by Gerard Terry
I struggle to find my woundedness. Jonathan and other deep thinkers teach that many men struggling with porn are coping with a childhood woundedness. I can’t find mine. Sure, I grew up with disappointments and discipline, but I had a great childhood. From motorcycles to going hunting, life was great.
Today, however, I can identify daily wounds which come from a lifestyle of excess work and stress. Being in a fiercely competitive business, I frequently work twelve hour days and keep my guard up to always be a step ahead. In a real sense, my customer’s lives are greatly impacted by my expertise or my mistakes. After over twenty years doing this, I’m exhausted and wonder if I’m a burned out or a workaholic. Porn makes me feel good, if only for a moment.
Step One: Soul Searching to Find Our Wounds
We should all do a present-day soul search to find our recurring wounds of today. While I understand long-term historical wounds, unhealthy behavior like overeating, drugs, drinking to excess and pornography use can also be caused by recent or reoccurring daily wounding. Who in their right mind would hurt themselves and the ones they love only to feel better for a moment? Woundedness is another concept for being “injured” – having something broken on the inside. We are complex beings and it doesn’t take much to injure our emotional or mental state.
I recently heard a Pure Sex Radio podcast where Jonathan identified characteristics accompanying porn use to include stress and tiredness. I am right there. You may have others on the list which included boredom, hunger, anger and laziness. How about low self-esteem from a critical wife or boss? Consider the long-term effects of a mundane factory job or the loneliness of an over-the-road truck driver who can’t build relationships? These can all wound and injure men.
Step Two: Prepare Your Defense
Step two dictates dealing with the triggers in our lives in advance of negative compensating behaviors. We need to find tools to reduce stress like working less, exercising, participate in rewarding hobbies or leaving work when tired. I need to trust God that He can take over after I work a reasonable schedule. The lonely among us need to be intentional at making friends and hanging out with encouraging people. Consider joining a bowling league, billiard club or professional network to avoid isolation. Even having a dog (not a cat – cats won’t work) at home to greet you can provide some relief. Personally, I enjoy motorcycle riding and can feel the stress draining from me when traveling down a twisty road.
So, to answer the question, I would say “yes”, we are all wounded or injured – either from today or from years past. Counseling can be very helpful to identify causes of your woundedness and suggestions for changes to make. The bottom line is that life is difficult and we all want relief where we can find it. The secret is finding healthy ways to compensate for the difficulties we will encounter.