Tool 3: Guard Your Eyes
It is not for nothing that our network is called "Guard Your Eyes". Aside from having the proper attitude in this struggle - as discussed above, the most obvious practical step to conquering lust addiction is learning to guard our eyes. This is the cornerstone of breaking free, and it's obvious why: We can't lust for that which we don't see. When we guard our eyes, it's like we are avoiding the wrestling rink where the mighty Yetzer Hara is waiting to beat us up. If we simply don't enter the rink, he can't touch us!
Conversely, it is impossible to even begin to heal from lust addiction if we continue to be bombarded with triggers at every turn. As lust addicts, our minds have become accustomed to lusting. We can not gaze at stimulating imagery and expect not to be triggered. We cannot have it all within hands reach and expect to be strong enough to stay away. We have grown addicted to the chemical rush in our mind that the lust brings on, much in the same way that an alcoholic craves his bottle. Therefore, if we are to break the addictive cycle, we must first keep lust at a distance to be able to begin our journey to recovery.
And one of the first things that this entails is installing a strong Internet filter.
The GYE website has an entire section with filter options, ranging from "server" or "client" based, free or commercial, Jewish or non-Jewish. There is something there to meet anyone's needs. On our website, we can also learn about how the different types of filters work and what the terms mean, such as "server based", "client based", "white-list", "blacklist" etc...
If you're looking for a free, relatively solid and simple-to-use filter, we recommend K9 (www.k9webprotection.com). However, it is imperative that someone else's e-mail address be used in the installation, so the password cannot be easily requested. On our website, you can find a step by step guide on how to do this correctly and efficiently. GYE has a special “filter-Gabai” who can hold the password for you and make changes to your filter when necessary by using remote-accessing software. This way, we never need to have the password ourselves and can feel truly free! Contact the filter-Gabai at email@example.com. (You may also ask the filter Gabai for advice on how to filter your handheld devices, such as Blackberries and iPhones.)
If we must have completely open Internet access for our work, we can still download accountability software, where e-mail reports are sent to a partner who will see all the questionable pages that we may have browsed. Please see www.webchaver.org or www.eBlaster.com. Even if we have a filter installed, it is important to have accountability software. When lust attacks, an addict can usually find a way around his filter, but if he knows that his partner will see all the sites he is trying to access, it will be a far stronger deterrent.
If our Internet filter does not block all questionable sites, we must carefully consider our motivation for every site we visit. We must begin to recognize the sly voice of our addiction. If it's a news site, we need to consider why we want to read certain articles. If it's because the site or article discusses inappropriate topics (fashion, celebrities, or "news items" relating to immoral behavior), or even if it might discuss them and the Yetzer Hara (read: addiction) wants us to find out for sure, then we must learn to hold back and not click on the links. In general, it is important to limit the number of sites we visit to a small list and question any time we feel the need to visit a site that is not on the list.