How I Learned To Love Myself By Turning To Celibacy

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We live in an over-sexualized world, where nothing is really sacred anymore. One-night stands have become second nature to some, and that thing we used to refer to as our "virginity" is a thing of the past.

Despite the norm, I had it set in my mind that intimacy was going to be saved until marriage. Something so precious should be kept as a gift for someone special, at least that's what was instilled in my mind from childhood.

Unfortunately, my story didn't go as planned. Let's just say college got in the way and all of that changed.

Most of my friends lost their virginity in high school, and believe it or not, some even lost theirs as early as middle school. I was that girl who was called "innocent" by pretty much everyone, and actually lived up to the title until college came around.

During undergrad, I fell in "love," or at least that's what I thought it was at the time. I figured if it was indeed love, then why not do what lovers do, right? In the end, it all came down to temporary pleasure and happiness.

Satisfaction was never enough for me because something never quite felt right, and that something ended up being guilt. I knew engaging in sexual activity wasn't me. I guess you could say peer pressure, lust and living in the moment played a huge role.

I was raised in a Christian household and sex was meant to be saved for marriage. I felt terrible every single time I was laid up in the bed, playing the role of somebody's "wife," a title I didn't even live up to.

Two years ago, I made a vow to myself that I would leave the past in the past and do the right thing, like Spike Lee. I decided to practice celibacy and stick with it.

Believe it or not, I never gave in. I knew I was stronger now than I had been in my past, and I knew that waiting until marriage was something I was extremely passionate about. Most of my friends took my new vow of celibacy as a joke, but I knew deep down that despite all the jokes, I was doing this for myself.

Besides commitment, celibacy is a word no man truly wants to hear come out of a woman's mouth. I had gotten to know a few guys on a more personal level post-celibacy, and although they made it seem like my celibacy was okay, the sex talk always had a way of finding its way back into discussion.

At that point, I finally realized I was the problem, and I couldn't solve the issue at hand until I worked on myself. I was broken and emotionally damaged; I had to not only change my state of mind, but also to cut off several of the people I once communicated with on a daily basis.

Was the giving-up-sex part hard? Absolutely not. It was more so removing myself from a lifestyle I became extremely comfortable with that was challenging.

I was so used to the idea that I wasn't worthy of a man's heart if the relationship wasn't based on "sex," and this whole time, I had the game all mixed up.

I was never going to be worthy of any man until I was worthy of myself. It started with me, myself and I. No "situation-ship" with a man measured up to the relationship I learned to have with myself.

Celibacy is a word that allowed me to find the true meaning of love. A love greater than any love created between the sheets, this love is self-love. All the while, I was searching for validation from boys imitating grown men, and this entire time, what I was searching for was myself.

Let's just say sex is like that Christmas gift wrapped under the tree. You know you're supposed to wait until Christmas morning, but you just want to take a peek to see how good it is. Peeking can go one of two ways: You'll like what you see, or you'll hate it.

In my case, I hated the fact that I peeked at something that wasn't meant to be looked at until a later date. The moral of the story is, you live and you learn.

Thank you, celibacy, for giving me another chance to regain self-love, self-confidence and, most importantly, self-control.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr