Recovery Workshop: Lesson Thirty-Nine

Healthy Sexual Boundaries

When rebuilding a life after addiction — any addiction — many areas having little or nothing to do with the addiction itself are in need of attention. Areas that, for one reason or another, have become so significantly distorted that they are incapable of providing stability and guidance to the person's life. What's worse, many of these areas: social skills, family relationships, past traumatic events, financial responsibility, time management and parenting, to name just a few — are directly responsible for triggering the ongoing emotional instability in that life. And while the rebuilding of these areas must occur over time, there is one area unique to sexual addiction that needs an immediate focus: the development of healthy sexual boundaries.

With alcoholism, the key behavior — drinking alcohol — can be rather easily monitored. Because drinking alcohol is not a basic human need — i.e. you do not need to drink alcohol to live a healthy, fulfilling life — complete abstinence can be a realistic goal. This makes the recovery from addictions involving behaviors such as drinking significantly less complex. Not necessarily easier, mind you, only less complex. Abstain from the alcohol and you are left to deal with the underlying personal deficiencies. Shore up those deficiencies and you have set the stage for eliminating the alcoholism. This simplicity is not present in recovery from addictions based on basic human needs (e.g. food, sex, love). You cannot simply take away one's sexuality. Nor can you eliminate the experience of love or the need to feel loved. Such traits are inherent in our being human...and so, to live a healthy life, our goal must be to naturally incorporate these experiences into our lives, as opposed to avoiding them through abstinence.

Is this even possible? How is a person who has never developed a healthy sexual identity supposed to develop exactly that? How can a person whose past consists of significantly corrupted sexual perceptions/values be transformed into a healthy sexual being, capable of true intimacy and partnership? The answers to these questions lay in that person's willingness to examine themselves openly, to accept their current sexual identity "as is", to put forth the effort to learn new things, to be vulnerable during this learning process, and in their willingness to let go of their past sexual identity.

The Effects of Sexual Addiction on an Individual's Sexual Identity

Sexual addiction has profound effects on one's sexuality. Some effects, taken out of context, can even be interpreted as 'good'. A person's technical mastery of sexual technique, for instance, often improves significantly as a result of the addiction. Experience, variety, enthusiasm, passion, stamina — all can be seen — again, when taken out of context — as positive elements. Partner's, especially new partners, are often amazed at the individual's abilities. They can be emotionally and physically overwhelmed during sex in a way that they have never experienced with non-addicts. The sexual relationship is met with amazement and awe. But this is all experienced outside of the context of true intimacy and mutual partnership.

In context, these sexual behaviors are a part of the addiction itself, helping to intensify the emotions produced in the sexual act. Those engaging in such compulsive sexual behavior are not really sexual partners, but can be more accurately described as sexual performers. The values that such performers hold are in relation to manipulating emotions via sexual acts. They create amazingly romantic scenes. Engage in incredible displays of sexual prowess. But it is all done with an unhealthy, unintentional purpose. Their goal is to lose themselves in these scenes. In these acts. And to harvest all of the emotional stimulation that results from their involvement in such a fantasy.

Another common effect of sexual addiction is nearly the opposite of what is described above. It involves an almost anorexic desire for sexual activity with their partner. Sex with strangers may still be exciting. Jerking off to the Tomb Raider game running in their X-box may be exciting. But socially-accepted, healthy sexual behavior with their committed partner is non-existent. Why? Because as the addiction progressed, the individual relied on certain behaviors (e.g. masturbation, fantasy, porn) to achieve sexual/emotional fulfillment. This went on for so long that they learned to maximize the intensity of that stimulation and soon found that other behaviors were incapable of providing the same 'high' as those that they have mastered. With a limited amount of time and energy available, making love to their partner — with all of the baggage that is sometimes included — just isn't worth the effort. Thinking logically, would it be more advantageous to engage in an hour of lovemaking with a partner that, at best would result in a good emotional release (and at worst a miserable, argumentative, disappointing event); or to spend fifteen minutes masturbating to the perfect fantasy that was guaranteed to achieve emotional fulfillment? To an addict, there is no debate. Sexual addiction has robbed his/her ability to engage in the true intimacy and healthy elements of the sexual act that is capable of providing more powerful and longer-lasting emotional effects. And so they choose the former.

