Lust & FantasyPornographyPurity & Freedom

Pinpointing Heart Triggers

This is the next post in a series on identifying and avoiding different triggers that might cause us to fall back into patterns of lust and pornography.  Triggers can be broken down into four types.  Triggers of:





Triggers of the heart are some of the most powerful triggers, easiest to identify, yet some of the most difficult to stop.

What is a Heart Trigger

If a soul trigger is a weakness in what we believe, then a heart trigger, quite honestly, is a weakness in how we feel.  Heart triggers, simply speaking, are emotions.

Exhaustion, stress, loneliness, anger, frustration, disappointment, entitlement, even joy can all be a trigger for any one of us.  We may turn to pornography as a means to cope with unpleasant emotions.  In other cases, we may turn to it as a way to reward ourselves for doing well.

What makes them so powerful?

Just like your physical heart is crucial to your physical health, your emotional heart is crucial to your emotional health.  You cannot be healthy- spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or even physically!- if your ‘heart’ isn’t healthy.  Unhealthy processing of emotions leads to many issues- not simply porn and lust issues.  In my experience, matters of the heart can lead to things like eating disorders, cutting, promiscuity, and even suicide.

Your heart is not something you play around with.  It is something that should be guarded and taken care of.

Heart triggers are tricky because, for many of us, our emotions dictate our actions.  We do not make it a practice of stepping back and evaluating our hearts to keep them in check.  The message we hear is ‘do whatever feels good’ or ‘just follow your heart.’  We are told we are right to have our feelings or right to cope in certain ways, but we cannot live lives dictated by our hearts/feelings.

Finding Heart Triggers

Unfortunately, because many of us are emotion-driven, we act first and think later.  This makes heart triggers easy to spot in hindsight but hard to see in the moment.  Discovering heart triggers involves going where most of us do not really feel like going- back.

Picture your emotional heart as a bridge between your body and your soul.  You might believe one thing (soul) but do another (body).  The thing that determines which side you are on is usually your heart.  Whatever you feel at that moment can dictate what you do, what you think, and can, eventually, affect what you believe.  For that reason, heart triggers can also help reveal triggers of the soul.  We will talk more about how that works in the next post.

Think back to the last time you fell.  What were you feeling as you made that decision?  What was it that led you back to the porn/lust/masturbation/sex?

I get many e-mails from young women who say things like, “I felt so alone” or “I just needed affirmation and encouragement.”  Can you identify with those types of feelings?  Do you notice a pattern in your failure?

It might not be a heart trigger.  Remember, we still have two more categories of triggers to cover, but heart triggers play a big role.


One comment

  1. Thank you for this post. It is helpful to distinguish triggers and have you articulate what is going on in the midst of temptation. I really appreciate your faithfulness to this topic. As a recovering addict, these posts are so encouraging. Please do not grow weary in well-doing. I can’t wait to meet you in heaven:) if I don’t meet you here on earth.