What started out as a cookie blog has become something quite different. I have gone from Sweetly Give to Inside to Empathy. Hi I’m Voni and I’m an addiction, codependency and empathy mentor. I’m a sexual trauma survivor.
There, it’s out in the open, no more hiding it, no more shame in my history, I’m owning my story. I’m grateful for a loving Savior who understands the pain I have carried, and so grateful for the relief, peace and joy I now enjoy and am beginning to enjoy.
I was introduced to the world of sexual type addictions at a very young age. My first encounter was 4 years old. I hadn’t even been taught about the dangers yet. In the past, I carried a lot of anger over this fact that my innocence was robbed so early on. When I was introduced to porn, I was immediately addicted. I’m certain the adversary laughed at my entanglement. I struggled with sexual addiction until I was 18 years old. It was by my faith, the blessing of my Bishop, parents who helped and most importantly because of the mercy of a loving Heavenly Father and through my Saviors atoning sacrifice that I was able to overcome my sexual addictions.
I’ve felt the pain, the injustice, seen the shame, the frustration of the growing pornography problem in the world today and you will no longer find me standing idly by doing nothing because I am going to fight this battle.
I will fight for the innocent young ones who haven’t been exposed yet, I will fight for those who are judged, labeled as less than because they are struggling, and I will fight for those who haven’t felt brave enough yet to come forth to admit they have a problem. I will fight in behalf of women who struggle. I will fight in behalf of those who lost the battle due to suicide and I will fight this battle in behalf of those who feel life is no longer worth living because they are struggling so much to overcome and fail over and over again.
The greatest gift you can give someone struggling with addiction is encouragement, an increase of love and praise for all the good things you see them doing. Remind them of who they are and how much they mean to you. Pray for them and learn how to be a support for recovery. This will foster an environment where the struggling individual will feel safe, confident that they can overcome and with the healing power of the Savior, realize all that is broken can be made whole.
The other part of my conversation, that I absolutely know to be true, is that if we harbor resentment, punish them, criticize them behind their backs or to their faces, get even, shame them, belittle them etc. the behavior will actually get worse as their self confidence plummets.
Which one will you feed?
If you or some one you know or love is struggling, remember this! We live in a day and age where we are plagued by some of the darkest temptations. We need to fight for the ones we love. We need to fight for ourselves and the fight begins with learning how to have empathy, remove unrighteous judgement and look to the master teacher Jesus Christ.
“Inside to Empathy” is an extended invitation inside my heart, an invitation to walk in the shoes of an addict and learn how to truly give and receive help.