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The Commitment - Abadoss' Mind
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Mon, Sep. 27th, 2004 04:33 pm
The Commitment

So, I've been asked to recount the whole story behind my commitment. Those who've heard this a million times, just don't click on the cut...

If we were to say that life is somewhat like a movie, this would be me rewinding. As a kid, I had a bit of a hard childhood. Around the age of five, my father was forced to leave. From that time on, I've considered him dead and looked to God as my Father. However, as any psychologist might suggest, a boy without a father physically being there is was doomed to have issues growing up. One of which was how I interacted with others. In school and in my neighborhood, I was constantly teased, ridiculed, bullied, ostrisized, etc. I found it hard to make friends. In addition, my family often ended up moving around a lot, so I never really had the chance to set down roots. I had to fend for myself and rely on my family and my church for social interaction (which usually was with adults). Through this combination (and much more aside), I had no choice but to grow up very quickly. This only made socializing with my own age group even harder.

I was energetic, always spoke my mind, and emotionally transparent on almost every level. I was also curious about everything, extremely knowledgable for my age, extremely imaginative and creative, proud of who I was, proud of what I could do, proud of where I came from, and completely convinced that I was right about everything. I was also highly sensitive and cried when I was hurt (either physically or emotionally) and I had a strong sense of fairplay (which was usually walked over). I was an extrovert by all means.

During sixth grade (near the end of the year), I was confronted with the prospect of dating. Before that, it had only been one forced "girlfriend" (the idea of fun for my brother and his neighbot friend) and one pseudo-girlfriend (during fourth grade and only for a day). I decided that I was too young at the time and such a decision was too important to make in haste, so I chose to wait until God told me that I could date. In my mind, I was thoroughly convinced that God would literally tell me "Yes" or "No".

Along comes seventh grade. By this time, I was so tired of being made fun of and left out that I decided that I'd stop letting myself be a target. I chose to close my mouth and internalize everything. I would not let them destroy me and I would preserve myself. My objective was to control my emotions and harness my thoughts. From this point on, I've been an introvert.

Fast forward to eighth grade. It was during this time that I met Kristy. Seeing her for the first time sent shockwaves through my entire life. With her, I felt something that I'd never before experienced up to that point. I could've sworn that I was truly in love. Only problem was that I had not yet heard from God whether or not I could date. So, I started looking for signs. It's often said that you find what you're looking for. I thank God that I didn't. Every time I tried to get God to give me a sign, it was off by some number or not at all what I was looking for. I was getting frustrated because I knew that I didn't want to simply start up something without God's guidance, but at the same time, I felt this incredible and undeniable desire to be with her. I had trouble with the idea that God would let me have these emotions and not the ability to act upon them.

Over Christmas break of that year, I came upon a book called, I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. The book rang true with a lot of my morals and made sense on very many levels for me. The book gave me a new definition of what "dating" was. Dating became more about the relationship, rather than the title. While I didn't decide to follow the book word for word, I chose to give up "dating" and wait for marriage. I set myself up, in the long run, because the commitment I made (between God and myself) was indefinite. I set no room for growth.

As time went on, I found myself constantly battling myself for control over my emotions. I struggled to find ways to forget about Kristy, and later each girl that seemed to preoccupy my thoughts each year. My freshman year, it was Crystal (who originally reminded me a little of Kristy). My sophomore year, it was Karen (who was my good friend that eventually drifted away). My junior year was when the real problems started happening. During this year, I met Hannah. Before I'd always struggle with myself, thinking "Why can't I simply follow my commitment and forget about these girls?" Hannah turned it all around. The emotions that I felt for Hannah were the strongest emotions I'd ever felt (even stronger than for Kristy). My crush on Hannah made me start to wonder if I had grown out of my commitment and if it was still appropriate for my life.

