I Do Too
My dear sisters <3
Masturbation is not ‘a guy thing’, nor is it a ‘people thing’. It is a struggle known to many, however it is not anyone’s ‘thing’ because it’s not part of the person that God creates. Although SEXUAL DESIRES ARE GOOD, and even HOLY, masturbation is a misplacement of those desires into a lustful act (1), a temptation that many of us face. I struggle with masturbation and I am tired of girls being too ashamed to talk about their struggle with it.
When I hear that a girl is struggling or has previously struggled with lust, it still comes to me as a surprise. I’m comforted by the fact that I am not alone, yet I don’t want my girls to also be suffering, as the battle of lust can feel hopeless, discouraging, and impossible to overcome. What makes all of these feelings stronger is isolation. When I feel like I am walking a journey alone, when I feel like I am the only one who struggles, the battle is gruesome. When I am honestly sharing, when I SEE that I am not the only one, when I meet people who are living without masturbation, I feel like I have a team backing me up, I feel hopeful. All of a sudden, I feel that freedom is attainable.
Of course community is only a part of the battle. As I have learned, I cannot conquer masturbation simply through feeling encouraged nor through my own willpower. This battle is way bigger than I am so I put in all of the effort that I can as a human being, and God will be the one that wins my battle.
I started writing this post over 3 months ago, when I hit a rock bottom. I would fall, beat myself up, occasionally reach out to someone, tell myself that it’ll be different this time, fall again, and repeat. I WAS SO TIRED OF THE CYCLE. I was worn out from the shame, the guilt, the hopelessness, the loneliness, the disgust.
Everyone has a different journey, and I now see that I had to experience all of that to finally admit that I have a problem with masturbation and I cannot manage it on my own. I don't have a healthy relationship with sexuality so I ask God to heal that everyday.
When I feel aroused I pray to God with my own words: “God, I feel aroused right now but I don’t want to engage. I want to live life differently. Help me direct these desires to you. Lord, HELP ME”. Even though I am not on my knees, it feels as though I am, because in the moment I am begging Him to help me. For a while I took additional measures as well to make things a little easier.
I have been praying for God’s ever since that moment 3 months ago and He has been working a daily miracle into my life and has given me freedom everyday for the past few months. Then when I start feeling confident, I ask him to humble me and show me that I need Him.
I by no means have chastity ‘down packed’... I most definitely do not. This is an on going journey that won’t be perfect until I am with Him in heaven. I will continue to choose to walk this journey everyday, one moment at a time because I am fighting for love that is total, fruitful, free, faithful.
Our sexual desires aren’t lustful, it is what we do with thoughts that are lustful. Do we let our thoughts continue? Do we see people for their bodies or for their hearts? Do we go to God when we feel rejected, stressed, bored or do we go to lust?
We don’t need to feel ashamed for having sexual desires, because GOD GAVE THEM to us for a beautiful purpose! Over the years, we've likely received the wrong message about sexual desires and what they're meant for. Today we can choose differently. Let’s choose to live out God's vision of love, one moment at a time.
This journey ain’t easy, so I’m reaching out to all my girls who are struggling! Let’s help each other out by speaking out. Let’s live in honesty, by sharing honestly. If you are not ready to comment here, message CWG privately, I will answer you personally.
I am currently reading the book noted below (1) and I highly recommend it! It's so simple yet profound. I also recommend another read (2) based on St JP2s writings. It is more theological, however it speaks right to the heart. Sister Helena Burns created a list of her top choices for relevant books (3).
(1) Sex isn't the problem (lust is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated world by Joshua Harris.
(2) Theology of the body for beginners: Rediscovering the meaning of life, love, sex and gender by Christopher West.