|My gift all along|
It’s 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and it’s exactly a week to the hour until Mimi’s and my wedding. With that said, it’s also a week until we consummate our marriage. Today at Mass I realized what my greatest gift to her then will be---a pure self: free from sex, free from pornography, and now recently, free from masturbation.
Having experienced all three, I cannot begin to explain how much of a stronger, better and happier man I am when I have let go of each. I cannot begin to explain how freeing it is to love someone when you’ve mutually decided to keep sex out of your relationship before marriage. I cannot begin to express how free my eyes feel after having not looked at pornography for some time, how it has allowed me to see Mimi (and other women, for that matter) for her true beauty, and how there’s an almost guaranteed assurance that I won’t be thinking about any other woman than my bride when next week comes. Lastly, I cannot begin to explain how free my mind feels with the act of masturbation out of my life. I have surprisingly noticed a distinct difference in myself since I let that go a couple months ago---I’m more patient, I’m more relaxed, I’m more joyful, my mind feels lighter and clearer as well as my conscience.
I write this post because when we think about chastity we often think about the things we cannot have, the pleasures we think we are entitled to and deserve. I used to think the same way, but having experienced both sides of the coin, I cannot begin to explain how much happier I am on this side. I write this post because I want us to begin to anticipate what we could have, a life we can’t even imagine unless we’ve tried it for ourselves.
I will not say that this path is easy nor will I take 100% or even 10% of the credit to get here so far. My decision to wait again until marriage seven years ago was solely due to realizing that there are real men who do care about waiting. Habitual watching of pornography left my life three years ago after I read that watching enough of it leads to erectile dysfunction for young guys who later become active with real women. And recently masturbation left my life a couple months ago when I really started praying for Mimi, and she started praying for me, and the combination of the two gave me the grace to let it go once and for all.
In my broken past, I have found healing, and through my healing I’ve found strength. And a week from now, I get to bring that strength to my bride, to make love in the context of marriage that is natural and says I-give-you-the-best-version-of-myself. It will be incredibly beautiful, a love like no other. It will be the best I’ve ever had because it’s the only one I’ve had in a long time through my body, eyes, and mind. It will be the greatest gift I could give her.