When It’s Time To Pull The Plug

It’s time to pull the plug.

Our lives are too constrained by calendars, too controlled by devices, and too hampered by the indoors.  

I recently took two full weeks off of work and headed to the mountains.  There was no cell service, no internet, and no television.  It was just me and my family.  

We were able to spend quality time together, have great conversations, and explore the beauty of God’s nature.  

You need to ask yourself,

Are you living? Or just filling your schedule?

Far too often, I have been guilty of the latter.

I allowed myself to be so consumed by doing that I was never living.  I was running from event to event and meeting to meeting that I wore myself down physically and emotionally.  

I literally had no free time.  I would work all day, work on side projects at night, volunteer every week, and hustle for every dime I could earn.

It burned me out.

In the past, the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed would have pushed me over the edge.  I would have sought out porn and sex as a relief from the pressure.  Instead of dealing with what was causing the problem, I would run to the places of easy, quick relief.  Porn was how I coped with stress.  But it never took away the stress.  In fact, it added to it.  The guilt and the shame would just add additional burdens on my back.

Are you using porn to escape the problems in your life?

I used to.  And far too many men still do.  Instead of dealing with their problems, emotions, and stress, they self-medicate with porn and sex.  But porn is like seawater, it tastes good when you’re dying of thirst, but it’ll actually make you thirstier, all while poisoning you from the inside out.

This is why men must learn to pull the plug.  

No, a good vacation will not cure your porn addiction.  But you do need to find ways to disconnect, recharge, and stay focused.

Pulling the plug will provide countless benefits, but let’s focus on the three main ones that I achieved while I was away.

1. Turn off the devices.

We all spend way too much time on our phones, tablets, computers, and watching TV.  We think we always have to be “connected.”  But by spending so much time connected, we’ve actually become disconnected from life.  

You miss so much of the world going on around you because you’re staring down at your phone.  You miss the beauty of nature when you’re outside.  You miss the sounds of life around you when your ears are filled with noise.  You might even miss that car that stopped in front of you while you’re reading texts.

Man was not meant to spend hours a day staring at a screen.  

Break away from the devices and discover a new freedom.  Every morning, I’ve been going for a run and leaving my phone at home.  I don’t need it.  I can enjoy my time alone without the urge to check my phone everytime it dings.  Any message or phone call can wait a little while until I get back.  The freedom of being unplugged feels amazing.

If you’re struggling with porn, getting off your device is essential.  Smartphones are dangerous.  In my addiction, I would often be scrolling through my phone late at night, an image would trigger me, then before I knew it, I was on a porn site or messaging someone I should not have been messaging.

If you want to defeat porn addiction, you have to defeat device addiction first.

2. Get Outside

Unplugging allowed me to spend time in the great outdoors.  My family and I rented a small log cabin high up in the Appalachian mountains.  We didn’t have a choice whether or not to be on our devices, we had zero service!  

The air was fresh, the weather was gorgeous, and the views were tremendous.  We went on great hikes enjoying the beautiful scenery.  We spent days exploring God’s amazing creation around us.  

The views of the mountains and valleys were breathtaking.  You’ll never find that natural beauty indoors.

When you’re stuck inside, you miss the natural beauty of the world we live in.  This world can be so ugly and depressing.  Getting outside gets you away from all the negativity.

Nature doesn’t care who’s President, if your team is winning, or what is happening on the other side of the world.  Nature just is.  

Getting outside allows you to soak up the vitamin D from the sun.  Sunshine has been shown time and time again to improve mood and reduce stress.  

To truly unplug, you have to unplug yourself from the indoors.  

3. Spend Time With Those You Love

The greatest benefit of pulling the plug is to be able to spend quality, undistracted time with your family.

I was able to create memories with my wife and children that will last a lifetime.  We had conversations we never normally would have had.  We worked together, as a team and as a family to achieve goals.  

My kids are getting older now.  The time has flown by.  I will cherish this time with them forever.

When you come to the end of your life, you won’t care about the money you made or the corporate ladders you climbed.   You’ll care about the time you spent with the people you love.

When you unplug, it forces you to have conversations and build relationships.  You can’t have a deep discussion with the TV on in the background.  Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had in my life took place on a hiking trail, around a campfire, or even on a golf course.

Men need that personal, undivided interaction with their families and especially with other men.  

Time spent with our closest friends and family is never wasted.

Men, myself included, must get better at pulling the plug.  

No, we can’t always run away to the cabin in the mountains when things get busy. (Although I WILL own one someday.)  But we can find ways in our day to day lives to turn off the devices, get outside, and spend time with those we love.

Whether it’s fighting porn addiction, reducing stress, or simply improving the quality of our lives, it’s time to pull the plug.

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Why try to find your own path through the darkness?  I’ve been through it.  Let me guide you through.

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Published by Timothy Reigle

I’m Timothy Reigle, the founder of Into The Wilderness Ministries. After overcoming a fifteen year addiction to porn and sex, I have made it my life’s mission to help other men break free from the bonds of addiction. As an author, coach, and chaplain, I work with men to transform their lives by renewing their faith, re-energizing their families, and restoring their masculinity.

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