COMMITMENT: CHANCE, CHOICE, or the ROAD not TAKEN
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
I’m in a committed relationship! I’ve ended my dance in the shadows. I’ve cut out the tentative, often intense, occasionally outrageous, and frequently tempestuous flirtation with my heart’s desire. I quit running. I’m not hiding any longer. I don’t have to wistfully speak of my yearning while privately succumbing to the pressures of my id, ego, and super ego. I am in a committed relationship! I’ve spent this year engrossed in the process of preparing my first novel for publication and, I’ve come to appreciate the joy of wholehearted commitment. I have, for years, declared writing to be my passion. Total immersion into the nuts and bolts, the minutiae, and the demands of being attentive to a literary manuscript forced me to openly declare, without hesitation, or reservation, literary writing is my calling.
A Taste of Theresa: Musings From My Point of View, ©1999, was my first intentional foray into writing and self-publishing. Next came Anna May and the Preacher: A Collection of Short Stories, ©2004 and 2013. The latter is available on Amazon. These offerings were genuine from-the-heart pursuits, both shrouded in my deep-seated sense of uncertainty. They were eager dance partners, and I was the reluctant debutante. To paraphrase the inimitable, and courageous, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, I am doing the thing I didn’t think I could do. I have dispensed with the pretense and moved beyond excuses. I stopped analyzing the meaning of one’s comfort zone – there are times when this ubiquitous phrase is both irrelevant and immaterial. I chose to step out on faith, believing I could be what I want to be, and be all right in every sense of the word.
The path to unequivocal commitment isn’t straight, paved, or aesthetically pleasing. It is a winding, uneven roadway filled with an assortment of metaphysical and metaphorical challenges with one’s name engraved on them. Carved out of life’s experiences, it’s rocky, narrow in places, and torturous. Portions of it are choked by weeds. Bridge building for safe passage across treacherous rapids is a reality. Vistas are continuously shifting and changing, posing hurdles, difficult choices, and moments of sheer terror. Temptation hovers at every turn, urging, needling, wheedling, teasing, and brazenly questioning your every move. Support ebbs and flows. Opportunities for reflection, introspection, and action are unintentionally overlooked, because this walkway is only big enough for one person, and it’s scary, even in daylight.
Commitment is a conceptual state of being. It’s the act of giving one’s self over to someone, or something, completely, totally, unhesitatingly. It’s difficult to achieve when the head, heart, and soul aren’t in agreement. It’s frightening. After much thought, and consideration, commitment is easier to decline than accept. The list of reasons why grows in proportion to degrees of defensiveness about the decision, for deep down inside, guilt gnaws at you for not trying. Commitment is an ‘…I want to, but…’; an ‘…if only…,’; or, a ‘…I’ll think about it,’ proposition in which the benefits are omitted and the cons posed as dire probabilities.
The flip side of the arguments against commitment is what one gains from taking on the demand of owning and embracing what the heart desires. The marriage between commitment and choice is a bold move which opens one up to blessings, innumerable possibilities, and an enormous sense of relief. By making an unequivocal commitment, one experiences liberation. You are free to be yourself, to own your yearning, define your passion, and embrace your calling. Making a commitment is empowering: it’s you, all grown up, dressed, and ready to roll. No more excuses. You’ve made a clear statement: ‘This is who and what I am!’ Your message to the nonbeliever, the naysayer, the risk-averse armchair quarterback: ‘Build a bridge and get over it!’
Commitment is a choice. It defies uncertainty, self-doubt, insecurity, and cowardice. The path ahead isn’t miraculously straight, it has been transformed into a journey filled with opportunities to further define who you are, as you grow into your calling. You don’t shrink from the conflicts, fret over the unknown, or run from the obstacles. You learn more about yourself as you become more firmly attuned to what it is you’ve been called to do. Commitment strengthens self-love; acceptance of, and respect for humanity and the environment. Commitment infuses one’s soul with faith and an attitude of gratitude for the abundance of the Universe. It offers you the freedom to say, honestly, ‘I’m in a committed relationship and I love it!’
©September 11, 2017 by Theresa W. Bennett-Wilkes. All rights reserved.