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The Last Dance

Uncategorized May 06, 2024

Note: This is a 3 part email sequence, all the 3 parts have been compiled in this blog post. Each email is separately labeled.

(1/3) The Last Dance - Your Mom Goes To College

My man,

As they say – all good things must come to an end.

This will be my last 3-email sequence to you for a while.

With the steady growth of the company and our team, my priorities are continually shifting.

Not to worry – this witty, story-centric writing isn't going anywhere!

Moving forward, I will be channeling my creative writing juices more into our weekly newsletter, so you'll still get something from me every week that will be entertaining, thought provoking and practical for recovery.

But – we still have one sequence to polish off. Let's end with a bang.

My mom was born and raised in Malaysia by two run-of-the-mill Indians.

Run of the mill as in – very focused on education and achievement, not particularly expressive (there is not one single picture of them smiling - that's an Indian/generational thing), and terrible drivers.

Okay I made up the terrible drivers part but based on stats alone and public perception it's probably a safe assumption.

Her Mom died when she was 12.

In her later teen years, she moved to India (where her family was originally from) and pursued further education.

At 24, she got hitched to my Dad arranged-marriage-style after knowing him for a grand total of 10 minutes (I interviewed them about it if you want to hear the not-so-dirty details. Click here).

My Dad had been living in Canada for 6 years at the time – so the 2 conditions of their marriage was that she had to be willing to move to Canada and she had to be able to cook (not joking about the second one).

Three weeks after my Mom moved to Canada in 1984, her Dad died. They didn't have enough money for her to go back for the funeral.

Shortly after, she gave birth to her first – Priya (aka. my big sister).

My parents did the dual-income-while-paying-up-the-arse-for-babysitting dance the first few years of Priya's life. They didn't like it, so they decided the next time they're pregnant, my Mom will officially stop working.

Due to some fertility challenges, it took longer than they expected, but eventually they had their second child – Brown Sugar. mean, Sathiya.

Since my mom quit work, she was at home permanently. As I entered toddler years, my Mom continued to stay home with me.

We became super close.

My younger brother came along a few years later, and I eventually warmed up to splitting my Mom's attention. But nonetheless, my Mom and I had a special connection.

When I got dropped off for my first day of Pre-School (that's what they called it back then I think), I was the kid who clung to my Mom's leg begging her not to leave. And when she did leave, I was the kid who sat at the window crying my face off in hopes that she would return.

She didn't come back, and I moved on. Life, amIright?

Fast forward to January 2016. 

I am in a counseling session because I cannot quit watching p*rn despite having some major victories (going as long as a year). 

Something keeps sucking me back in.

I am now a full-time pastor, I've just released my first worship album as an artist, and I am coping with the cares of life regularly by watching pornography.

I've already paid thousands of dollars to do programs, get therapy, etc.

My pastor highly recommended Ernie – he was a no non-sense guy but unbelievably kind at the same time. Perfect to get through the walls and defences men are so good and putting up.

I don't know how it happened, but Ernie starts asking about my relationship with my Mom...

I tell him that it's great. She's great. Everything's great!! Stop asking questions, Ernie.

He pokes. He prods. He uncovers something...

My mom was neglectful.


My mom? The one who spent day and night with me the first 5 years of my life?

I mean, no one is perfect and I had some words to describe her inadequacies, but...neglectful?!

We keep talking. All of the sudden, it was crystal clear. I did in fact grow up feeling neglected by my mom.

Ernie asked if I was ready to forgive her for that. I said "yes" before he finished asking.

Recovery for me was a 5 year journey.

Most days, I was doing the stuff because I knew it was the right stuff to do. But truthfully, it was rare that I had those monumental "breakthrough" moments.

Most of recovery for me was a slow grind, learning day-by-day and improving 1% at a time...except for this session with Ernie.

When I walked out of his office, I literally felt like a new man.

The next day, I was in the kitchen making lunch, and I got hit with a tempting thought. 

I deflected the temptation like a politician dodging a reporter about federal spending.

Something was different.

I only had 2 more slips after that. One of which happened to be my last relapse in February 2016.

