3 Quick Tips to Handle the Truth About Yourself

handle-truth-3-tipsSelf-improvement always sounds like a great thing until we actually dig in and get our hands dirty. We talk about the need for accountability, but the second we turn that scalpel inward, we flinch and fight and justify our way out.

It can be messy, awful work to hear the truth about yourself.
It’s never easy to hear criticism, most especially when it could be true.

The hard part is that getting better means we have to confront the ugliness inside.

This is harder than you think.

Recovery and improvement demands getting honest about all the crazy, neurotic, self-justified hang-ups that we’ve buried — and it’s extremely painful to expose how messed-up we really are. But that’s the truth about yourself.

Our addictions and destructive patterns didn’t happen overnight: it took so many steps of rationalization to get there until it became a part of us, and to undo those patterns can feel like death. It feels like giving up a part of ourselves, like an amputation of the only way we knew how to live.

Yet we need people outside us to show us our blind spots. We need people who will risk comfort and safety to say, “You’re better than this.” We need more than giggles-and-games and an idealized fantasy-friendship where everyone is simply a yes-man and only says what we want to hear.

We need a reality check when we’ve checked out of reality.

Even with our voice shaking: we must sometimes become the truth for each other, because friendship and accountability means we’re there to see the best in one another.

This doesn’t mean that we each become the morality police and start calling each other out on everything. It doesn’t mean that every criticism is valid and legitimate. It means that when I see you diving off a cliff, I’ll throw myself up against you, even if we both get hurt. It means that criticism from your friend hurts them more than it hurts you.

As Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” And eleven verses later, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Here are three things to keep in mind when you hear the truth about yourself.

1) When you hear the truth about yourself, expect your brain to defend, rationalize, melt down, flip out, and push back. Be aware that your first response will often be the worst one, and work through it.

Because it hurts to hear the truth, our brains are automatically going to defend, even if those defenses are exactly what got us here. The second your friend tells you a hard thing, the limbic system (emotions and drives) perceives a threat and takes over and initiates a fight-or-flight response, while your frontal cortex (reason and judgment) literally shuts down.

It takes a huge self-awareness to understand the mental processes when we face criticism.

If you can actually push past your initial emotional responses, you can “reboot” and begin to hear the other person with a lot more comprehension. It even helps to say to them, “I really want to scream at you and run out of here, but I also want to hear you.” Of course, since we’re frail fragile humans, our first response is almost always going to be yelling or escape. That’s okay. With enough practice and awareness, we can take back control of our automatic responses and see our friend as a friend, and not a threat.

2) When you hear the truth about yourself, the person who tells you the truth isn’t perfect and probably won’t say it perfectly, but that’s no excuse not to consider their words.

The temptation when we hear criticism is to use the Mirror Defense, which is saying, “Well, what about you?

We want to discredit the source of the truth, so we drag up old history and the other person’s weaknesses for self-preservation. Or we say, “I don’t like your tone” and use their voice against them.

The problem is, two wrongs can never make a right. In other words, someone else’s bad thing doesn’t cancel my bad thing. Even if the other person is a hypocrite, it doesn’t magically erase my own hypocrisy. And no one in the history of accountability has ever used perfect intonation and the perfect wording to tell the hard truth. If you find yourself saying, “If only she had said it like this” or “If only he had not said this” — then chances are that you’re trying to wiggle your way out of truth by a technicality.

It takes a certain grace and patience to filter out your friend’s voice and methods and shortcomings. No one is ever going to get this truth-telling thing just right. No one has it locked down to a science. And while there are certainly people who have no say in our lives, there are plenty of people who want better for us, even as they wrestle their own demons. We can’t discount them on their own failings, because we’re in that same boat. Resist the urge to hold up a mirror at them, and instead hold it to yourself.

3) When you hear the truth about yourself, instead of fighting back or shutting down, ask specific questions about how to move forward.

No matter how well it goes when your friend tells the truth:

It’s going to be weird for a while. You might avoid each other for a week, whether out of embarrassment or resentment or both, and the friendship might hang precariously on a wire.

Settle back into your relationship by asking very specific questions. These are not questions to make the other person “the boss” or a “parole officer,” but so that you both find safety again:

 What are some things I can do differently now?

How should I approach you if I mess this up again?

Can you help me with this, even if I don’t do it perfectly?

Can we follow up on this after I’ve had time to reflect?

This is where truth and grace meet hand in hand, so that neither person is over the other, but that we travel on the rugged winding road towards greater joy. It’s carved out of compromise, authenticity, and the real willingness to see your friend thrive.

But we can get there by speaking up and seeking our best selves in one another.

If you need someone in your life that will tell you the truth and then be there to walk you through the process think about getting an X3coach. Our coaches will be there when you need them and tell you what you need to hear so you can find lasting freedom from porn addiction. If you would like to learn more about the X3coach Program and how it can change the game for you check out this video. Find out why coaching may in fact be the relational resource you need. Then learn how you can get a FREE coaching session by one of our pro’s.

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Are You At War With Your Sex Drive? (Part 2)


[Editor’s note: this post is adapted from the book Feels Like Redemption – The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing, created by Seth Taylor and David Taylor. You can read Part 1 here. Learn more at MyPilgrimage.com]

I’m a Christian, so much of my new journey toward freedom has been spent on a quest for a deeper understanding of Jesus.

This was one of my first realizations when I started this process: if I was going to follow the way of Jesus, then there had to be more depth to that experience than simply believing he was the son of God and trying harder and harder to do what he said.

