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Dear Dr Matt,
My name is Lukas. I live in northern California. I am 25 years old and single.
I am seeing a woman I like very much. And feel like she's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, but I have a problem preventing this. I am currently dealing with homosexual fantasies and feelings and its been going on for about 2 years now.
I thought it would sort its self out as time went by, but I'm fighting urges and same-sex attractions each day. I want to find a way out. I do not want to be a homosexual and it is getting worse as time goes by. What should I do to have the heterosexual life I am hoping for?
I have had a hard time finding someone to help me. I really need your advise.
I can assist you in eliminating the tendencies that you don't want to have; your homosexual inclinations will NOT "prevent" you from a having a healthy and happy relationship with this woman. This is because your inclinations DO NOT drive you; instead, you are the one ultimately driving your inclinations. You are the final author of your feelings and attractions, but especially your actions — regardless of whether you feel like you have not chosen to have same-sex attractions in the first place.
You're at the wheel, Lukas. You are steering the course of you life! Your destiny and direction is IN your hands. Life's Destiny is IN your hands, in terms of "choice of direction" but not in terms of "power to ultimately actuate a change from your core." You see, your eventual destiny will NOT be determined by shear Will Power. If you try the "positive mental will power" method, you will eventually fail.
Truth is, this subject requires much more explanation that I can offer in a couple of emails--but I can give you a glimpse of the possibilities and you've got to start somewhere. The key for you, will be to begin the journey, and stay in the process long enough to avail yourself of the Power that will ultimately Change You.
My book is entitled "Changing Your Stripes." I KNOW how the "change" process works. Commit yourself to embarking upon the path that leads to Power, and you will eventually realize what you hope for. This isn't theory—this is reality! As you do what I direct you to do, the desired change will occur.
What I will share with you, requires a paradigm shift from the typical way of thinking about homosexuality. To give you a taste of this paradigm shift, here a letter that I wrote to another person who has struggled with same-sex attraction:
Successfully dealing with homosexual attraction is really no different, in terms of the intensity of overcoming a personal challenge, compared to the struggle non-gays have with their heterosexuality attraction. How so?
First, given Judeo-Christian philosophy, sexuality outside of marriage go against the Creator's command. PERIOD. So, be ye straight or gay, . . . you get to refrain from any form of pre-marital sexuality, anyway! And that refraining extends to the very thoughts of desiring sexual contact within one's heart (Matt. 5: 28).
And when a person eventually makes vows of "holy matrimony," those vows are dishonored as a married person is sexual with anyone other than his/her spouse. And here's the kicker: It doesn't matter if the object of infidelity is a man or a woman or child, or a Martian—it just doesn't matter!
The truth is that the challenge of overcoming homosexual attraction not-so-different from the challenge that the many heterosexuals ALSO have of pushing aside the allure to do that which they ought not (according to Judeo-Christian philosophy) with the opposite sex, outside of marriage.
I realize that there is a compounding factor of social disapproval and pressure that comes with actually doing homosexual lifestyle. It's true that the heterosexual does not bear this same kind of disapproval. This is one difference that makes the "out-of-the-closet-gay" lifestyle more challenging—but each gay person does not have to come out of the closet.
A person with "gay-urges" decides to stay in the closet about his/her challenge, then the battle of overcoming these urges and attractions is essentially the same compared to the person with inappropriate "opposite-sex-urges." In both cases, it simply a personal matter to deal with—and the process of "change" is exactly the same.
Why do some come out of the closet? It is mostly grounded in each person's basis beliefs about Life's Origins and Life's Purpose. For those who assume Big Bang Beginnings, the assumption logically follows that the Homosexual attraction and tendencies are biologically in-born: "I was born that way." Why so?
Because from Big Bang Beginnings, all human beings are locked into a Cause & Effect World. Life began as Cause & Effect, and Life continues within a Causes & Effect course, with free will being illusory. This is the fundamental premises of Hard Determinism in Philosophy and Behaviorism in Psychology. You see, it's impossible to choose between "good and evil" in a world devoid of "good and evil." In the world of Big Bang, people simply socially negotiate their norms and mores, and live according to them.
