By my friend James Cordrey
yeah, the thing that’s hard to speak of,
the secret we all know,
this blister soul
~’Blister Soul,’ by Vigilantes of Love
My blister soul. Oh, my blister soul.
So many secrets, and no idea how or where to begin.
In 1995, when I was deep in my pornography addiction — and diving ever deeper — the Athens, Ga.-based band Vigilantes of Love released the album “Blister Soul,” with the lead track of the same name.
I sang the chorus to “Blister Soul” wholeheartedly, giving voice to the ache inside me. It felt like the only thing I could do in the face of a worsening habit.
There were precious few places where I could go then to deal with my secret; the thing that was hard to speak of; the thing “too painful to behold,” as the lyrics say elsewhere in that song.
Twenty years later, the need to speak about my secrets remains. Where does a man go to do that? And who are the other men with whom those secrets can be shared without those dark truths crushing all of us?
On the whole, men hide for fear of their blister soul being exposed. And yet, just as deep as the fear — or perhaps deeper — is a desire that competes with that fear: The desire to actually speak honestly about the secret we all know.
But of course, we long to do more than just speak; we desperately need to be set free from the capitivity of our secrets and the shame with which they saddle us.
It has been a long while since I last looked at pornography, but even as a staff member who fights for the hearts of other men, I too need a place where I can gather with a company of men who will press into the healing of my blister soul.
The Restoring Freedom Intensive is a place where it is safe to be real. In fact, that’s the game you have to bring: the real one. Posing and posturing have no place.
Deep down, at the level of their hearts and souls, men want this freedom. We crave the genuine article. It’s actually a relief to find a group of men who will say what’s really going on in their hearts and love and accept one another at the same time.
There are certain men who absolutely ought to attend the Restoring Freedom Intensive.
Men who are stuck in a pattern of compulsive sexual behavior.
Men who have made many attempts to change by reading books or redoubling their efforts.
Men who have settled for a life of sin management — or at least, who are attempting a life of sin management.
But more than that, there for 3 crucial reasons a man should attend the Restoring Freedom Intensive.
- Despite the willingness of some in the Christian community to finally start talking more openly about sexual compulsion issues, there are still very few places where you can spend time among men with whom it is safe to share the ugliness of your darkest self.
- Men caught in compulsive sexual behavior need the leadership of trained men who know how to get to the heart of the addictive issues in your life. The Restoring Freedom Intensive identifies and addresses what drives your compulsive behavior in the first place.
- You can’t sort of deal with compulsive sexual behavior, you must commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to achieve lasting freedom. The intensive is the right commitment to make.
The Restoring Freedom Intensive is not just another men’s retreat or event. Quite quite frankly, that’s the last thing we need. Rather, it’s a professionally led therapeutic weekend that will allow you to get your heart back from captivity.
The intensive is the place to speak honestly about the secret we all know, in order that we would experience true healing for our blister souls.
Question: What is keeping you from taking the Band-Aid off the blister of pornography? Who do you know who needs to attend the Restoring Freedom Intensive?
James Cordrey is the author of Intentional Warriors and fights for the hearts of men through theIntentional Warriors movement based in Philadelphia.