According to the Gospels, a very large portion of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth was spent healing the broken—really healing them.

He didn’t lay hands on the sick and declare them “mostly free.” Jesus seemed to do the opposite of that—he would meet people where they were, at their point of pain, removing shame and seemingly throwing it to the wind, and then often saying this interesting phrase: “Your faith has healed you.”


Did Jesus heal me or did I heal myself? Our perspective on this question seems to be incredibly important to our understanding of who God is and what it is to be spiritual beings designed by a loving Creator. Think about it for a second. We all feel this question in the deepest parts of us: Is there any real power? And if there is, then why don’t we experience it more?

Why haven’t I experienced it more?

We seem to be afraid of wrestling with these really huge questions because if we do, our identities might be stripped away, along with all the things we keep under such tight control.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to fight a war anymore—I want to experience a peace that transcends understanding.

I believe this struggle in our sexuality is the opposite of a battle.

It is the sacred journey—the pilgrimage—to reconnect to the Spirit who gave birth to this Universe. And in that experience, I think we reconnect to ourselves. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is this mystery where all things are as they were designed to be. And he said this Kingdom is all around us all of the time, if only we have the eyes to see it. Jesus was showing us a way home, back to God…back to ourselves. And this journey courses through every vein and lives in every heartbeat. It’s something you can feel inside.

 It feels like redemption.

So this is where we begin—all we who seek to be saved from whatever is inside of us that would drive us to self-hate and alienation, idolatry and darkness, or just plain unhappiness. This book is about something new. You might have no point of reference for my story, and you might find that unsettling or disorienting. That’s okay, because that’s how pilgrimage begins. You have to leave—you have to move. So lay down your sword, take a deep breath, and start walking…

 Welcome to the pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage-logo-zoomTired of feeling like freedom from pornography or sex addiction is impossible? That it’s an endless “battle?” Check out MyPilgrimage.com and get 3 FREE videos that will help you see that freedom from addiction is possible and something you can really experience.

Get Your 3 FREE Videos

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Are You At War With Your Sex Drive? (Part 1)

war-sex-drive1[Editor’s note: this post is adapted from the book Feels Like Redemption – The Pilgrimage to Health and Healing, created by Seth Taylor and David Taylor. Learn more at MyPilgrimage.com]

The issue of porn addiction—both in and out of the Christian church—is a pressing one. The statistics on addiction are shocking, and spiritual leaders and pastors of either gender are in no way excluded from them. The presence of these addictions at the heart of our spiritual lives functions as a signal flare being sent out from the center of our religious systems, screaming out that there is something wrong with the way we understand our spirituality.

If belief in a God who loves and rescues and redeems hasn’t saved us from all our darkness, then what will?

In this book, we are pointing to a paradigm shift. This paradigm shift is meant not only for the way you understand sexuality, but for the way you do spirituality—your faith and understanding and experience of God. And this is for the believer and non-believer alike.

For far too long, we have been told that we are at war with the most sacred drives that exist inside of our bodies. 

Our minds have been held captive to control and belief while our spirits have been held underwater by some unseen force, powerless to do anything but push out one muffled scream after another in an attempt not to drown in a culture full of products, both religious and non-religious, that promise they will fill the hole in our core.

“One long muffled scream” is a great way to describe the state of my life after seven years of porn addiction and many more as a slave to depression and anxiety. When I had suffered enough and got tired of battling my sex drive, I laid down my sword, shed my armor, and began to seek another way—I call it “the third way.”

That “third way” has become for me a “pilgrimage”—a Sacred Journey. I rechristened my struggles with addiction as a grace-filled, holy quest. I stopped wasting my energies on feeling guilty and ashamed of myself and instead started asking, “Why do I feel so guilty and ashamed?

It turns out I needed this addiction to show me the door to freedom, not just from the addiction itself, but also from all the things that seemed set on keeping me from ever knowing true happiness.

The starting point was inside my body—deep within that horrible feeling of being frozen by fear, captive to worry and control; slave to my computer and the universe of medication that was available with the click of a button.

I felt it all in my body, so that seemed like a good place to begin—in my body. I was unable to move, desperately reaching up, hoping there was something real in the universe that could see my hand, grab it, and pull me out of the hole I had been living in.

This was where I was, so this was where I began my pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage-logo-zoomTired of feeling like freedom from pornography or sex addiction is impossible? That it’s an endless “battle?” Check out MyPilgrimage.com and get 3 FREE videos that will help you see that freedom from addiction is possible and something you can really experience.

Get Your 3 FREE Videos

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What Does Freedom Really Look Like?

Here at XXXchurch, we’ve always tried to be on the leading edge of what we talk about. But we also know that we aren’t the only ones trying to get people to freedom! And we’re excited about that.

We know we don’t have all the answers. So when I come across something exciting and helpful, I like to share it with people.

That’s what’s happening with My Pilgrimage. This is an incredible way of looking at addiction that is going to change so many people’s entire perspective on their own struggles.

In fact, I liked it so much that I made this short video talking about it. Check it out:

Learn More at MyPilgrimage.com

My Pilgrimage is going to blow up so many people’s notions of what freedom looks like. And it’s coming at the topic from so many angles that you can really grasp what they’re talking about.

It’s a book.
It’s a guidebook.
It’s a video series.

In fact, right now they’re offering three free videos that you can check out, just to see what it’s like.

XXXchurch 100% believes in these guys and what they’re all about, and we’re excited to hear all the stories of freedom that come from My Pilgrimage.

Go to MyPilgrimage.com now and get those three free videos today!

Visit MyPilgrimage.com

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