But here's the problem: Regardless of what one personally "thinks" is preferable and desirable in life—the consequences of each chosen thought and act will reveal whether that lifestyle "works"—it's the Pragmatic Test of Truth.
In contrast, when one believes, or knows, that he/she is a "child of God" (Romans 8: 16-17), then regardless of inclinations, attractions, and tendencies, each individual gets to meet Life's Test—a Test designed by God—by pushing aside all inclinations, attractions, and tendencies that do not honor the words of the Creator.
And here's the good news: God will faithfully help each person meet his/her individual challenge (1 Cor. 10: 13), and offers a miracle of "change" for all who will believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5: 17).
Lukas, every tendency that you act upon is "done" by you--it is chosen by you. You are NOT driven by any thought or inclination—you possess the veto vote for your ultimate actions. This is how God designed Life to be, that you might be accountable for all your choices.
Now, let me explain about the formation of a habit:
At first, acting upon what seems like a "natural inclination" of same-sex attraction is like adding a small strand to what I will call "the cord of habit." With just a few strands in place, the cord is easily broken by simply choosing otherwise. Yet most people don't choose otherwise, unless they have some motivation to choose one way, or the other.
As a person continues choosing to act upon certain thoughts, and reinforce these thoughts by action, the "cord of habit" becomes thicker and thicker, until it can seem impossible to break. Such an entrenched condition can be called addiction.
The paradigm of traditional psychology (which is mostly Big Bang Oriented) will teach people with certain entreched tendencies that it's Not Your Fault—Biology is to Blame! You may be familiar with the common explanations:
"I am an alcoholic, I was born that way"
In this popular and pervasive paradigm, it is theorized that people have certain genes, DNA, or brain chemistry that CAUSES them to act in a certain way. For example, the alcoholic has an "alcoholic gene" that MAKES that person, FORCES that person, to walk into a liquor store, buy booze, and then drink it!
But this is NOT the way the world works; human beings were NOT created to be victims of their biology. There is NO gene, or DNA, or brain chemistry, that forces anyone to do, or NOT do something--on the other hand, there is constraint (influence). But you possess the final veto vote in every case.
God created human beings to be response-able. He created humanity with the ability to choose the direction they will go.
If a person has an inclination or attraction towards others of the same sex—and it seems to be an attraction that was there from the beginning—then this is merely the tendency they BEGAN with. It is a tendency that can be "continued in" and "reinforced" OR it can be chosen "out of" and "away from." In other words, no human being is hopelessly STUCK with any behavioral tendencies.
Again, when an entrenched way of behavior is reinforced over and over, the "cord of habit" can become so thick that a person will reach a point of ADDICTION.
Yet, if we go to the very beginning of the development of all addictions, at first the "cords of habit" were few, and thin, and breakable. At first, there was a clear choice to choose otherwise. But as decisions were made to "reinforce" and "continue in," the "cord of habit" became thick and strong and virtually unbreakable.
Even if addicted, there is a way out. As you know, many people have found their way out every form of biological dependency and behavioral addiction—it IS possible to break any habitual pattern to binds you down, and live life in a new direction.
The good news is this: You desire to develop a relationship with a woman. This is good, this is how it ought to be according to Judeo-Christian Philosophy. You were created to have meaningful and intimate relationships with the opposite sex.
Now, as I stated in the previous email, you can choose the "direction" but you don't possess the "power" to change, and consistently stay on a new course. This Power must come from outside source.
Here is what Sir Isaac Newton said of inertia—the tendency for an object to stay in motion:
An object that is set in motion, will remain in motion,
Along with inertia within the physical world, there is also behavioral inertia. Behavioral momentum and movement can ONLY change as an outside source impacts your course. This is especially true of the core of your character--you cannot evoke a change of heart by yourself.
In contrast, you CAN evoke superficial changes in outward choreographies by the force of your own will power: You can improve your golf swing, you can raise your bowling score, you can become more dazzling dancer—but you, and you alone, cannot change the core of your character.
It must be changed by an outside source.
Matt Moody, Ph.D.
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