Your actions determine who you are

Do something.

Even if it’s just little.  Just a finger twitch.

Move slightly in the direction you want to go.

Then tomorrow move a little more.

Build up some momentum.

It’s okay if you fall down.  Just get back up.

Help someone.  It doesn’t have to be anything big.

Hold the door for someone.

Let someone else go first.

Smile at someone.

Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

These are just little things, but they help make the world a better place.

Make sure the world is just a little better because you’re here.

Improve a little bit every day.

Be kind to others.

Be kind to yourself.

Learning

Teach children to speak.

To read.

To write.

Teach them how to think.

NOT what to think.

Teach them to think critically.

Teach them to ask questions.

Show them how to find answers to their questions.

Nurture their curiosity.

Offer them help when they need it.

Then, for heaven’s sake, get out of their way.

I’m not saying they should be allowed to spend all day on social media.  Or playing video games.

Give them supervision.  Make sure they’re learning something.

Make sure they know the skills they’ll actually need as an adult.

Give them the resources they need.

Don’t force them to memorize a bunch of facts, regurgitate them onto a test, then never use them again.

Help them find their talents and grow them.

Let them run around and play when they need to.  They’ll focus better afterwards.

Don’t turn learning into drudgery.

Someone who loves learning will become a lifelong learner and make a great contribution to the world.

Someone who hates learning will become a dullard who never picks up a book again after they finish school.

Things I’m grateful for today 20180106

  1. My therapist
  2. Rain
  3. Pop Tarts
  4. Feeling better than yesterday
  5. Having a place to go
  6. Bernadette Logue
  7. Friends I can ask for help
  8. Libraries with wi-fi
  9. Gyms with showers
  10. I’m beginning to love and have compassion for myself

10 ways to live well

  1. Spend lots of quality time with my boys
  2. Be as spiritual as possible
  3. Eat well
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Make a meaningful contribution to the world
  6. Help others make a meaningful contribution to the world
  7. Spend time with people who care about me
  8. Avoid negative people
  9. Travel
  10. Get plenty of sleep

Self-sufficient

I hate being dependent on others.

I want to buy some land.  With cash.

To build a house.  With cash.

I want it to be efficient.

I want to generate my own electricity.  Solar.  Wind.  Thorium.  Zero Point Energy.  Whatever works.

I want to catch rain and snow.  Filter it.  Use it.

To grow my own food.

I want to help other people do these things.

To be free.

Be kind to yourself

I don’t know if I ever really liked myself.

If I did I don’t remember.

I’d tell myself I was stupid.  Ugly.  Bad.

You get the idea.

I’m not stupid.  There’s plenty of proof of that.

Beauty is subjective.  So is ugliness.  All of my significant others have told me I’m handsome.  So has my mom.  😉

We all do good things.  We all do bad things.  I’ve done plenty of bad things.  Some indefensible.  But I try to be a good man.  I think that counts for a lot.

We all have hard times.  They’re a part of life.

We all need help.  We need support.  From others, and from ourselves.

Life is tough.

Don’t make it tougher than it has to be.

Finding my voice

Several months ago my therapist asked me what I wanted.  I wasn’t really sure.

He told me to find my voice.

I wasn’t sure what that even meant.  Isn’t it that sound I make when I talk?  The one that sounds so horrible when someone records it and plays it back?

I’m still not sure exactly what I want.  I have a vague, hazy idea.  It used to be better defined.

I wanted to be with my family.  To be able to spend time with them.

I wanted to move to a small town.  I wanted to buy some land outside of town and build a house.

I wanted to start a few internet businesses.  I wanted to work from home.

I wanted to help other people.  I wanted to make a difference.

I still want those things.  I never had a clear idea of how to get there.

Now it’s even less clear.

I’ve found my voice in another way.  I’ve found a way to express myself.

I hope it will help me get what I want.

I’m a porn addict

She showed me her brother’s stash.  I wasn’t interested.  I thought it was kind of disgusting.

Later she suggested that I get a stash of my own.  I didn’t want to at first, but eventually I found myself in a magazine shop downtown.

I developed a pattern.  I’d buy several Playboys, then after a few weeks or months I’d get disgusted with myself and throw them all away.  This went on for years.

I discovered internet porn.  I never got into the really hard stuff, nothing that looked like abuse.  I couldn’t stomach that.  Just stuff I thought looked like regular sex.

Then I decided to go back to church.  After a while the bishop called me into his office to get to know me.  I spilled my guts.  Eventually I was able to take the Sacrament again.  I even had a temple recommend.  I went with friends to do baptisms for the dead a couple of times.  But it didn’t last.

I fell back into my old habits.  I’d buy porn DVDs from stores.  I’d usually try to go to a male cashier.  One night there was only a female cashier available.  She was cute and she was friendly to me.  Then she saw what I was buying.  I felt awful, but that didn’t stop me from watching the DVDs.

Eventually I met my wife.  I didn’t watch porn from the time we were married until after our first son was born.  A few months after he was born she started going over to her parents’ house after he fell asleep.  She’d go there every night and play video games.  I didn’t want her to go, but I never told her. He’d usually wake up a little while after she left, and I’d take care of him by myself.  After a while he’d go back to sleep, and I’d get lonely.  Rather than telling her I was struggling, I started watching porn again.  I went back to my old pattern of quitting for a while, then watching porn.

I few years later I went to our bishop.  I told him about my porn addiction.  He told my I needed to tell my wife.  He also offered to pay for counseling, which I took him up on.

The night I told my wife about my ongoing porn addiction was one of the longest of my life.  She could tell something was wrong, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her.  For hours we sat there, her asking what was wrong.  I was mostly silent.  Eventually I mumbled, “It’s porn.”  She had lots of uncomfortable questions, but after I’d answered them it seemed like we were closer than ever.

I avoided porn successfully for a few years after that.  Eventually being left home alone for several hours while my wife and kids were visiting her parents took its toll.  Once again I was in the grip of porn.  I’ve been struggling with it on and off since then.

For several months I kept it a secret from my wife.  Id lie to her about it when she asked if I’d been watching porn.  When I told her the truth she became really upset and went into a deep depression.

After several months my wife told me she wants to separate.  She hasn’t filed yet, but it’s just a matter of time now.

If anyone reading this is tempted to watch porn, don’t do it, you’ll regret it.  Maybe not now, but someday.  If you already do watch it, get help.  There are people and resources out there for porn addicts.  Here are a few:

Overcoming Pornography

Fight the New Drug

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