As this pattern grows, and pressure from the partner increases...they make efforts to include the fantasies, masturbation and porn (for example) into the sexual acts with their partners in hopes of increasing the overall intensity. Whether successful or not, ultimately this pattern serves only to further objectify the partner — thus reducing the intensity of the original act of love-making even more. The deeper the objectification takes root, the less the partner is seen as having their own sexual boundaries and values; and the more they are seen as objects to be used for gratification.

The common theme in these patterns, is that the individual's sexuality becomes objectified. Their values become ingrained into a position of seeking immediate emotional intensity through sexual opposed to engaging in sexual acts with the purpose of enhancing existing emotional intensity (e.g. love, intimacy, communication, passion). This is a major difference between healthy and unhealthy sexual behavior, and is at the foundation of the distorted values that are developed in the sexual addict. And as we know, when the values of a person are distorted, it goes without saying that the boundaries that protect those values are also distorted. And so one of the first tasks in rebuilding a healthy sexual identity is to identify the sexual boundaries that currently exist. We will do this shortly.

Another Major Effect of Sexual Addiction

There is another reason why a person in recovery must pursue the development of healthy sexual boundaries. When a person learns to integrate healthy sexual boundaries into their life, that foundation coincides with the recognizing and respecting of the boundaries of others. As we have discussed, sexual addiction distorts one's sexual values and can distort/destroy the boundaries associated with those values. But such effects do not end with the individual. Sexual addiction, with its innate properties of objectification, completely obliterates an individual's ability to recognize the sexual boundaries of others. In its mildest form, this translates into a person's projection of their own unhealthy sexual boundaries onto their partners. They assume that their partner's wants, needs, and desires are similar to their own (e.g. need for orgasm, desire for daily sexual activity); and when their partner's behavior contradicts these assumptions, anger and frustration ensue. At its extreme, this translates into the complete objectification of the sexual partner and their role in the sexual act. This can lead to some of the more horrific sexual behavior that you hear in the news and read in the papers. In the middle exists the majority of sexual addicts — all with varying, distorted capabilities of perceiving the sexual boundaries of others.

Why? Because compulsive sexual activity is a self-centered act. No matter what the behavior, its main purpose is to directly stimulate the individual's emotions. Now, all sexual behavior is somewhat selfish in terms of emotional stimulation, and it should be. If a sexual act isn't pleasant or stimulating, then it shouldn't be engaged in. But compulsive sexual behavior is unique in that it seeks this stimulation as the basis for the act, rather than as a consequence of it. Compulsive masturbation for instance, is engaged in to provide necessary emotional relief; whereas healthy masturbation is engaged in to nurture and explore. That it also provides emotional relief is important, but not the primary purpose for engaging in the act. This is not to suggest that all masturbation, or all sexual activity must be rooted in such intrinsic purposes as nurturing or intimacy, but only to point out that compulsive sexual behavior is never engaged in for these purposes. The purpose is always selfish.

This might cause some confusion in those who struggle with compulsive sexual behavior that involves the sincere need to please/satisfy other people's sexual/romantic needs. Certainly such goals cannot be selfishness — as often, the act of self-sacrifice and martyrdom are required to accomplish these goals. But they are. As the person learns to look beyond the superficial goals of sexually/romantically satisfying their partners, they inevitably see that their true goal is to achieve self-satisfaction. This is evidenced by their emotional reactions when their partner DOES NOT achieve the satisfaction the satisfaction that they are striving to create. Are they left with feelings of appreciation, comfort and understanding — reactions that often apply to a healthy sexual relationship that does not meet a particular sexual/emotional goal? No. Instead, they are frustrated. They feel as if they have failed. They feel as if they are unworthy. And their partner's are often left in the role of having to lie about, fake, avoid and/or reassure them that they are indeed satisfied — in order to gain some sort of closure to the sexual act. Such compulsive sexual behavior — even when the sexual behavior is focused on someone else — is always, ultimately self-centered.

