By Eddie Capparucci, Ph.D., LPC, C-CSAS
Those who struggle with addictive behaviors most likely have a laundry list of terms to describe themselves — and as you would imagine, none of them are complementary. There is an intense shame that comes with addiction, especially for those who struggle with porn. I believe shame is the strongest barrier to recovery. The constant battle to “get it right” and failing time and time again leads those addicted feeling defeated and hopeless.
Many of the negative labels we wear are nothing more than lies we have come to believe woven into our identity. Lies such as “I’m not smart,” “I don’t measure up, “I am unlovable,” “I am worthless,” “I’m weak,” and “I am a mistake.”
We tell ourselves numerous mistruths, and we carry them around like ID cards. These are identities filled with hurt, pain, and shame. Songwriter and performer Matthew West wrote a song entitled My Name Is, in which he captured the essence of these destructive lies we believe about ourselves.
“Hello, my name is defeat. I know you recognize me. Just when you think you can win, I’ll drag you right back down again until you’ve lost all belief.”
It is not uncommon for people — especially those wrapped in addiction — to build an identity rooted in lies, which they mistakenly believe are based on truth. With this poor sense of self, people experience self-hate and feelings of worthlessness. This, in turn, leads to more destructive behaviors and unhealthy relationships. It is all part of Satan’s game plan to crush our spirits and take our focus off of the abundant life that God promises for us.
But we don’t have to play into Satan’s hands. We can correct our erroneous beliefs and develop an accurate and genuine assessment of our true selves. And we begin by understanding God’s assessment of our worth.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1–3
As children of God, we have been forgiven, redeemed, accepted, loved, called, given hope, and made pure again. You see, the undeniable truth is we are all children of a King. That is the foundation of our true identity. Take time to do some self-reflection by examining the current source of your identity and work to make the adjustments needed to align it with the one true King.
Hello, my name is Child of the one true King I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free, “Amazing Grace” is the song I sing, Hello my name is child of the one true King.
Dr. Eddie Capparucci is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in the treatment of problematic sexual behaviors. He is the creator of the Inner Child Model for the treatment of sex/porn addiction. He is the author of Going Deeper: How the Inner Child Impacts Your Sexual Addiction and Why Men Struggle to Love: Overcoming Relational Blind Spots. Find out more at www.strugglingmen.org.