So back to that afternoon when I sat on my bed waiting for Mark’s call. As I mentioned fear was the biggest emotion I was feeling. Yeah I had done the hard part of opening up my secret to Mark and yeah he had responded with nothing but love and grace but no I wasn’t confident that didn’t mean he was simply waiting to yell at me down the phone.
Really knowing Mark as I did I should have known better and actually it was probably the best conversation I had had in my life.
Getting off the phone that first time I felt a lot of things. Hopeful, excited that porn was finally behind me but behind all those emotions was one major building block that would see this through.
I felt safe.
That was something that I had not felt in a long time where porn was concerned.
Telling someone about your porn problem is a little like learning to drive on your own and finally realizing that you are just going to crash or hit an innocent animal at some point. So you ask someone into the car with you who has driven for a long time and also has some back up control on the car. So when you start to go too fast, they can brake, when you start to steer in the wrong direction they can guide you back onto course. Or when you don’t check what’s creeping up behind you in the mirrors they will see it for you.
Left on your own you are heading for ER. Having someone in with you means you can relax and go for it, knowing if you do slip up it won’t mean certain disaster.
Craig makes a great point about what it means to be safe when he reflects on our lives online. We have two versions of ourselves. One that we project on twiter and facebook. The one where we ‘like’ the cool things and retweet the biggest celebrities. Then there is the part of us that sits in our rooms building secrets that are going to destroy us if left unchecked. Online we can control what people think of us to a certain degree but offline well that’s where we protect ourselves by keeping stump.
That is not safety. That is hiding. And although hiding may seem safe it really just means we are lost. But being open with everything that we are means that we have someone driving beside us showing us it’s ok and that we aren’t disgusting.
This is safety.
Feeling secure to be yourself, knowing you don’t have anything to hide.
Being confident in your gifts, knowing that God is ready for you to use them.
Being around people who love you, not constantly stressing about what they think because they already know about you and they have still let you in the door.
But the only way we can possibly experience this is when we are open with people around us. When we lay out the most vulnerable parts of our lives and let them tell us it’s ok.
The confidence that comes from that is unbelievable. Maybe it scary or intimidating but at the core it is safe.
And safe is free.
This post is based on chapter 2- “Safe” of Craig Gross’ new book ‘Open’, with my own experiences of accountability and opennes with others. Do yourself and your community around you a massive favour and buy his book.