Nowhere is the objectification of others (and the destructive effects of sexual compulsivity on boundaries) more clear than in the use of porn. The use of pornography (in most circumstances) is to increase the stimulation experienced in fantasy. It is used to trigger thoughts that then trigger emotions. The images themselves are not seen as real people (except in cases of romantic fantasy), but as objects that serve to play a role in the fantasies that accompany them. Like all behavior, the more the pattern continues, the more ingrained it becomes. And so, the ingrained core behavior (the objectification of people, not the porn itself) begins to discriminate to other areas of the person's life. Where once an objectified, lifeless picture stood as a harmless sexual tool...the compulsive nature of the object led to more intense, more realistic objectification. Phone sex, Internet sex, Videos. All harmless (in relative terms), legal ways of enhancing adult fantasies. But in the case of addiction, it rarely ends at such a stage. Instead, as earlier suggested in the Wheel of Sexual Compulsion, the objectification continues to expand into more intense, more general areas of the person's life. Real people in real relationships become objectified. Internet viewing of attractive bodies becomes laced with the curious, the illegal, the naughty and/or the bizarre. Hidden web cams, rape videos, beastiality...all of which continue to ingrain the values that accompany the objectification of people. At some point (or for those who have been sexually abused, initially) this leads to the individual objectifying themselves and a complete eradication of most inherent sexual boundaries.

To better see the effects of objectification... Or more accurately, to better understand what happens when no perceived sexual boundaries are in place to guide sexual behavior, let's take a look at a variety of objectification examples:

Violates Own Sexual Boundaries

  • Masturbating to the point of injury
  • Unprotected sex with a stranger
  • Anonymous sex in public restrooms
  • Multiple unwanted pregnancies/abortions
  • Not interested in sex, but continues to avoid disappointing their partner
  • Extra-marital sex that jeopardizes life stability
  • Agreeing to participate in humiliating, dangerous and/or disgusting sexual acts because they are pressured to by their partner

Violates Sexual Boundaries of Others

  • Husband sleeps with another woman; has sex with wife that night
  • Doctor anesthetizes patient, fondles them
  • Voyeuring/Exhibitionism
  • Babysitter using an infant for sexual stimulation
  • Without their partner's knowledge, wife fantasizes that husband is someone else during lovemaking
  • Setting up hidden cameras to film unsuspecting targets
  • Compulsive masturbator using romantic partner as unsuspecting masturbatory tool
  • Priest uses God/Bible to justify sexual relationship to parishioner
  • Therapist engaging in sexual activity with emotionally vulnerable patient
  • Using guilt, coercion or other means of pressuring someone into performing sexual acts
  • Intentionally drugging an unwitting person to use them for sexual acts

What can be learned of such behavior if you yourself have never, and will never engage in such acts? Well, the most important aspect of rebuilding a healthy sexual identity, that's what. In all compulsive sexual behavior, it is the lack of ingrained healthy values that are at the foundation of the problem. Naturally, without healthy values, there can be no healthy boundaries. Without healthy boundaries in place to help guide your behavior, you are left to make decisions based on pure emotion. As emotional management is a known deficit in addiction, this is a very unstable foundation for a sexual identity to develop. Take any behavior in the list above...think of any possible sexual behavior that you can imagine...and there will be one consistency that is guaranteed. With a healthy sexual identity in place, the behavior you engage in will be healthy. Without such a foundation, the behavior you engage in will be, at best, uncertain. At worst, devastating.

The Effects of Sexual Addiction Recovery on One's Sexual Identity

As you continue the transition from sexual addiction to health, you will most likely come face-to-face with significant deficiencies in your life. Nowhere is this more common than in the area of sexuality. Ironically, many sexual addicts believe themselves to be sexual masters. Romantic experts. And while their behavior may warrant such a label, their technical mastery is a mere illusion that does not represent their true sexual health. As recovery progresses and they begin to recognize that they have been little more than sexual performers, a deep and profound sense of sexual disorientation and incompetence sets in. What they believed was true of their sexuality has turned out to be an illusion. And just like that, what they had come to believe was their greatest strength...their most trusted ally — was now their biggest obstacle.

This enlightenment is not easy to overcome. From an addiction standpoint, when your goal in recovery is to achieve balance and emotional stability through the development of a foundation of values...the last thing you want to do is to remove one of the strongest pillars you have in your value arsenal. Logically, this is a recipe for destabilization and emotional disaster. And in a sense, this is exactly what it will accomplish. Because your sexual values — the very values that you have been using to stimulate emotional intensity — have developed into destructive, unhealthy will be asked to lay them aside and redevelop new ones. Of course, this takes time, and do you achieve the emotional intensity that makes you feel 'normal'? That makes you feel alive? That makes life worth living? This is where the void of recovery takes place. From the moment that you lay down the unhealthy tools in your life and begin to construct newer, stronger, more valuable tools (e.g. values).