Over the last 5.5 years of helping guys quit p*rn, I've started to pay attention to trends, patterns, etc.

Some of my observations have taken place "In-session" with clients. Some of them come from academic research and listening to other respected leaders in the field...

And some have come from pornography itself.

PornHub, the world's adult content mega-giant, released data every year about its traffic, keywords, watch times, and beyond.

Since PornHub started released their annual report, there are 2 terms that ALWAYS (and I mean always) end up in the top 10 searched terms.

  1. MILF = Mothers I'd Like To...
  2. Step-Mom

So what's the deal here – is society at large into incest and we're holding back while secretly judging the amish for doing it and then watching incestuous porn to scratch our own itch?

Not so.

The reality is - the content we watch is meeting needs.

If you had an experience like me growing up where you felt neglected (aka. had unmet maternal needs), you inevitably will find other ways to get the needs met.

For me that meant chasing girls and watching a whack ton of porn.

And admittedly – a lot of the content I watched was in the first category listed above.

That's why forgiving my Mom was literally life-changing. By releasing her of my own hurt and pain, those hollow parts of my heart were accessible again.
Almost instantaneously, God swooped in and filled them.

In the men we work with today, 100% of them have something to work through with their mother.

I want to make sure you didn't just gloss over that statement. 100%. As in, "all". The whole enchilada. No exceptions.

Said differently – you are not an exception.

If you want to regain strength over your temptations and move further in recovery, you probably have some unforgiveness towards your Mom you need to work through.

From the outside, my Mom anything but negligent. She was always there physically.

But what I realized in Ernie's office is that my Mom's timid, unexpressive personality affected me. She didn't show love very much with her words or touch, and I needed both as a little boy growing up to feel affirmed and secure.

This makes sense because my Mom didn't have her own mother around beyond the age of 12, had a very unexpressive Dad (who also died when she was young), creating a pile of trauma responses that limited her ability to express herself.

Is my mom a monster? No, unless you say something bad about her cooking.


No, she's not a monster (Just wanted to clearly state that in case she's reading. Love you Mama).

Is my mom perfect? No.
Did she fall short? Yes.

Is that okay?

You bet it is! But only because you and I have the power to forgive, heal, and find superior ways to get our needs met.

If you haven't forgiven your Mom yet, or even worked through mother wounds, it's time. This has to be part of your recovery journey, not just to quit porn but to transform into all God has made you to be.

If you have forgiven your Mom and gone through this process, then your focus should be on pinpointing those underlying needs and crafting healthy ways to get them met.

To get help in either area, I wrote a book that details the entire process. It's available for free here if you want a copy (comes with a free workbook too).

Tomorrow, we're going to talk about the other half of the parent ensemble.

PS. Since we started coaching guys in 2018, we have seen sons reconcile with their moms in unbelievable ways. We had a client who sided with his Dad in the divorce and barely talked to his mom for 10 years. He forgave his mom while going through our process and the two of them today have a rock-solid relationship. This stuff is for real, treat it as such. Make sure you get a copy of my book if you want to ensure you're doing this process properly.


(2/3) The Last Dance - Who Is Your Daddy and What Does He Do?

My brother,

Yesterday we talked about how mother wounds often flavor and fuel our sexual misbehavior – digital, physical or otherwise.

Similarly, healing from mother wounds can be a very powerful part of recovery. It was for me, and it has been for a majority of our clients.

In this email, we turn our attention to the Y Chromosome. El padre.

Today, 43% of American children live without their father.
About 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
Nearly 65% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
And 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.

Are you kidding me?! Those stats are insane, and it's really just scratching the surface.

Usually when we bring up father relationships, the typical guy responses are...

"I have a great Dad and he was awesome in childhood. Not much to talk about here."
"Yeah my Dad wasn't perfect, but he was a great provider."
"My Dad was a bit of a jerk, but I've forgiven him and moved on."

These are what we like to call... lies. Lol.

They're statements that have truth to them, but they deny reality at the same time. 

The reality is - no one grew up with a perfect father.

