Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TUES TIP: GAINING CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS TO STOP GAY URGES FROM INTERFERING WITH YOUR JOURNEY

[MAKE SURE TO READ THIS LINK FIRST IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME VISITING ENGLISH MANIF.]

Women are politely asked not to read this post. 

One of the main reasons that so many men claim they cannot go from gay to straight has to do with non-physical issues: thoughts, urges, attractions, inclinations, etc.

While many men who want to make this change do not find physical behaviors difficult to change, they find it is much harder to change their thoughts and emotions in order to get away from their old gay identities. They still feel gay because no matter what they do, they still feel attractions to other men and sense homosexual impulses.

I am devoting this post to ten basic methods of getting rid of your gay interior life--thoughts, impulses, attractions. It is hard to gain discipline over this part of yourself, but you can gain some mastery over your interior life. Much of the ten tips below consist of staying busy, occupying your time, and fulfilling basic urges that you once fulfilled homosexually through other means. Let me go over ten ways to go straight in your mind, soul, and heart.


1. Exercise

Intense, regular exercise will release exciting sensations throughout your body. It tires you out in a good way, leaving you without the nervous energy that sometimes turns into uncontrollable gay thoughts. It fulfills an underlying need for elevated, intense experience as you sweat and feel your heart rate increase. Also, exercise helps with number 2, your sleep. If you are very out of shape at the beginning of your journey, give yourself time to feel the positive effects of exercise. You may not see a reduction in your homosexuality for a while because your body first has to become accustomed to the physical strain before you can reach the intensity levels that result in significant internal change.

2. Make sure you are getting good sleep.

Insomnia, shallow sleep, or constant waking up during the night are all bad. While everyone else is in bed, you lie with hours of unoccupied time, feeling totally at the mercy of your gay demons. If your sleep is shallow, you may have a lot of memorable dreams and they may involve homosexuality. Your urge to masturbate will increase with the twin problems of boredom and restlessness (see #3). You want to avoid such dangerous scenarios by making sure your sleep is regular. Part of this is a list of don'ts--cut down coffee to the absolute minimum, don't drink, don't smoke, don't do drugs. Part of this is a list of do's -- exercise, learn to relax or do relaxing things before you go to sleep, and make sure your bedding and sleeping arrangements are peaceful. If you start the journey as an obese person, just as with #1, you have to give yourself time to improve your sleeping pattern. As you exercise, diet, and lose weight, your sleep should improve. Don't feel discouraged if you find yourself dwelling on a lot of homosexual thoughts and feelings at night as your sleep pattern gets stuck in a negative streak. Give it time.

3. Force yourself not to masturbate.

English Manif has featured many posts about the problems of masturbation. I would love to advise you to eliminate masturbation altogether but I do not want to lose you by setting a bar that high. We have settled on a baseline of 90 days before masturbating incidents, unless you are in Phase 5 in which case you will never masturbate but rather always find pleasure in an act with your wife. Every time you masturbate, you leave yourself open to a flood of thoughts that you can't control in the heat of self-pleasure, and you will inevitably reinforce your gay thought patterns even if you try your hardest not to. As English Manif has already noted in past posts, gay sex is also masturbatory in nature so masturbating always strengthens your gay thought and feeling patterns.

4. Reduce how much visual imagery you watch, and choose wholesome imagery.

As a male you respond especially to visual cues. We live in a world overflowing with visual stimuli, but do what you can in your own way to take control of imagery that affects you. Try to replace watching movies, TV, or YouTube with more and more books, journals, and newspapers. Get a library card and start checking out books and reading the physical books in your hand. It is a great way to reprogram your brain so it is not addicted to visual stimuli. Don't feel guilty if you don't finish all the books you check out. Let yourself be a bit of a dilettante and read things here and there that interest you, as you feel moved. But you want to start getting mental stimulation and interest without visual cues constantly driving your emotional reaction. Of course eliminate pornography entirely. But also avoid watching images that involve a lot of snark, sarcasm, violence, or lasciviousness. 

5. Pray more.

Pray on your knees in a position of submission before Jesus Christ. Talk to Jesus directly and personally, with honesty leading you. Ask Him to intervene and give you the strength not to fall back into homosexuality. Do this more and more often throughout the day. It will keep your hours more occupied and will keep you in closer contact with God. Remember you are on this journey for Him anyway.

6. Do your Bible readings each day. 

English Manif has posted past entries about daily Bible readings. This will help you get out of homosexual thoughts because you will ritualize daily immersion in God's word. Not only will this occupy your free time so you do not have loose moments to wander into gay thoughts. It will also help you piece together God's design for you and constantly reinforce your understanding of why you need to go straight and get away from your old gay self.

7. Talk to uplifting people and fill up your social calendar.

If you are not alone all the time, the company will keep you busy and away from gay thoughts, as long as you choose your company well. This is explained more thoroughly in the video below.

8. Avoid idleness.

Item #8 forms part of all the tips on this list. The main thing to remember is that when you are idle, you get bored and restless. In such moments your thoughts tend to fill in the gap inside your mind and it is easy to lose control of your thoughts. Stay busy as much as possible. Pick up hobbies and do volunteering if you find many hours idle during the day.

9. Join a church and get active as much as possible.

As I explain in the video below, churches have constant need of volunteers and they are positive environments for someone like you who needs to be around hopeful, godly people. 

10. When you feel turned on by a guy, practice channeling your thoughts so you look rationally at what about him you admire and want to learn from.

It is not always true, but usually it is the case that you are attracted to men who have something that you can learn from, since you too are a man. The top possibility is that you admire his physique because he is muscular, lean, or athletic. If you feel yourself getting turned on by a guy, stop and organize your thoughts. Form a mental list of things about this guy's physique that you admire and would like to learn from. Form questions for yourself--how can I get biceps like that? How can I get legs as strong as his? How can I develop a powerful chest like his? Do the same type of thing if you find his face handsome, or even if you are turned on by the fact that he is young and spry. Ask yourself, how can I get my beard to look as trimmed and neat as his? How can I wash my face so my acne clears up and I look as tanned as he does? How can I regain my youthful vigor and trusting faith in the world, which he seems to have. It can feel very difficult to overcome attraction to men, especially if you find yourself constantly excited by a man whom you have to see all the time (a co-worker, fellow in your church, brother-in-law, etc.). You do not want to confide in him that you are struggling with attraction to him, because that will make him uncomfortable for no good reason. But if you learn to redirect your thoughts to questions to demystify the attraction you feel and turn it into a discipleship -- a learning of how to gain the part of the man who attracts you, which you admire -- you can eventually train yourself to feel admiration without homosexuality.