cloak of lust

The Cloak of Lust

Sexual lust is just one face of the multi-dimensional cube of lust. The word “lust” cannot be confined to a sexual aspect only, as lust is merely a strong urge that governs attitudes. I cannot deny that the concept of lust itself is complex, confusing, and perplexing. How can a limited human encompass what is considered larger and broader? Humans are three-dimensional beings living in a four-dimensional world, while lust is simply a “multi-dimensional” entity.

Lust takes on various colors and forms based on my experience in daily life, manifesting in many forms like food, fame, money, control, intimacy, or attention. The list is endless. The problem lies in my response to it. As soon as it is indulged, it triggers a comprehensive upheaval, seizing control over my life, and I cannot escape its overwhelming jaws tearing apart anything in its path.

To provide a practical example, here is a personal experience with my lust for attention and intimacy. An example that illustrates how lust almost truly killed me, as it begins by devouring the soul, and when the soul is drained, lust starts consuming the body, leading it toward demise.

I suffered from dependency on romantic relationships. Acquiring intimacy and attention became crucial to me! I couldn’t feel comfortable without obtaining a “regular connection” with someone I was in a relationship with, leading to intense hunger for that person’s attention to the point of self-degradation in exchange for it. However, such relationships were quickly depleted by my demands, and the more I obtained, the more there was to acquire, in a ravenous cycle that killed my soul repeatedly, until I finally tasted the experience of being attached to a specific person, which marked the end.

When my relationship with this person broke, my heart shattered, accompanied by a feeling of tightness in my chest and breathlessness. I remember rushing to my home, trying to stifle tears and hide them from anyone who might see, feeling like the world was spinning as if I witnessed an earthquake. I recall ascending the stairs to my apartment, exhausted and in pain. Then, entering my place, shutting the door, and collapsing onto the floor, crying in a whirlwind of shivers and intense cold, despite it being summer with stifling air.

Lust had broken me. It shattered my heart along with it, leaving me in a state of emotional paralysis and fear of forming any real connection with another human being. The feelings of rejection that almost killed me once could succeed in their endeavor and send me to the grave on a one-way journey.

Lust for relationships, for attention, and for false intimacy almost truly killed me, I cannot emphasize this enough, and I can’t find a better phrase than: lust kills.

Wearing the “Cloak of Lust” is, in fact, putting on the executioner’s robe. Entering a relationship with active lust is unknowingly ingesting poison. Life in this manner is a countdown to the explosion of the death bomb, claiming the soul first and the body later. I am not exaggerating if I say that breaking free from lust for relationships is extremely challenging. I am a social being by nature, desiring people around me, and fearing death alone. I sometimes wake up at night, afraid and envisioning my own death or the death of those around me. I fear solitude, and lust thrives in this space in particular.

The cost of wearing the Cloak of Lust for many years has been the loss of serenity. I cannot be completely comfortable alone. I still need genuine connections with others. Perhaps Sexaholics Anonymous was my refuge, a place where I met wandering souls that were suffering like me. I entered this program to escape the Cloak of Lust, which, if it returns, will kill me. I am also fleeing the monster of solitude that has taken over my soul. I don’t claim 100% success, but for the first time, I can be alone for some time, I can surrender fear, and I can live for one day at a time and one day only. I joined the program full of confusion, yet I was certain that I am a lustaholic, and I still qualify as one.

The program has given me an option; for the first time in my life, I am free from the power that lust had on me. I have the power of choice. I have a FREE WILL! The Steps have made that a reality. Step One has uncovered my powerlessness over lust; that I have no way of controlling it, nor I can control my life when lust is active. Step Two has unraveled to me a power greater than myself: sponsorship and fellowship. They are my life boat when my sanity ship is sinking. Step Three has taught me that I don’t need to run the show anymore, as there is a better director, a Loving God who truly cares; God as I understand Him!

These blessings are maintained by practicing Steps Four to Ten on a daily basis! I have to clean my house and purge my soul using them! Saying sorry is only the beginning, as I have to take these many small living amends to maintain my serenity. All that has gotten me “Surprised by Joy.” I Found God as I was working the Steps with a fellow! My Eleventh and Twelfth Steps found fruition in my life by continuously praying and working with others, and all that is done by going to meetings, keeping my house clean, surrendering to my Higher Power and working with others on a daily basis!

I don’t need to wear the Cloak of Lust to make the negative emotions and feelings disappear. On the contrary, I need to live without that Cloak, dealing with the reality of my pain and fears. Confronting and dealing with them is better than dying because of them. Instead of constant escapism, I am now home. Instead of facing things alone, I have a God, I have a fellowship which provides monitoring and support, and I have a safe haven that shields me from drowning when emotions flood. And I am grateful for this.

Ameer M., Iraq

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