Friday, November 30, 2012

One Year Without a Date -- Celibacy Celebrated



 Thank you Jesus! For real.
I woke up and realized that this past year I have been  happy. This in spite of many disappointments. My vision has not improved. Panic ensues at the thought of serious multi-tasking. Headaches are still a bitch. My neck and shoulders feel like I am carrying a ton while all I'm doing is lifting my sweet little granddaughter. Cognitive therapy has now replaced physical and occupational therapy -- vision therapy to follow. The $20,000 grant that I was awarded to fix up my house was ultimately not received because I don't need $20,000 worth of repairs, I need $50,000 – the logic of that still escapes me. I failed as a copywriter because I couldn't do the necessary tasks required of my still-healing brain. I have been invaded by bastardly squirrels.
That litany of misfortune doesn't tell the true tale.
Something beautiful has happened this past year. I've gotten stronger. I have more confidence in my decisions. I have invested more of myself in the people I care about – my family, my friends, my neighborhood, my community. The result has satiated me like no man ever could.
I do not credit myself for being determined in my happiness. I thank God, who I believe directed this growth. The Holy Spirit continues to fly in to my life providing loving guidance.
Still there hasn't been a single date. I did have two parking lot attendants at the local hospital vying for my attention but I wasn't biting, or writhing or anything.
It isn't that the physical expression of romantic love holds no appeal. It does. Sometimes I get downright lonely.
A dear friend of mine was honored as a gala. Despite being on the tail end of a bad case of bronchitis, I got dolled up, put on a borrowed top, did my hair, applied a face and went. My son described my appearance that night to my daughter, “Mom looked great. There were bosoms involved!”
My friend got all the accolades she so deserves and then the dancing began. Heartache. I watched as much as I could and then had to excuse myself to privately mourn my single status. I wonder if it's silly that slow dancing is where I long the most for a man's presence? I am not a good dancer but I love being held and led and losing myself in the music, the man and the magic of the dance.
This, “You don't have a partner” phenomenon happened in the summer too. My friends invited me to a band concert that turned out to be a dance. I still remember the feeling of wanting to be in among the music and people moving effortlessly to oldies but goodies.
If I had been alone I would have prayed the rosary for help in getting through a difficult time. But I wasn't alone. Therein lies the hidden joy.
Despite yearning for human touch on starry nights, there is happiness. I have community – real community – friends I love, family to whom I matter. There is no dating awkwardness. This space away from sexuality has been freeing.
When I was very young my self esteem was such that I thought my sexuality was the best gift I could give a guy. I believe God led me to a new awareness of the many worlds of loving.  In so doing  he has opened up my own loving-ness. God created all of us as vehicles of his love. I now know I'm one of them.
Celibacy does not rob me of the ability to meaningfully interact. To share love allowing God to direct the process is to know wonder.
With my history it would be almost hilarious to say I am committing myself to celibacy. I won't pretend that I don't find chubby, intellectual-looking guys very interesting. What I know is that no matter what happens there will be love, God will always be there inviting us to step into his dance.