Today I’ve been contemplating the commitments we make to other people. We commit to our bosses that we will arrive on time in the office at nine o’clock in the morning. We commit to our children that we will take them to the amusement park on Saturday. We commit to our spouses to be faithful in our union. “I promise you,” we say. These agreements are important to our daily life and relationships. My concern in this post, however, is with the commitments we make (or break) to ourselves.
Maybe our health is not optimal, so we commit to eat better and exercise more. But on day five, we find ourselves sitting in the fast food drive-thru line because it’s more convenient. Maybe we feel the need to deepen our relationship with the Divine, so we commit to a nightly meditation practice. But one night the following week we make plans with friends and the next there’s a favorite show on TV, and we allow these to interfere. Maybe we commit to finishing that novel we started reading (or writing) last month. But then household chores suddenly seem to take precedence and the pages collect dust on the nightstand.
A commitment is a pledge to follow through with a particular action. It’s important to honor others by keeping the promises we make to them. We stand in integrity when we do so. Breaking our promises to others severs trust and damages relationships. It is equally, if not more, important that we honor the commitments we make to ourselves. When we don't, we abandon the self, which can lead to feelings of failure and self-loathing. Opting for temporary convenience over long-term accomplishment is self-defeating. Putting the needs and desires of others before our own may seem heroic, but once habituated, becomes draining.
You are important enough to make yourself your own priority. You are worth setting a goal for yourself and letting nothing stand in your way of accomplishing it. You deserve to make a date with yourself and keep it. You are valuable, so commit to being your own best friend. Practice saying, “I promise me . . .,” and don’t break it. You’re too precious not to.
Be enlightened! ~ M