Let me preface by saying I was not raised a Catholic. But over the past few years, I’ve been interested in the religion and the messages that it has brought. I would be considered a non-practicing Buddhist, going to temples from time to time and I find the spirituality of Buddhism refreshing. The teachings of Catholicism however has been really inspiring and I’m on a journey to seek out more information about the faith and their practices, partaking in many of the things that Catholics do.
One of these things is Lent. I have never sacrificed anything for a long period of time before and I find it mesmerizing that so many people during this time period are willing to give up something in the name of religion. It’s truly remarkable that one’s faith can surpass one’s addiction, habits, and routine behaviors. That said, this year, I want to give up something as well and it’s a little bit embarrassing to admit what it is. In fact, I don’t even know if its professional to write and/or admit this. My interpretation of lent is that you are supposed to give up something that is really difficult for you give up and that it teaches you to control your urges, your desires, all in the name for what Jesus himself has sacrificed.
I’ll begin by saying that I believe in the notion that men and women has urges, desires, and they needs different ways to release those urges. What I’m giving up is something that stimulates my urges and desires and is a medium I use, let’s say, to assist me. I’m talking about pornography. There’s a lot of taboo that surrounds this visual art and it’s something a lot of people do not feel comfortable talking about. My personal take on it is, what you watch and do in your private household, should be yours and yours alone (granted that it is legal). I don’t think there is anything wrong with men or women watching pornography and using that as a way to enhance their sex life. To a degree, I find it quite informative in terms of building sexual knowledge and allowing for more fun in the bedroom. However the issue with pornography lies in the fact that so many people rely on it too heavily and this results in a lack of intimacy between partners or may even create sexual frustration in those who don’t have sex as often. In addition, pornography provides a false reality to its observers and in effect can create envy, jealousy, and even perhaps a sense of inadequacy.
I admit that from time to time I have experienced all of these emotions and fault pornography. But is it really pornography’s fault or is it because an individual’s self esteem isn’t strong enough? I think everyone should be confident and proud of who they are and happy about their life and everything will fall in place as a result. However, I think watching pornography consistently derails people’s ability to think in a positive manner and that is why, like everything else in life, be seen or taken in moderation. That said, I want to give up pornography during this period of Lent, not only to experience the personal sense of sacrifice I am making for a religion, but to also see the impact it could have on my self esteem, behavior, sexuality, and in general, life.