Each of us are called to make commitments both minute and colossal throughout our time here. Some of us appear not to think of the consequences attached to our commitments and to the outside world may appear rash or even stupid. Some of us also let the fear of making a commitment prevent any commitment from taking place. A commitment you make of course, is also a decision – something you actively choose to follow through. How many decisions have you made already since waking today? Have they been insignificant?

This morning I woke with a set intention – to finish painting my son’s bedroom. We have been living at our new address for almost seven weeks now and despite having achieved much the basis of the painting is very much ongoing.

Before I got the house I made a commitment to repaint every surface in our new home. It had been decorated well by the longstanding old tenants but now needed new life, a new look and a fresh start. I also love painting. Or so I have always maintained. The problem is that the length and complexity of repainting even in one small room is actually starting to overwhelm me. And glossing. Who actually enjoys glossing?!

What to do?

I could give up and accept that I am never going to graduate the world of DIY but that would be a laziness on my part that would not achieve my goal. Also it would be a lie having already been a successful repainter of some previous houses. I could spend a great deal of cash on paying a professional to do the whole place, (oh this is tempting), and I could wait for friends to be free to help me out, (anyone who has successfully managed to find a friend with painting skills holler my way). Finally I could just follow through on my commitment and stop trying to rush the process. It is in the rushing and the wishing for completion that my lack of joy kicks in – that and accidently grazing my foot with the ladders and did I mention that the ceilings are 8ft high to my 5 ft and a half frame?!

So I have revisted the root of my goal – to really make a great job of painting this place – and for me to enjoy that and to do it well. All I have to do I realise is to slow down and appreciate the work. The work of course is the consequence of conjuring up a house “with all the basics and period features that I would only have to paint”.

And in another seven weeks I might just have one room finished!

When you set your goals or wish really badly for something you must be aware of the consequences attached to them. What will you be required to do in return for being loaded or married to the person everyone else is in love with or living in the house of your dreams?

How This Relates to Loss

When we lose big it means we have lost someone or something that we had commitment to. A deep bond or a superficial one the deeper the commitment the stronger the sense of loss, the larger the hole or divide. It is different from committing to the goals and aspirations of everyday life but in some ways even more important.

Think of all those you hold a deep commitment to – a person or an animal maybe – but a deeper commitment than say a casual friend. You chose to commit to them and continue that choice everyday. It is your choice and even if you feel pulled or pushed towards or away from them the amount of commitment you are willing to give is still up to you. No one else controls your commitment. And no one else deals with your loss. The consequence of commitment is loss in our world. And can you cope with that?


Note: I’ve been aware of the consequences of my own commitments since I was quite young. I resisted making any major decisions at all through fear of the consequences for years and years. But once I became a parent – I think – very definitely a conscious choice where I was willing to live with any consequence that came the way of me and my child – it all changed. Read about that here!


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