Fathers are to provide several things for their children growing up: protection, safety and in my opinion, most important of all, identity.

This is why the third pillar of the DeepClean recovery process is Identity.

I observed over the years that even when men were able to better manage their emotions, work through pain of the past and forgive, etc., they still often struggled to fully recover.

Or they recover but still feel stuck in life (which is hardly a recovery, if you ask me).

Without an identity shift, recovery is next to impossible.

But why does the identity need to shift in the first place?

Usually because of father wounds.

The shortcoming of fathers creates cracks in the foundation of their children's identity. The Children's lives start to become less stable as a result.

What compounds the issue is that our experience with our earthly fathers becomes the template for our relationship with God.

Wherever your Dad was strong and you connected easily with him – you will likely see that transfer into your experience of God.

And wherever your Dad came up short, those will likely be the areas where your relationship with God is most challenging.

Growing up, My Dad was my hero.

I looked like him. Talked like him. Walked like him. Wanted to be like him.

My Dad could do no wrong.

And I always knew my Dad loved me for 2 main reasons.

One, he was always there when I needed him.
Two, my Dad was so moved when achieved, he would cry.

But it wasn't classic achievements like athletics and academics. It was more when I made developmental achievements.

-At church after I played a song he wrote for the first time
-My Grade 8 graduation (for real. It happened in front of everyone too)

You get the idea...

At one point in recovery, my relationship with my Dad came up...

My usual defences arose – he was perfect as far as I was concerned.

But I realized something while i was going through recovery.

If my Dad was perfect, and he is the "template" that I will transfer to my relationship with God, then I am reducing God to a man.

In other words – it is impossible for any Dad to be perfect. If they were, they'd be God.

A couple of things happened as I began to confront the shortcomings of my father.

Firstly and foremost, I began to feel WAY more confident.
Second, I started relating to other men on a much deeper level.
Third, my relationship with God skyrocketed.

You can imagine how all 3 of those things played into my recovery... without them, I wouldn't be here today.

This is what happens when our identities are properly restored, and it comes by healing through father wounds.

A friend of mine, Jason Vallotton, shared about trying oral sex with another guy when he was 15 years old. 

He felt so guilty and ashamed afterwards, afraid that he was becoming gay. So he bravely told his Dad.

His Dad calmly replied, "You're just being curious. Don't worry about it - that's not who you are."

Jason went on to not struggle with same-sex attraction, homosexual tendencies, or any major sexual identity complexities.

All because in a moment where things could have really turned south, his Dad imparted identity.

If you find yourself not fully recovered from sexual sin, and you are aware that you lack confidence, you're unsure of yourself, have low self-esteem, etc., it's likely one of two things:

1) Unhealed elements in your relationship with your Dad
2) Disconnection in your relationship with God (stemming from father wounds)

Healing father wounds is incredibly important for recovery, not only because similar to mother wounds, it enables access to unmet needs... but it actually "cleanses" the tainted template you had for who God is and what it's like to relate with Him.

Between the healing from father wounds and the marked improvement in your relationship with God, life as you know it ceases to exist and you get to start building a new one.

If you haven't started this journey yet, or you started but haven't completed it, now is the time. Again, I highly recommend my book which properly explains the process and guides you through it. You can get your free copy here

Tomorrow, we tie it all together for this epic last dance. 

PS. Some of you reading this have "tried everything" and are literally a couple of small steps away from finally breaking free. The resources provided in this book just might be what you need - make sure you get your copy!


(3/3) The Last Dance - It's Time For Family Feud!

Alright my friend, let's tie everything together we've discussed so far in this sequence. 

First, we talked about the importance of maternal relationships and how unmet needs in this area of our life often fuel our sexual misbehavior (porn, masturbation, fantasy, affairs, etc).

Second, we talked about the importance of paternal relationships, and how our fathers instil a sense of identity within us. When they fall short, our identities end up fragmented as a result, leading to poor self-esteem, dysfunctional relationships, and weak decision making.

Ultimately, if we had perfect parents, our needs would be perfectly met and we would be less enticed by the lures of pornography.

