Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Practical Advice for over-coming Lust

 [From http://www.drmonicabreaux.com/ ]

Fire drills are used to practice moving bodies to safety, so people will not get burned. They build up confidence in people for a timely escape. The frequency of the fire drill practice is the key to this prevention training. In the treatment of addiction, there is a helpful method that is also called a fire drill. It is used to practice an escape from habits of unhealthy behavior that is destructive like fire. Fire drills can be used to practice moving minds to safety, so people will not get burned. They build up confidence in people for a timely escape. The frequency of the fire drill practice is the key to this prevention training of the mind.

The simplicity of the method is the reason many people will not try it, but it is used successfully among

desperate men and women seeking help for compulsion. Here is what to do: you must write a brief letter to yourself using language that you believe will help you to distract yourself from a specific impulse. You must include in the letter detailed instructions about what to think about instead of giving in to this old habit, and also what to do. The instructions in the letter must be your own ideas for becoming the person that you want to be. This will help to reduce your resistance to following the instructions in your letter.
If you choose, you could write: STOP. Slow down
breathing. I rejoice that I have stopped! The reason I don’t
want to do this is because … Right now I will think about …
AND [what to do] I will pray, or get a drink of water, or take a walk, or call my parent, friend, child … Often people begin the letter with the word stop, but you need to try what may work best for you. Slow paced breathing for 10-15 minutes makes your blood pressure go down and relieves anxiety. This often helps to distract your mind. The key sentence used to escape addiction, in the best-seller book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking was, “I rejoice that I have stopped.”
Anyone can write a stop letter to themselves and carry it at all times. Be careful not to include information that would embarrass you if someone reads your note accidentally. If the first one is not helpful, throw it away and write a new one trying out other ideas. You must practice reading it several times a day in order for it to be a fire drill. The goal of the practice is to ensure that the stop letter will be read when the impulse that “burns” you really occurs. Always keep it handy. Self-control is humanly possible.

Agnes and Thomas Aquinas receiving chastity cords from angels
Postponement is used by parents to distract children from their desires: “Sure honey you can have it in 10 minutes.” Be gentle with yourself as you resist temptation 10 minutes at a time. Offer up this sacrifice of delay for a particular person and a particular issue, such as “I will delay acting on this temptation to sin so that my child has the grace to resist this same temptation.” You must celebrate your victory of resisting sin for 10 minutes by thanking God for growing in grace and holiness. Every 10 minutes counts! You are building up self-control, 10 minutes at a time.
We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
Rescripting. Break up the script of your sexual fantasy by creating a new script filled with disturbing interruptions. Get creative with ideas that you find repulsive as you plan your own avoidance therapy by corrupting your fantasy. Let us set things right, says the Lord. Though your sins . be like scarlet, they may become white as snow. Isaiah 1:18
Name a person for whom you feel lust. Pope John Paul II explained that the problem with pornography is NOT that it reveals too much of a person, but that it does not reveal enough of them. People in pornographic pictures have a name and a story. Put them back together again with a made-up name and an ordinary story. Pray for them by name to be set free from the slavery of being sex toys to others. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in God is Love that we can “give them the look of love that they crave.” Our love and prayers can bring change and healing into their lives. Set the slaves free.
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28

[Editor of Catholic Data: Another method for helping men is to explain to them how to "re-map" the brain. Repeated behavior, thoughts and emotions form pathways and physical connections of synapses in the brain--thus forming path ways that are reflexively formed. Giving into lust has re-mapped a man's brain to follow a set patten. When a man feels sexual arousal, when he see a beautiful woman, it as a natural and normal reaction-- especially with an attractive female-(don't work yourself up for having a normal reaction). Although normal it is disordered outside of marriage, because of fallen nature.

1.Spot. Spot the symptoms as an impulse of a reflexive behavior formed by repeated habits,no act of the will is involved. We must remember that we have fallen nature and the impulse needs to be redirect by repeated actions to form new pathways.

2. Attack. Attack the impulse/thoughts indirectly by doing anything physically (sweep the floor, wash dishes, look for a folder in the office, go for a short walk...). This action is a sign and act of your Will to the brain that this pathway is unacceptable. You are now counteracting and forming new pathways by constant practice when tempted. The muscle actions will slowly re-educate the brain, by repeated physical action distracting from the impulse/thought, and reassures the man he knows his Will has rejected the impulse/thought. The feelings formed by the initial sexual impulse/thought will still be there but it will slowly die after the thoughts fueling them are distracted by the muscle movement.

3.Affirm. Affirm yourself that just by thinking of what to do is improvement--even if you fail. Affirm yourself that you are improving your reactions with each success. If there is a set-back, understand it is normal and temporary. Affirm yourself that the sexual act is for making babies---this is your thought...This is only logical. A woman's body is for making babies. This will stimulate a new pathway to the fatherly instinct.

These 3 steps practiced have helped many.]