Monday, April 4, 2011

The Challenge of Commitment

April 4, 2011
A to Z Blogging Challenge
Day 3 - C

When I signed up to do the A to Z Blog Challenge, I knew it meant dealing with that dreaded C-word: Commitment.

Webster defines commitment as: an act of committing to a charge or trust; an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; something pledged; the state or an instance of being obligated.

Heavy stuff, commitment, and something to be taken seriously by all those who by spoken word or action practice it. People depend on you when you make a commitment to them. They trust you and they make decisions based on that trust. But I think the most important aspect of commitment has to do with something more. Something inside us.

These days, it seems easy for folks to say ‘yes’ to doing [fill in the blank] and then not follow through. Most of life isn’t rocket science, so what’s the harm, right? So what if you tell your BFF you’ll go with them to [fill in the blank] and you stand him/her up on the night of the event? They love you and will forgive you, right?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Do they have the strength of commitment needed to love you as the flawed human being you are? If you aren’t equally committed to them, you might be in for a surprise.

And the Internet doesn’t always advance your cause. It’s far too easy to give a cyber-yes to something because cyberspace deals in the anonymous, especially in the world of romance fiction. But you’re kidding yourself if you think no one past those you made the commitment to will know you ignored your pledge. People have long memories, yes, but most importantly you’ll remember you duffed on your commitment, and if you’re any kind of decent human being you’ll have to ask yourself if that’s the kind of person you want to be.

Commitment is scary. It’s for grown ups. When you can truly commit, it’s a sign of maturity. Who the hell wants to be MATURE?? You do.

You want to know that when you say you’ll do something, you mean it. You’ll do it. You owe it to yourself to follow through on your word. Yeah, sure, it makes people look at you in a very favorable light when you make good on your commitment, but more importantly, it allows you to see yourself that way, too.

And that’s the whole point of acting like a grown up and embracing commitment. How do you want to see yourself? Who do you want to be inside?

Just so you know, I struggle with commitments every darn day of my life. Saying "yes" is so easy but it can get me into trouble. I hate to say “no” to my loved ones, to the people I work with, to people I know in the publishing world.

It wasn’t easy but I learned how to be mature and say “no” when it’s called for. And sometimes it IS called for. It’s far more appropriate to say “no” than to let down the people I’ve made a commitment to when I can't follow through.

And you know what? I think they respect me even more for having the courage to set boundaries on those things I commit to and to sometimes say “no.” Setting boundaries can be a very loving thing to do.

The journey to a better me hasn’t always been easy. It’s frequently a challenge, but I’m committed to my own evolution as a human being. And that’s the most important commitment I’ve ever made.

KC Kendricks

1 comment:

Melissa Bradley said...

Excellent post, my friend. I struggle with commitment because I hate saying no and waffle on my boundaries. I'm getting better, though, and forcing myself to choose what to accept and remain true to.