Stability Of Commitment

Commitment is an act of staying present. It’s something I take very seriously. Today, I am seeking to define what stability looks like in making commitments. Because to me, it requires more than meets the eye.

I don’t know what it is with me. When I make a commitment, it is do or die. I am ALL IN. It’s almost a curse. Like maybe some evil sorceress stood over my cradle and pronounced her gift: “You will experience nothing by halves, but will always be all in, fully invested.”

It’s probably not just like that, but I have developed the habit of hanging on with my teeth once I have said “yes.” I say it more than I should, too, because I fear the loss of love if I do not do what is asked of me.

Is hanging on with my teeth what stability really looks like? That’s more a picture of desperation, if my opinion is sought.

I’m learning, slowly, by degrees, that people who truly love me are okay with hearing “no.” In fact, they want to, if it is the answer that is best for me. Yet in my mind I’m thinking there’s going to have to be some way I make up for that “no” in the future. Sometimes it’s still easier to volunteer than to carry such perceived debt along with me indefinitely.

I am the one in charge of the boundaries.

The trouble is, people are going to keep asking. To ask is human. I am the one in charge of the boundaries. So I have to learn to make them and use them.

What does this have to do with stability? Staying present? Because it is soo easy to get mixed up. The act of making a commitment is not proof alone of stability. The act of keeping it, well, that certainly looks more promising. But the act of setting boundaries, that’s what stability in commitment really looks like. The “here, and no further” is not only good for me to know, but it’s good for neighbor, family, lover, etc. It’s good for communication. It’s good for growth.

Commitment is far more than saying yes.

Commitment is far more than saying yes. It’s a series of steps leading up to the yes. What am I capable of? What is ethical? What is possible? What do I want? What do I not want? Where are my boundaries? Am I called to participate in this? I may be making a checklist, so that every yes is a win/win, and every no is spoken from a place of peace. Making these decisions will ensure the stability of each commitment I accept, because I will be operating inside my own self-determined boundaries.

What boundaries do you need to set in order to make sustainable commitments?

Make a list! Share your thoughts in the comments. I am an eager listener and would love to hear your insights. Also, head on over to try out today's poetry prompt, which relates to this post!

Read the rest of the #31Days of Stability series here.

Jamie Bagley