Since no one has perfect parents, we need to heal from the wounds that were caused when we were young.

This does two things...

First, it allows you to access those deeper parts of us that were unmet.

Second, it allows you to find superior ways to meet your needs. 

Today, we conclude by talking about the family unit at large.

A few years back, I was at a business retreat listening to a talk about company taglines.

It was pretty boring, if I'm being honest. The dude was rambling on about how important first impressions are, how you could introduce yourself in a really cool way to make people ask more questions, etc.

His content was good, I was just relatively - how should I say this - disinterested.

Well, this guy did his research on his audience beforehand and at the tail end of his presentation, he showcased what it would look like for us to apply his talk to our businesses by providing specific examples.

I was one of them.

"Rather than simply saying, 'I help people quit porn', try something like this instead..."

He flashed the next slide, which read the words: "Change Your History."

My inners leapt.

What a profound statement! This guy had my attention now (too bad it was at the end of his talk lol).

Somehow he found a statement that beautifully encapsulated what we are trying to accomplish at DeepClean.

Change Your History, as in:

  1. No longer having porn sites in your browser history (most obvious)
  2. Healing from trauma of the past often involves 'retooling' memories from the past (our core message of getting to the roots)
  3. Altering your lineage by breaking the bondage of sexual sin and misbehavior (the ultimate outcome from a client going through our process)

While we could do an entire sequence on the three points above, I want to highlight to you point #3.

Jay Stringer, one of the world's leaders in porn and sex addiction recovery, surveyed over 3,000 people about their sexual stories – history, experiences, views, etc.

They explored which factors are the most likely to influence someone watching pornography.

It turns out, one factor ranked higher than all the others...

A sense of purpose.

When people lacked meaning in life, they were more likely to watch pornography.

Fascinating, right?

I worry that you may read that statement and start to explore your purpose career-wise or ministry-wise.

Men, our first calling in life is our family. Therein lies our true source of meaning in life. 

God has designed us to be in a family. First we grow up in one, then we get to create one ourselves.

Having recently become a father, more and more I think about the multi-generational significance of my own life.

On my current vision board, I have a picture of my Grandpa holding me beside a picture of my Grandpa holding my son.

I'm trying to regularly remind my heart and mind that my decisions in life matter, not just for me, but for my kid, his kids, and their kids.

When we talk about healing from parent wounds, successfully recovering from pornography, and everything that comes with it...the one thing to remember is that what we're actually talking about is...

Restoring The Family Unit. 

Not just the current one you're a part of, but the family units that will stem because of you.

You will pass down SOMETHING. The question is what?

With each step you take towards freedom, you are ensuring that you pass along something pure, valuable, and of high integrity.

My son will have a different experience with pornography and sexuality than I did.

Not only because I intend to improve on the methods my parents employed with me in these areas when I was young, but also because he has a Dad who is modelling sexual integrity. And as we know – multi-generational transfer is a lot more about what's caught than what's taught.

Even if your kids are grown up and out of the house, this message is the same.

You can still be an example. You can still make a difference. You can still set a new precedence for generations to come.

I send out emails to you every week not just because I believe in you. I believe in your family.

I am dreaming of a world that is led by men who are full of integrity, purity and wisdom — and that world doesn't exist unless you and I do something about it.

So remember, with each prayer of forgiveness. Each therapy session. Each decision to give recovery another try. And each email/book/podcast you take in...

You are changing history. Your history. And I'm honored to be a part of it.

If you're ready to change your history for good, we are helping men quit pornography with incredible success (70% of our clients experience minimum 2 consecutive months of freedom in their first 4 months with us). Our coaches have a few openings. Click here to see if DeepClean is a good fit for you.

As a reminder, this is the last 3-email sequence I'll be writing. Moving forward, I will be focusing writing for our weekly newsletter which is delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning. 

I pray God's absolute best for you, your loved ones, and your future generations.

PS. We have about 5 spots available in our program for professional Christian men who want to quit porn in the next 120 days without internet filters. If you want to be one of them, make sure you check this out.



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