“C. S. Lewis says that we choose everyday which direction we shall go in life: to Heaven or to Hell. Those choices never seem that portentous when first made, but they form an unmistakable path in one direction or the other as the years go by…… Our station in life is determined by choices, choices to work hard or slough off; choices to sacrifice for a lofty goal or satisfy the urge of the moment; choices to persevere or give up.”
Quote lifted from God’s Alternative Intimacy: Remaining chaste in an unchaste world, by Julia Dunn.
I’ve just passed the marker of being celibate for 2 years. Me. Of all people.
And I mean celibate from choice, not lack of opportunity, thank you very much for your concern you cheeky monkeys 😉
People interpret ‘celibacy’ in different ways, so let me tell you what it means for me. It’s complete abstinence from anything other than ‘friends only’. So it’s not just ‘no sex’, it’s
- no dating
- no romantic relationships
- no boyfriend-girlfriend
- and definitely no FWB!
For me celibacy is as much a journey as it is a destination; physical, emotional and spiritual. I never set out in the beginning to be longer-term celibate. Far from it; considering my track record, it would seem nigh-on impossible!
So, why and how did it all start?
Well, first off it was just to give myself a 6-month breather after ending a long-term ‘troubled’ relationship, plus I’d had an op which put nookie firmly off the agenda for 2 months. Grim. It was most definitely an imposed ban.
Talk about cold turkey. I raged. Oh man, did I ever rage.
I thought I’d be like a savage horned beast when the 6 months were up! But in fact I began to think, you know what, this is good for me. This is healthy. This is purifying. By the grace of God, this is actually OK.
What was once like rehab I realised had become a detox. Surprised by this turn of events, and my change of heart, I was curious to carry on. So, after a deep breath and lots of ‘God help me’ prayers, I decided on another 6 months.
At the end of that 6-month milestone (making a total of a year), I tried being ‘not celibate’ for a couple weeks to see what I felt like. Did I want to date? Did I want to be ‘romantically involved? What were the relative advantages and disadvantages to me of being fully ‘celibate/abstinent’ versus being ‘single but dating’, versus being in a ‘1-2-1 relationship’? All options considered, so it was ‘open market here we come’.
Is all it took me to decide I wanted to stay celibate. Two weeks of so-called freedom was all it took to realise real freedom for me lay in staying on the journey to see where the path took me.
So this once-addicted total-horn-fest-lady-cake, with God’s good grace, actually took a vow to be celibate for another year. Me. Of all people.
Why and how do I carry on?
Well, it’s late, so that’s a topic for another post …..