Buffering? Or Get to Know Yourself?

One of the reasons that we regularly look at pornography is to avoid the negative emotions of our life. We use an external thing to try to change the way we feel emotionally. This is called buffering.

One thing a lot of people don’t realize is that buffering buffers out just as much positive emotion as negative emotion from your life. While avoiding negative emotions you simultaneously remove the opportunity for more positive emotions. Buffering has many forms.

When we buffer, we:

  • Don’t fully experience life
  • Hide from reality
  • Procrastinate
  • Don’t show up to face life
  • We lose sight of our authentic self

It seems logical then that if you remove a buffer you can:

  • More fully experience life
  • Create a reality that you want
  • Show up
  • Get it done
  • Become your most authentic self

While this can be true, it does not happen right away. Getting there is a process.

Does part of you think that once you remove porn from your life it will all be kicks and giggles?

This happened with me.

I finally told Lindsay and was taking a more serious step to remove porn from my life then ever before. I talked to my bishop. I started therapy. I was ready to do anything.

I thought I would feel so much better doing this. But the reality was a slap in the face. Why did I feel worse from repenting? I was supposed to feel so much better about myself, life, things in general. I felt terrible. My anxiety and depression got worse. What the h-e-double hockey sticks!

I was so disappointed. I resisted this. Somewhere along the way in church I picked up this idea that things would go right for me if I repent. So why did it seem like things were worse? I wanted things to go right for me right away!

When you start removing your buffer, you better be ready to get to know yourself. That part of yourself that you have been hiding from comes bubbling to the surface. This can feel terrible at first but it does not have to be a bad thing.

Here’s the beauty of this. Once I stopped resisting all the crap that came up from removing porn as a buffer, I was able to start understanding it. I learned mind management tools to help me sift through the crap.

I can teach you these tools. And you can actually process what is there and move intentionally to new thoughts and feelings that serve you better.

One of these tools is the 50/50 concept. Do we really believe that there is “opposition in all things?” Even with our emotions? Start planning to feel negative emotion 50% of the time and positive emotion the other 50%. You do not need to buffer if you do not resist feeling the negative emotion. What if feeling negative emotions half the time is a good thing? Have we assumed that it’s a bad thing?

You can create a life that isn’t so crappy to you that you need to hide from it with porn and other buffers. I’m not saying your life is crappy. But if you are looking at porn regularly you may want to ask yourself if you are hiding from something crappy?

Stephen Cope is an author, therapist, and yogi who wrote these 3 gems of wisdom that I love. (I also LOVE yoga!).

  1. “You love what you know deeply. Get to know yourself deeply.”

Loving yourself is one of the most powerful things you can do. Loving yourself feels good. When you love yourself you are actually better able to love those around you.

2. “You cannot be anyone you want to be. You can only find out who you are.”

Do you want to spend time wishing you were someone else? Or do you want to find out who you are?

3. “The effort to bring forth what is within you is what saves you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.”

How can you bring forth what is within you if you are hiding from it buffering with porn?

Removing porn as a buffer from your life gets harder before it gets easier. But the process is so worth it!


To understand some of the other reasons we look at porn check out my free guide “How to Stop Looking at Porn.”

If you want to stop looking at porn and need help learning how, check out my 12 week How to Stop Looking at Porn Program by scheduling a free mini-session with me. Click here.

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