When I examine my life over the last seven years, I've realized that I have had a very good thing. I made a choice that was both admirable and honorable. It was the right thing to do and I benefitted from my decision. I think in that respect, I have done what I needed to do and to do otherwise would've been foolish. However, as time has worn on, the fruits have become sour and wilted. What started out good, no longer bares good fruit.
To cut past the metaphors, I've come to realize that my commitment, made seven years ago, is a good thing, but it no longer produces the good for which it was originally intended for. I have become bitter and hurt and I have watched my emotional state shred itself to pieces. I spend more time thinking about what I don't have because I'm so focused on not having it. It defeats the purpose of my commitment. Also, it was very naive of me to make a commitment that was indefinite. While there's no way I could've known at the time, it has caused me a good deal of frustration.
Something that was honorable and noble has turned to frustration and pain because of poor wording in my contract, so to speak. It's like having the Holy Grail and beating yourself over the head with it for several years. It's still the Holy Grail, but what you're doing with it isn't edifying to anyone. It's a good thing which has lost its meaning and purpose. Just as man is not made for the Sabboth, but Sabboth for man, so too am I not made for my commitment, but my commitment for me - a function which has long since ceased.
Yet, with anything that you commit to for years, it ceases being something that you just abide by and remember. It becomes a lifestyle. Instead of stopping yourself in the middle of whatever you're doing to remember what it is that you committed yourself to doing, you avoid the situation altogther. Being in places, of which the sole or main purpose is what you're committed not to do, becomes pointless and no longer have any attraction or pull, but rather a repulsion because it reminds you too much of what you're avoiding. Instead of letting the relationship between you and another person progress naturally, you stiffle it when it threatens to be too serious or you avoid it altogether so there's no temptation. It's not healthy and it's what I've been doing for the last seven years.
I don't think I'll ever get to a point where I don't think that my initial motivation behind my commitment will loose its honor and rationale. My reasons for remaining within my commitment are beyond question and, in of themselves, flawless. However, the environment to which they have been planted have not allowed this perfect and flawless seed to grow into anything healthy that produces good fruit. I was not a good host to this noble commitment. I followed it begrudgingly, instead of happily. It tore through my life, instead of growing deep roots which held firm solid ground. I cringed, instead of smiled. I weeped, instead of laughed. I was a captive, instead of a free man.
Looking back over the seven years of this commitment, I don't think I would have done anything differently, but, by all means, I wouldn't want to do it again.
By God's grace, I have decided to release myself of my commitment. I will still live the values that I have learned from it, but I cannot continue to be a prisoner to it. My ring, which has been a physical reminder of my commitment, will simply return to being a purity ring.
And, no... that doesn't mean I'm going to go out and find a girlfriend now...