Frank Outlaw wrote -
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Crawl up close the screen of your television set and see what you see. If you press your face to the screen you see nothing but a pattern of colored dots. Only when you back away from the screen do the dots merge into images and seem to move on the screen. This method of composing a picture from a series of dots was an essential technique of the Impressionist painters. One dot of paint was added to the canvas at time. By themselves each of dot seems incidental and, at best, only mildly interesting. But as a whole, the image of the painting comes into meaning. The whole becomes greater than the mere sum of its parts.
The same is true of our thoughts, whether we are addicts are not. At any moment we can choose our thoughts. We can choose the thinking condition that occupies our awareness - our conscious minds. You can choose to think that you are a good person, deserving of peace of mind, love, and the respect of others. Or you can choose to think that you are a piece of cosmic junk who will always suffer, never be truly loved, and whom must keep his true self secret just to survive. Fill your thoughts with envy, resentment, self-deprecation, criticism, and hostility, and see what picture emerges. Fill your thoughts with acceptance, compassion, encouragement, hope, and openness, and see what picture then begins to come clear.
As the accumulation of those thought-dots develops, the thoughts begin to be reflected in our words. "Life is a good place", "I can achieve, love, contribute", "I will try". And those word, in turn influence our actions. As trust in the essential value of self and goodness of the universe develops, we move toward people rather than away from people. We offer compassion, kindness, honesty, and help in our actions. In time these offerings become part of our personal style - our habits of living - habits of thought, word, and action.
In a fundamental way, our habits are the parts of ourselves we can control. Of course there are parts we can't control - the hardware if you will. But we can write the software and override the garbage software installed by our parents when we were hypnotized as children. And our habits determine our future - our destiny.
This is simple guidance. Each thought - each dot - contributes incrementally to who you become. When you choose to look at and sexually objectify a person and have the accompanying X and R rated thoughts, you are affecting your future. You put a dot on your canvas. When you choose instead to look into the beautiful innocence of a child's face and to think that life is delightful, you place a differently colored dot at a different point on the canvas of your mind - the canvas of your life. This is the path and the way of recovery.