In regards to sexuality, the void is often experienced as one might feel following the death of a loved one. That it is almost surreal. That they are no longer complete...and never will be again. The sexual activities that had once come naturally, now seem contrived and uncomfortable. Their ability to lose themselves in the sexual act is now experienced as emptiness and confusion as they truly have no idea how to feel. How to act. How to experience healthy sexuality. Their sexual thoughts and activities are constantly self-analyzed. Fear encroaches on their decision-making. Guilt and anxiety accompanies normal feelings of passion and sexual enjoyment. Self doubt, insecurity and complete sexual paralysis become staples of this person's life. Now, this description leans towards the more extreme experience, but many of these behaviors are experienced in some way by most who transition from compulsive sexual behavior to healthy sexual behavior.

Breaking Out of the Void

As we know by now, boundaries exist to provide us with a means for protecting our values. But how can you define boundaries to protect values that do not exist? Or that have been so badly deteriorated that the boundaries themselves would be meaningless? If we do not have a clear base of healthy sexual values, then there is no way that we can define the boundaries to protect those values, right?


You have entered a rebuilding phase in your life, which means that you have given yourself permission to take the time and energy to learn how to do things right. If you follow the most common road in this sexual redevelopment process, you will first come to recognize and remove all existing unhealthy sexual values. This will leave you at a bare minimum in terms of the value's ability to provide stability to your life. Accurately, you will feel incompetent and almost child-like when identifying with your own sexuality. And so, like a child, your role in development becomes the relearning of the sexual values that should have been learned many years ago. The difference is, you are now mature enough to orchestrate that learning, as opposed to leaving yourself at the mercy of others to teach you.

Lesson 39 Exercise:

The following is intended as a step-by-step guide for rebuilding your sexual values and for developing the boundaries that will protect those values. It is not intended to be completed in a matter of hours, but to be developed over the course of weeks, months and years. This is certainly not the only way to develop healthy sexual values, but it is a guaranteed effective way.

Step 1 Take Inventory of Your Current Sexual Values

Your first step in redeveloping healthy sexual values is to brainstorm a list of all sexually-related values that you currently hold. Don't worry about how socially acceptable this list may be, nor concern yourself with whether a particular value is healthy or unhealthy. Your goal here is only to identify your current thoughts/attitudes relating to your own sexuality.

Some Examples:

  • Women want to have sex when they are physically attracted to someone
  • I am insecure about the size of my penis
  • Sex is my way of showing people I love them
  • I sometimes wonder if I might be gay
  • Masturbation is dirty and wrong
  • Masturbation is a normal, healthy behavior
  • If my partner isn't satisfying me sexually, I have the right to look elsewhere
  • Forced sex is okay if the person isn't harmed
  • I need to make my partner orgasm for sex to be successful
  • If a romantic partner won't have sex with me, there's something wrong with the relationship
  • I sometimes have sex when I don't feel like it
  • I need to orgasm at least once a day to feel normal
  • Once I am aroused, I must orgasm
  • There is no age limit with romantic love
  • Women get excited at the sight of my genitals
  • Deep down, most women love to be dominated
  • Love is enough to overcome anything in a relationship
  • Anal sex is disgusting
  • I don't like when men touch my breasts
  • I have a hard time telling my sexual partner that something they are doing is uncomfortable
  • My sex drive is unusually strong
  • Sex should be for love, not entertainment
  • Sex is always wrong outside of marriage
  • It is okay to fake orgasms
  • It is my wife's duty to sexually satisfy me
  • I do not like performing oral sex on my partner

To be effective, your list should have hundreds of statements and should be completed over the course of several days — an hour or two at a time. These statements do not need to be categorized; may possibly conflict with other statements in your list; and do not even need to make sense to anyone but you. There are no right or wrong answers — only a representation of your current sexual beliefs. The only way that you can go 'wrong' is by not putting forth the effort to thoroughly examine your current sexual beliefs. Or, by documenting what you think your beliefs should be, as opposed to what they actually are.

Step 2 Define an Ideal Ending

An ending? Before a beginning? Yes. Your next task is to create an ideal set of sexual values that you will strive to achieve in recovery. Unlike your first list, this one can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Your goal here is to define three to five ideal sexual values that you will begin developing into your life. These values should be general in nature, realistic and unarguably healthy. In other words, they should be socially accepted sexual values that match your own belief system.