I began to wrestle with the idea of letting go, but I couldn't decide. So, in order to resolve the issue (with a quick fix), I gave myself a exit clause: If a girl I liked kissed me (truly and because she liked me, not fake or for non-honorable reasons), I could let go. It's one of those things where it's pretty much not going to happen, but is plausible enough to accept. At least, I could rely on that when my mind felt overloaded. I began to look at the pros and cons of my commitment. One thing that my commitment did for me was that it had kept me out a great deal of potential trouble and it also helped label me as "safe" among my female friends. My high school's girl/guy ratio was nearly seven girls to one guy, so most if not all my friends were girls. However, even before high school, the friends I really valued were almost always girls. Guys seemed (and often still seem) crude, boring, annoying, immature, more prone to be a jerk to me, and overall not "safe" for me to be open with. High school only solidified (and possibly amplified) that feeling. The cons were a lot easier to find than the pros, but the pros always seemed valid, where as a lot of the cons could easily be dismissed. One cons is that having a girlfriend means that I can be close to someone and have a real relationship with someone, but the problem is that this is something that you can have with close friends (obviously not the romantic bit, but the closeness).

That year and the next, things got crazy. You can read about it on your own time. I finally got to the point (with her help) where I could finally let go of her in my mind, but I couldn't let go of the question that now loomed in my head.

"Is my commitment still appropriate for my life?"

Come December of 2004, I will have had my commitment (and follwed it, though reluctantly at times) for six years. In that time, I've come to the point where I've dropped the term "dating" for a more realistic view about it. Also, I read Joshua Harris' follow-up book, Boy Meets Girl, in which he says that there are saintly daters and chronic courters. It's not about what you call it, but it's about how you go about it. So, I'm leaning closer and closer to letting go, but I'm continually held back.

I have a lot of fears about letting go of my commitment. First, it's what I know. I've not had anything else. Even though I've seen and heard about how it's supposed to be and how it often is, I don't know it for myself. Secondly, I've held back a great deal in my life. I'm am thoroughly scared to tears that when I let go, it will be like dynamite to a dam. I fear that it will unleash everything on whatever poor girl ends up with me. Third, my commitment is an honorable one and letting it go seems like giving up. The idea was to save myself for my future bride and letting go seems like not waiting for her.

Fourth, I don't know how I will be when I let go. I'm worried that I won't be able to control myself or that I'll be a completely different (possibly horrible) person. I fear what I am capable of, not because I don't know, but because I do know what I am capable of. I have as much potential for evil as I do good (Tabula rasa). Five, suddenly letting go might destroy some of the relationships with women that I have. Like I said earlier, I don't keep very many guy friends, so most of my friends are women. I sadly admit that I am biased against guys. In my mind, a guy has to prove that he's mature, good, and safe, where as a girl has to prove that she isn't. Letting go also means letting go of my "safe" factor. Within the last two years, though, I've purposely avoided telling people of my commitment (unless dire circumstances required) because I've wanted to see if it's possible to have women friends without it or to have that "safe" factor stay intact. So far, I've not seen much luck of it.

So, as I am now, I have yet to decide to let go of it, though the desire is there. Another thing to note is that regardless if I decide to let it go, I'll probably not get girlfriend for some time anyway. I think that I'm not ready for such a thing. Until I'm able to be happy without a girlfriend, I'm never going to be happy with one. Yet one more thing to note is that I make a distinction between going on a date and dating. I have no problem going on dates because it's just spending time with someone like a friend. Dating (in the way I've used the word) is like having a girlfriend (whether by title or not).

That's where I'm at...

If you've avoided the cut, you can breathe easy now... this is the end of it...

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "Adam Lay Ybounden" -Hubert Bird


Mon, Sep. 27th, 2004 08:50 pm (UTC)

If you are willing to listen to a man who has a god similar yet drastically different than yours, I would be willing to speak.

You have a commitment that you have stood by for six years. This commitment has torn you up, the repercussions seem to be constant. While your stance is admirable, it seems that this has the potential to damage yourself even more.

You have shut yourself off from women for any purpose but friendship. By distancing yourself so much from the opposite sex, you have spent this time being frustrated. Let me tell you that had you done things differently you would have been equally frustrated.

But you would have learned. You would have learned a great deal. I'm not saying that you haven't already, but this stance you seem to have taken has cut off an important developmental learning opportunity.

I always find it amazing that people will hold themselves off for one woman. For THE woman. This is admirable and honorable, but in this era I believe that this is also harmful. By doing this people often find themselves in situations that are ultimately harmful for them and their loved ones.

