The Blame Game

Many men struggling with sexual integrity issues are well practiced in the blame game. I know I was good at it during my addiction and, unfortunately, sometimes still struggle with playing it. It’s so easy! We simply pawn off our responsibility and make someone or something else the culprit. In my addiction I blamed my wife for my indiscretions. As if somehow more sexual intimacy with my wife would change my acting out. Ha! Not a chance. I blamed a mistress for hitting on me. Her fault, not mine. I blamed traveling for work for my duplicity. The internet for my porn addiction. Our hyper-sexualized culture for my sexualized emotions. The devil made me do it. My dog ate my homework too.

Did you know nothing will change until we take responsibility for our actions?

The reality is that for anything to be different, for our marriages to be restored, for our addictions to be healed, for our faith to grow, for our sanctification to continue we have to be the person to point to. We must stand in front of the mirror and accept that the man we see is the only person on the planet who has the power to change us. Then we must accept that without relying on God not much will ultimately change. Take responsibility then lean on God; it’s a pretty good formula.

So, I hope you’ll stop the blame game. Let people off the hook and decide it starts with you. Today.

 

 

Facing the Shame

We just finished the first session at the March EMB Workshop and I feel super encouraged. The reason is I just saw almost 60 men face their shame. They walked through the doors of the hotel into an awkward, unknown experience. Let’s face it, you don’t advertise that you’re attending an EMB workshop (most guys say they are going to a “men’s conference”). It is difficult to attend. And I think the most difficult thing is that it brings us face-to-face with our shame.

When guys come into the weekend you can, metaphorically, see the suitcase full of shame they tote along with them. It weighs them down, slows their progress, and stifles their joy. Then, in the first session, we get really honest about this struggle and are able to connect around the commonality of our stories. As I tell my and my wife Shelley’s story you can literally see guys posture change from closed and heavy to light and open. There’s even some laughter at some pretty lame jokes. The cloud is lifted and the tension is eased.

Men who face their shame actually have a fighting chance to get past their addictions. Men who won’t face their shame will most likely be perpetually controlled by it.

I’m proud of the men who show up at EMB, willing to face their shame because I know they’re healing has begun.

On to Session 2!