  • I will only engage in sexual behavior that I choose to willingly
  • I will only engage in sexual activity with my partner
  • I will never engage in sexual behavior that places my sexual partner or myself in physical, legal or social danger
  • I will learn to love and accept my body through healthy masturbation
  • I will be a compassionate, considerate sexual partner; as opposed to a sexual performer
  • I will not be with anyone with whom I could not freely share my sexual/emotional needs
  • I will not engage in sexual behavior that I know to be high risk for destructive consequences

A list of three to five of these general values are all you need. Focusing on too many so early in the development process will serve only to confuse and overwhelm you. As the development process continues, these values will be refined, added to and ingrained...and new values will then take their place. But knowing an exact destination (e.g. three to five specific values/boundaries) is an important start.

Step 3 Define a Beginning

As you now have a slightly better vision of where you are headed, it is time to identify where you are starting. In order to develop your sexual values, you must begin that process of change. Somewhere. Anywhere. And so your next step is to pick the spot at which you will begin this change. How?

I. Take out the list of current sexual values that you developed in Step One

II. Remove each value that is unrelated to, irrelevant towards and/or contrasting with the values identified in Step Two.

III. All remaining values on your list should now represent your current healthy sexual values; and all should be related to helping you achieve your immediate developmental goals.

This filtered list is your starting point — your beginning. This list is the foundation for the remainder of your sexual development. From this point forward, your goal will be to add only healthy values to this list — values that will bring you closer and closer to the goals identified in the previous step. Additionally, it will be your task to refine these existing values on an ongoing basis so that they become more and more ingrained — more capable of providing you with guidance and emotional support. How you do this will be addressed in the remaining steps.

Step 4 Define Your Existing Vulnerabilities

With the knowledge of where your current sexual values are, coupled with the goals you are striving for, it becomes necessary to identify potential obstacles that will need to be overcome in order for you to successfully reach these goals. You will not be able to identify all potential obstacles, nor should you try. This step requires only that you look ahead to identify the most realistic obstacles that you might face. Additionally, it is intended to address only those obstacles that will keep you from achieving the developmental goals set forth in Step Two. For the same reasons as set forth above, trying to address all possible obstacles simultaneously will serve only to overwhelm and confuse — and so a more limited focus should be maintained for now. Remember, you must give yourself permission to take the time to relearn these things — and trying to do so too fast will leave whatever you might learn as an intellectual victory only. It is the ingraining of what you learn that will make the difference in your life.

With each obstacle identified, an action plan should be developed (not now) that will outline exactly the course of action that you will take should such an obstacle appear. This will be explained in greater detail in the Action Plans area of the workshop. For now, you have successfully completed this step when you have identified the most common, or the most likely obstacles that you will face in developing new sexual values.

Step 5 Ask for Feedback

No matter how capable you may already be in accurately defining healthy sexual values, if you have struggled with sexual addiction or sexually compulsive behavior, there is a good chance that your perceptions have become significantly distorted. Step Five suggests that you take your list of healthy sexual values and discuss them with someone you trust. Someone whom you respect in terms of their ability to provide accurate feedback on healthy sexual behavior. And while this is not a required step in the developmental process, in can be a valuable one — as objective observers can provide feedback to you in terms of identifying critical sexual values that you may have overlooked, skewed perceptions of current values that you hold and/or reassurance that you are on the right track.

The list that you will want feedback on is the one developed in Step Two: Define an Ending. This list is critical because it will allow you to start moving in the right direction from the very beginning. Depending on the level of trust you have with this person (or people), you may also want to review Step Three as well. If you have extreme trust (or complete anonymity), you may also consider discussing the entire list developed in Step One — as there are few better ways of learning than to receive constructive, objective feedback regarding unknown errors in our thinking.

Step 6 Select Initial Value for Development

Step six begins the active learning process. In Step Three, you defined the beginning of your sexual values by acknowledging those existing values that are geared to help you reach your immediate developmental goals. By no means is this the extent of value base, as you continue to hold many ingrained healthy and unhealthy sexual values that have yet to be addressed...or were eliminated in a previous step. This is okay, as the early developmental process requires that we focus on the process of learning, as opposed to the changing of your values in their entirety. And so, steps six through thirteen can be seen in more of a looping process. While we will be working with an individual value through each of these steps, you will eventually run each sexual value that you are developing through this loop. Many will even be in such development simultaneously.

