes, you can just redirect that energy to the creative pursuit of this life that you want to live or to the creative pursuit of becoming someone that you want to become. Or this creative pursuit of trying to build relationships and trying to connect with and find someone that you want to share your life with.
So it’s not that we just need to squash or demonize or fix the sexual outlet. Maybe we can learn that it has some energy for us that it wants to put out in the world. And that doesn’t mean that we have to go and masturbate all the time every time we want to masturbate or look at porn every time we want to look at porn.
And I’m saying this with a shame-free lens, that sexuality is not a bad thing. And sexuality is a really good thing. And a lot of people use masturbation in really great ways that help and serve their lives. So just a little caveat there.
I’m saying this from a sex-positive way. But I’m also speaking to those of you who it’s really important to you that you don’t have sex outside of marriage, it’s really important to you that you stop viewing porn. There are still ways to do this. To not shame that desire and to use that energy in other ways and to learn and listen to it. And it requires trusting that your body is good, trusting that you are good, trusting that you have wisdom in you and parts of you have wisdom within you.
Okay, you guys, have a great week. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving in to urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn’t have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent.
If you’re trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass, and it is totally free.