Preoccupation with the behavior
By josh
10/2/2006 9:22:46 AM
Step 1 - Action Step — Admit the problem; seek help; attend meetings
Another phrase, or rather quote, from this step stuck out to me. Interestingly enough I came across this quote again when studying something else. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something:

"The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel." Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1986

I have to admit I have a preoccupation with this behavior. I think about it all the time. Most of the time it is in a good way - I am thinking about my recovery. But thinking about it all the time sometimes reminds me of my old ways, and the desire to return to them begins to grow. I need to spend more time simply studying the gospel, not just as a defense to my addiction, but simply because I need the gospel in ALL aspects of my life - and I need to understand it from many different points of view, not just the point of view of an addict.

Another way I am preoccupied with this behavior is being too concerned with what others are doing. Unfortunately, at work I am often called upon to monitor and/or report on the surfing behaviors and trends of other employees. Something about this peaks my curiosity - I am much too curious about what others are doing. I am too curious about how well our web filtering is working - can you get past it this way or that way, etc. Some of this is legitimate - I do have a sincere concern to protect individuals, and also protect the company, but too much of it is my own curiosity. It is Satan's favorite breadcrumb to throw out to me. He does it almost every day. "Shouldn't you know every way that an employee might be able to get around the filters? Don't you want to protect them? Aren't you better able to help people if you are an expert on the matter?" And even more quietly he may ask, "Don't you really want to know (and see) what others are looking at? What are they getting to that perhaps you have never thought about?"

When I look back and am completely honest with myself, I can see that during the first days and weeks of my serious recovery, I was preoccupied with the atonement - with forgiveness, with humility, with honesty. I didn't think about what others were doing. I didn't have any desire to know where other employees were going. I find myself slowly drifting back to the curiosity and preoccupation, and I know that it is the potential chink in my armor, the seemingly innocent way Satan will get me to return to my past behavior.

I will not allow this to happen. I will treat the breadcrumbs as if they were the sin itself. What leads to the sin is to be avoided as strongly the sin itself. It truly will require more than a change in my behavior to acheive this - it will require a legitimate change in my nature. But I know that the Lord has the power to change my nature, my heart. I don't (although I will do all that I can do), but He does. He Has done this for me in the past. I do not doubt He will continue to change my heart.


I agree    
"It is so hard not to just focus on yourself and be everything you know you should be. It is hard not to justify and say, "Hey, it could be worse... Look at so-and-so, he is really bad. I am not that bad.""
posted at 10:09:07 on October 2, 2006 by Anonymous
Treating the breadcrumbs as the sin    
"This is a great point. I came to this realization again last week. For a while I was so focused on not viewing pornography as my main goal that I would let my guard down about the breadcrumbs, the little things leading up to the sin. Every once in a while, I would find myself nibbling on some breadcrumbs and then fortunately I would always "remember" my goals and that I didn't want what was at the end of that breadcrumb trail and would get back on the path before anything "bad" happened and I viewed pornography. So I was able to keep my day count and progress intact. Fortunately I was always able to recommit myself and keep the progress going. And maybe that was fine for my initial stages of recovery. But last week I realized I need to treat the breadcrumbs as the sin and base my self-evaluation of my progress on that. What it really is, is realizing who or what the true enemy is. My true enemy, the real addiction, is feelings of lust, not pornography. So I need to stay away from the breadcrumbs completely. I like what one speaker (I can't remember who) said in conference yesterday, about staying in the MIDDLE of the path. Our fear should not be of venturing off the path for the breadcrumbs, but of even venturing to the edge of the path where we notice the breadcrumbs."
posted at 10:25:49 on October 2, 2006 by derek

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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006