How far do you take this radical acceptance of addictive behavior?
What I promote is harm reduction and following your needs day by day. If one feels their behavior is “getting out of control” and can use this mindset to enter a program and attain abstinence and gets feelings of peace, acceptance and self-love through this process of abstinence, then I advocate for that.
But if someone uses the mindset of “this is getting out of control” or “I’ve got to stop because I’m a terrible person” and this mindset does not lead them to a program of abstinence or even harm reduction, then I advocate for changing the mindset from one based on fear, shame, wrongness and self-loathing to one of radical acceptance and unconditional love no matter what they are doing at the present moment. For it is their thoughts and feelings about themselves that will ultimately determine their happiness. I never tell anyone: “If you refuse to work towards abstinence, then you are not ready and do not want to be clean.” This leads a person to feeling more hopelessness and depression.
What are your boundaries when it comes to safety and physical harm?
When it comes to physical threat to self or others, understand that I am a mandated reporter and I will contact the proper authorities. But I’ve worked with a co-dependent woman who stayed with her alcoholic partner and never left. I’ve also worked with a battered woman who needed facial reconstructive surgery. I never gave up on them, and changed my tact when they would not change their living situation. I worked on safety measures and harm reduction, but always through acceptance and love.
Do you advocate for the use of pornography and prostitution?
If a person is able to say to themselves, “I cannot keep using pornography or prostitution. This is terrible. I have to stop doing this. I’m going to get into trouble.” And they are able to use that mindset to enter into a program of harm reduction or abstinence that is sustainable, and in the end they are able to feel deep inner-happiness, peace of mind and unconditional love, then I advocate for that and will help that person to develop that program for themselves, whether it is through 12 step programs, faith-based programs, or reading books, etc.
But many times sex addicts say to themselves, “I cannot keep using pornography or prostitution. This is terrible. I have to stop doing this. I’m going to get into trouble.” And they are not able to sustain a program of harm reduction or abstinence and do not feel eel deep inner-happiness, peace of mind and unconditional love, even after going to 12 step programs, or traditional treatment. They then feel more hopeless and self-loathing and despondent. And traditional addictions treatment/counseling/programs/12 step groups would just continue to tell them the same thing: go to meetings, work the steps, keep at it. Or they might even hear: you’re just not ready, abstinence is the only way. Many addictions professionals or programs would then tell these people that they are not willing to work with them and just continue to say the same thing which I believe damages the therapeutic alliance.
But I will take that different, more direct route to healing and let them know that they are worthy of Unconditional Love no matter what they are doing and have them experience that love for themselves. And for a person in that condition, I would never let them feel that the only way to feel that Unconditional Love is through abstinence or harm reduction. Because in my program, in the end, successful recovery is experiencing deep inner happiness, peace of mind, and unconditional love no matter what one is doing or has done, and these are not dependent on following a system of abstinence or harm reduction. For in the end, those kinds of addiction recovery systems are not Unconditional Love, they are conditional.
Sex is Sacred to me, how do you feel about it?
Yes. Sex is Sacred to me. And You Are Sacred as well. But many times people will use the term “Sacred” and place all sorts of systems of judgement and rules around it. So they will say Sex is Sacred, so it should only be between the opposite sex, or it should only be done in this way, with no fetishes or personal preferences involved.The word “Sacred” then becomes a means of control. The term Sacred by definition means dedicated to God or used for some religious purpose. And in the Brave Love program we promote a God of One’s Personal Understanding.
Therefore when a person imposes rules and systems of judgement around sex, then uses the term Sacred as a means of controlling oneself, and then feels shame, deep self-loathing, and depression because they are not following this definition of Sacred Sex, we believe this definition is not serving you. Reframe your definition.
Understand that You Are Sacred. And you are worthy of Uncondtional Love no matter what you do. You will see this last sentence all throughout my website and program materials. I cannot state this enough. We are asking that you reframe/or change the reason why you should feel good about yourself, reframe why you should feel worthy. Because as long as you place your own sense of unconditional love a system of approval that someone else gave you then used the terms Sacred, God’s Will, Right, Moral, as a way to control you, and then you feel deep self-loathing, self-hatred anxiety and depression because you are unable to follow this system, then you are not experieincing your own Sacredness.
You know you are feeling Unconitional Love, approval, and self-worth when you FEEL it, not when you are desperately trying to follow systems of judgement that are labeled “Sacred.”
But where do you draw the line? Are you saying that everything is okay?
The fundamental difference between our program and other programs is that we follow the belief that human beings at their core are good. Our true nature is that we are good, we are unconditional love. When you really look at the essence of other programs, their belief is that human beings at their core cannot be trusted: they are bad, they are addicts, they only go for base pleasure. And when you use a belief like that, the natural conclusion is that human beings must be therefore controlled. And these systems then control others by having them internalize definitions of Sacred, God, Morally Right, and Proper.
We believe that when human beings experience their inner-worthiness, their nature, then naturally behaviors that cause harm to others cease to exist. Why? Because they then inherently know that we are all connected and everything and everyone is Sacred.
I believe in God, but I don’t believe He approves of what I’m doing and wants me to end this harm I am doing to myself and others. What do you believe?
Understand this now. God created everything perfect and complete the way it is. If it wasn’t meant to be in God’s eyes, it would not exist. God is Unconditional Love. So everything that humans judge as bad: from petty gossip to murder, to nuclear waste to the holocaust is not judged by God. It’s existence is proof of that. Many of us cannot or refuse to accept this truth, and thus they come up with systems of judgement that only further human suffering in the world.
Do you honestly believe that God is not greater than the judgement systems of humans? That true Unconditional Love is conditional?
You speak of God/Source/The Universe, etc. Is this a religious program? Do I have to believe in God/a Higher Power etc. when I take part in your program?
No. This is an Unconditional Love program. One that is strongly based in getting in touch with the energy of emotions and experiencing them fully. For many, they have never experienced true unconditional love and the ability to bring it up for themselves is quite low. Therefore I will use whatever language or vernacular necessary for a person to experience unconditional love. If they don’t feel they have that capacity within themselves but they believe in a God/Source/Higher Power/A Force/The Universe, and they believe that this Power can give it to them, then that is the language I will use when I work with them. But it is not necessary to ever know or believe in a concept of God to feel Unconditional Love and healing in one’s life. So if you do not, that’ fine. But being able to bring up Unconditional Love for yourself (however you do that) is the key.