Overwhelmed or Overjoyed: My Choice

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It’s the day after Spring Break and I am already feeling overwhelmed. I am feeling the pressure of too many piled up commitments. I have found that in situations like this the most loving thing I can do for myself is take full responsibility for the state I am in (no, I don’t mean California). The most helpful thing I can tell myself right now is “I am choosing to feel overwhelmed”…because until I do this, I will remain helpless and hopeless. This small mindset shift is where freedom begins.

Once I realize I am choosing this, I have the power to either keep choosing it or to choose something different. Like the video above reminds me, I can change my mind and my whole experience will change with it. It will likely require some new action – making a gratitude list, calling my wife, a walk in the sun, playing some uplifting music, prayer, tackling a looming task, or something else – but at least I will regain my awareness of my power of choice.

Today, I choose a responsible mindset. From there, I can choose to be overwhelmed or I can choose to be overjoyed.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK (which will emphasize this topic)!

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We Won’t Numb to Pain


We Won’t Numb the Pain – Tenth Avenue North

“We’re taking paths of least resistance
And never feel our soul’s persistence
Turn on the radio
We don’t wanna know
Keep on running in cruise control

We were never meant to live like this
So much has happened and too easy to miss, yeah
Cheap thrills, social media pills, use sex like a drug and we can’t keep still

Distracted, distracted
Keep ourselves so distracted
We want more

We won’t numb the pain
Hands reaching to the sky
Hearts ready for the fire
Eyes open till we die

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

I talk influence and being strategic
But all I’m feeling is narcissistic
Use recognition for the adrenaline
Don’t stop long enough to hear the disconnection

We were never meant to move like this
Stand up for anything and be dismissed
We don’t want it real, we keep it trivial
Objectified sex keeps us playing the field

We won’t numb the pain
Hands reaching to the sky
Hearts ready for the fire
Eyes open till we die

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

We want the cure, not a medication
We’re gonna deal with it now
We want the cure, not a medication
We’re gonna deal with it now

We won’t numb the pain
Slow down inside your life
Stand still against the tide
Keep fighting for the silence
We won’t numb the pain

Gonna feel my,
Gonna feel my,
Gonna feel my heart now

Let me get a taste of your sweetness
Give me one glimpse of your lovely light
Lord, be my joy, treasure
My delight

Let me have a sense of your presence
May I trust your mercy all my life
I just wanna be a fire burning in the night

Fire, fire, fire, fire
Fire in my heart, fire in my soul
May the fire of your love burn away control
Satisfy my heart, cause I don’t wanna steal
Or give in to my lust just to feel”

Amen!

Why “Good Friday” is Not about Religion

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Did you know that Good Friday is not about religion?

I invite you to consider this poetic possibility….(see video below)

“This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.

Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,

Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.

Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face

He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.

While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,

Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you

He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,

Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room

So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,

Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.” – Jeff Bethke (see full video below)

Isn’t this why we call this forsaken Friday good? May we all remember Jesus and His efforts to reach us. May we focus on relationship over rules, accepting His love that transforms us and eradicates our deepest fears. Wishing you all a connected and joyful Easter season.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!

The God Who Holds Our Hearts

“So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go”

-Casting Crowns

“Is anyone crying for help?

God is listening, ready to rescue you.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;

if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath”

-Psalm 34:17-18, The Message

-Compiled by Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!

XXXChurch Publishes My Article on the Necessity of Groups

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Today my article entitled “The Paradox of Pornography Addiction: What You Fear Most Will Heal You” was published on the XXXChurch blog. XXXChurch is one of the major players in helping people find healing from pornography addiction and it is an honor to write for them. In the article, I shared from my professional and personal experience why groups are essential for the healing process. I encourage you to read and SHARE this important piece.

*For those in need of help, we at LifeSTAR provide a life-changing healing experience in a group setting. Please contact your nearest LifeSTAR to join one of these powerful groups.

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!

12 Porn Free Years: The Secrets of My Success

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Today is a momentous day for me. Today marks 12 years free from pornography use. This is especially significant because it mirrors the 12 previous years I was enslaved to pornography. I look back on these years with gratitude. They were difficult but I’ve grown and learned so much. For the sake of personal reflection and to give back to those who are struggling, I have compiled the top 12 lessons and the top 12 key recovery skills I’ve learned from these 12 years of transformation (in no particular order). Here they are:

Lessons –

  1. Connection is the opposite of addiction
  2. Without going back, I cannot go forward
  3. Successful recovery requires 100% Me and 100% God
  4. Education is empowering
  5. Daily self-care habits are the foundation of recovery
  6. Discomfort and pain are part of the process
  7. Recovery is worth the “sacrifices” of convenience and temporary pleasure
  8. Nobody recovers alone
  9. Love satisfies what lust never will
  10. My recovery is not progressing if I learn to be sober yet self-neglectful
  11. Recovery means learning to trust 
  12. Out of my healing comes my purpose

Essential Skills –

  1. Learning to reach out to others in moments of temptation and emotional turmoil
  2. Learning to connect deeply with God
  3. Learning to connect deeply with others (accountability, romantic partner, friends)
  4. Learning to connect in a group
  5. Learning self-connection
  6. Practicing self-compassion
  7. Habitual self-care
  8. Getting professional help when needed
  9. Practicing play, laughter, fun, and relaxation
  10. Managing shame
  11. Taking full responsibility for my choices
  12. Finding daily inspiration

May those who continue to struggle find direction and hope here. Freedom from sexual addiction is possible.

PLEASE SHARE

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!

 

 

You Will Revive Me

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It’s the day after daylight savings and I feel drained. As much as I’d like to blame my circumstances for my energy deficiency, my tiredness is my responsibility; the result of my choices. Regardless of the roots, I am in need of revival.

In the Psalms, I am struck by the author’s plea for God’s reviving response “according to His lovingkindness” (119:88, 119:149, 119:159). There is also a repeated request for God’s revival according to His “word” (119:25, 119:50, 119:107, 119:154) and “ordinances” (119:149, 119:156). It seems the author expects God’s revival of both his heart and his mind.

This morning, I will rest in my responsive Abba’s arms and I will dwell on my Daddy’s written words of reassurance. Many have pursued this path of internal revival, as these passages remind us:

“You who seek God, let your heart revive.” Psalm 69:32b

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.” Psalm 138:7

“You who have shown me many troubles and distresses
Will revive me again,
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
May You increase my greatness
And turn to comfort me.Psalm 71:20-21

May all those thirsty for renewal find their souls revived and satisfied and they turn to God’s quenching presence (John 4:14) and meditate on Christ’s words of courage and comfort.

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog for future posts and announcements about my upcoming book!