The other shoe

dirty-old-running-shoeThis morning I deleted everything.

I mean, I deleted all of the porn now almost a month ago. And except for one unsatisfying flirtation, I haven’t been back to it. But I still had the cache of harvested photos of cute girls from Facebook. A few times over the past month it caused me to fall. And finally, after the Lord working on me for the past week or two, I was able to let go.

Should I feel a release? At first, it didn’t quite sink in what I’d just done. I’d shorn my “connections” with my “friends” — girls who didn’t even know I existed, with whom I only imagined a nonexistent friendship and a false intimacy born of the many photos they shared publicly. But I had really grown attached to several of them.

But one girl — a very pretty, very pure girl I stumbled across a couple of weeks ago — really got to me. She was too good to be true — the girl whom, in her photo captions, someone described as “an angel both inside and out.” And I finally realized what I was doing — that it wasn’t true. And that holding on to these girls, hoarding their photos, was just a milder form of my attachment to the “models” — in many ways even more seductive, since these girls were real people with real lives, in which I could imagine I had a real part. And this attachment, this false intimacy, could only lead to harm.

So I deleted them all. They’re all gone. Even the ones whom I feel like I know so well, whom I will never know. Should I feel a release? As it has sunk in, I only feel sad. Not alone — I feel, more than ever before, that God is with me. But sad. My narcotic illusion has been swept away, and I’m now faced with the reality of my reclusion, my growing monasticism. How I’ve been pushing away even my friends — especially pushing away any notion or hope of romantic connection. Is that really what I want? Have I chosen to be a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:12), or have I only resigned myself to that fate?

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