Nov. 18, 2011

More.... Why I Don't Write

by Allan Lummus


mp 19

More... Why I don't write

As soon as I finished the last post and started feeling motivated to continue exploring my inner experiences with shame and self-denial, in comes the inquisitors.

-What about the kids in my images on your computer? What about concern for them? That was the question posed by some of the media around the Sandusky case (Penn St. coach accused of molestation over a period of at least 15 years)
-Is the blog now an excuse to ignore their voices?
-Am I trying to induce sympathy from the imagined reader?
-Maybe I did not have enough shame... It did not keep me from downloading and distributing those images.
-Why doesn't the mindful prisoner contemplate that!?
-I am so selfish. What about the victims of my crimes: the children in the images, family, and friends?

How can I disagree with those questions and implied priorities?

I cannot deny any of the questions. All raise valid arguments for use of my time. So how do I respond?


First, on the issue of selfishness. As 12-step veterans like to say, addiction recovery is selfish. You must focus on reconstructing a set of healthy behaviors and principles in order to live a healthy life. Second, a compassion for others has to be built upon a compassion for oneself. My own experience with loving others is that the relationship is harmed by my internal unhealthiness.

So the reason to explore my own past mal self-development is to see why I did not feel pain behind the images. Why did I keep and distributed them and did not immediately delete them? Why did I think first about the chat partner and the imagined pleasure of the image participants?

So even as I try to bring their pain into my consciousness through daily practice, I must also address my own lack of awareness. The writing process has always helped me become more awake. If any reader wants to play inquisitor, they are welcome to jump in and comment (or write snail mail or

Mindful Prisoner


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