Step six requires that you select a single sexual value from your current foundation of sexual values to begin actively developing. Because we are beginning with the values from step three, we can be comforted that we are starting out with a relatively healthy value...and so our goal here will be to strengthen it, as opposed to changing/eliminating it. Eventually, you will move to unhealthy and/or unknown values that you wish to add, modify or remove from your personal foundation.

Example: "I do not want to use porn to replace my sexual partner."

Step 7 Define the boundaries that will protect the selected value

With the value being developed selected, it is time to create the rules that you will use to protect this value.

  • "I will not use porn at home."
  • "I will not use porn more than once per week."
  • "After masturbating with porn, I will be honest with my partner when they approach me for sex and I am not in the mood."
  • "I will only engage in porn when my partner is present."
  • "I will engage in porn only when my partner has first turned me down for sex."

Are these adequate boundaries to protect the value of, "I don't want to use porn to replace my sexual partner."? Probably not. In fact, several of these boundaries are fairly unhealthy (by design) to illustrate the point that you do not have to strive for perfection as you develop your own boundaries. Your role is to do the best that you put down what you believe will best protect the value under development — given your current state of sexual awareness. It is the LEARNING PROCESS that will continue to refine and rebuild these boundaries into more healthy, useful ones. The only way you can go wrong here is to hold back your development by intentionally listing boundaries that you know to be unhealthy. All others will be refined in the developmental process itself.

Step 8 Observe Others

Observing others can be a great way to learn from both healthy and unhealthy people alike. As you go about your life, take note of the sexual values that you see in others, then filter those values into your current foundation. This is where books, observation, interviewing skills and the like can pay great dividends in your development. Every single person, every relationship, every social event is an opportunity for you to observe the values of others in action, and then filter them through your existing values. Of course, taking advantage of every opportunity to observe the values of others is a mental health disaster in the making. And so, the important point in observation is to recognize that the opportunities to learn are always there; not that you must learn from every opportunity. Spend every minute of every day trying to learn from those around you and you will experience little if any personal development. Spend ten minutes here...fifteen minutes hour or two on the week-ends observing the values in others...filtering those values through your existing foundation...redefining them to further personalize their meaning in your life...and you will experience certain growth.

The observation of others does not stop at merely observing them. Reading books that describe such values...interviewing people whom you admire about how they developed their values...observing yourself as you continue to develop...learning from those who possess values that you do not want to include in your own life. These are all highly recommended ways of furthering your own ability to develop your existing values.

Step 9 Look for Opportunities to Apply Your Values

Similar to the previous step, Step Nine consists of your willingness to consciously seek out opportunities to apply your current sexual values. This might involve reliving past situations, role-playing potential situations that you might someday face, or the most effective way — evaluating current situations in real time. The reason the latter is so effective is that it provides you with the means of receiving immediate emotional satisfaction, and allows you to learn from the consequences of making decisions based on your developing value system.

Step 10 Evaluate the Consequences

The next step in the value development process, is to learn from the consequences of the decisions that you make. This issues is explored in depth in the upcoming lessons on Decision-Making.

Step 11 Continue to Ask for Feedback

Just as you did in Step Five, it is important to continue asking others for feedback on your developing values/boundaries. Just as addiction was a pattern that developed over time...just as the building of a healthy foundation will be the result of a pattern that develops over time...the return to addiction is something to be aware of. This is best done by addressing your existing values on an ongoing basis, and receiving feedback from others to ensure that you are not actually redeveloping unhealthy sexual values, as opposed to healthy ones.

Step 12 Redefine Values/Boundaries

From the feedback received from others...from your own assessing of the consequences of your value-based decisions...continue to make adjustments to your existing values and boundaries.

Step 13 Update Your List of Vulnerabilities

With changes in your values/boundaries come potential changes in the obstacles you may face as you continue to develop. Keep this reality at the forefront of your development by making regular checks for such obstacles, and refining the action plans that accompany them.

Step 14 Return to Step Seven

As mentioned, value development is a long process that will continue for the remainder of your life. That does not mean that you must put forth a conscious, sustained effort for the remainder of your life, only that development will occur slowly, through a process of change. And once that process is ingrained, it will continue on naturally for the remainder of your life. Initially however, such a process of value redevelopment — ANY VALUE REDEVELOPMENT — does require conscious, sustained effort.

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