I fell in love for the first time when I was eighteen. We had a torrid, violent relationship, yet I believed that she was the one for me. Letting go of her was one of the hardest things that I have done. Since then I have grown a great deal. And I have learned a great deal more. Had I followed the belief that this woman was to be THE woman, I would have damaged myself, her and any that could have come after.

This is not to say that there are not those who fall in love at first sight. This is not to say that there are those who marry young and stay together forever. This is a wonderful, romantic ideal. But it is so unfortunately rare.

The purpose of a young relationship is to learn and grow. These experiences will lead you to something better and more powerful. These experiences can lead you to a love so ultimate, so important.

This is not to say that you should drop your commitment. This is not to send you from the path you are on. This is merely one man's perspective, a man who has lived another way.

Your commitment is important, as this has, in some way, shaped you. This has lead you to become who you are today. But you should not fear it. You should also not simply drop it.

This commitment seems like a totem. An object of power that you carry with you to make you feel safe, to make you feel comfortable. Some have a ring, others have a necklace. Me? I've got a ten peso coin and a thimble. I draw power from these things, but I know that I cannot carry them forever. One day, I will lose them. And on that day I will become distraught, simply because they are no longer there.

But the power they have given me will remain. It has rubbed off on me, and will be in me forever. Like training wheels on a bike.

You will outgrow your commitment when you are ready, just so long as you do not fear what happens when it is gone. Because the emotions that kept the commitment there will remain, and its power will remain as well. Just don't let it hold sway over you.

Forgive me for the length, but if you know one thing about me it's that I like to talk. A lot.

I respect you, sir. I respect your decency and I respect your strength. Make your move when you feel ready. And live well.

Long days and pleasant nights, my friend.

-Virgilio Ramon de la Cruz

Scott Schumacher
Mon, Sep. 27th, 2004 11:16 pm (UTC)

wow. I can see from this post that you are such a deep and spiritual person, and that is rare and admirable. And while I don't know you that well, I just read your journal because of the Celtic Music link, I feel compelled to speak to you through the eyes of what faith has taught me.

I can't help but think of the story of the man who was caught in the flood, who knew that God would rescue him and see him through, and that he would be freed from all harm. A woman in a canoe came to offer space in her boat. He decided to stay because he knew God would not let him die. When the waters reached higher and he sat on his roof, another large boat came by to take him, but he stayed, knowing God would not let him die. A helicopter attempted to lift him out of the increasing waters, but still he remained.

The man drowned.. and died.

When he reached Heaven, he asked God "Why did you let me die? You promised you would keep me safe". And God said," of course I did. That is why I sent you the woman in the canoe, then the large boat, and finally the helicopter, but you refused to see them as my work, and I could no longer save you."

Every person you have loved and cared for that you speak of - Hannah, Kristy, Karen, etc...is a gift from God. We are all gifts from God to eachother.

Love is a messy thing. To know love is to know hurt, pain, suffering, solitude, guilt for wrong-doing. How can a loving God, who sends His child into the world to journey through Love, sheild him from the mess of hurt, loss, pain, lonliness. Accept the gifts of others coming into your life. Allow your hands to get messy. Let the experience give you depth and perspective, and enough of the shadows you fear, so that you may have courage, so that you can gain strength and grow.

Don't you believe in your heart that a LOVING GOD would want that? Also, know in your heart that you are LOVED NO MATTER WHAT as a child of GOD. NO MATTER WHAT. There are no conditions placed upon God's love. Honor that gift! Don't hold back your love for the ones that God has sent to you, because tomorrow...you could wash away in the floods, much like the man above.

Ask God to guide you through the dark parts of life that you most fear. He'll be there. And know that when your heart aches, so does God's heart. The "yes" and "no" you seek are irrelevant because of his unconditional love. He will never stop loving you.


This is where Maria talks about life
Tue, Sep. 28th, 2004 01:25 am (UTC)

Sounds like you've put a lot of thought into it. I am sort of struggling with something similar, but I am leaning towards a person-by-person basis. Instead of being totally against "dating" I am willing to consider it if it is a mutual attraction (which has never happened...initially I wasn't even attracted to the one person I have dated), but just because it is mutual doesn't mean I will pursue a "dating" relationship. I do not forsee my dating for a while, even with my recent openess to the idea. We all go through it, you aren't alone and we will prevail!