You Can Do This, Part 2: Commitment
By Bridget Barnes
Today you may find yourself in the midst of a crisis or a trial. Perhaps you feel stuck in your tracks, confused and paralyzed. Sometimes the pain and the confusion feel like quicksand, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to crawl out of the pit. You want change in your life, but how do you take that first step?
You know that old saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Well, my friends, I think we need to make a revision to this advice. Sure, you can’t walk up that mountain or down your path without taking a step. You can’t make the necessary changes without getting up and putting one foot in front of the other. But, why do we seem to stay stuck? Why do we slide backwards? Why do we give up before we’ve begun?
No, that journey doesn’t begin with a single step. It begins with making a commitment. Forget walking down that path or up that mountain or out of the pit without making a commitment. It just won’t work. You absolutely have to make up your mind that you are going to stay the course before you begin.
Here is what I want you to consider committing to as you make the choice to change your life:
1. Yourself…You must commit to respecting and loving yourself no matter what is going on around you. This sounds easy, but don’t we often give up on ourselves? Today, I challenge you to figure yourself into the equation of your life. This means that you will be loving, kind, and gentle to YOU, no matter what that voice in your head tells you. You are making this change to better your life, to become a better person, to go in a better direction.
2. Right actions…Okay, this is hard. Don’t we sometimes want to post those passive aggressive memes because we’re angry, and we’re hoping the object of our ire will see it? Don’t we want to vent to our friends, and then it turns into a four hour long butchering of the person who wronged us? And, don’t we want to sometimes take revenge? We’ve all done it, but then we feel worse for it. All this does is continue the negativity. It spews forth, and then we have a hangover. Commit to trying your absolute best to performing right actions. Oh, it will be challenging for sure. You’re going to slip up, but you have to get back on track.
3. Self-care…There’s a lot of talk lately about self-care and for good reason. When we’re in crisis mode, we don’t think clearly, and we neglect ourselves. We’ll do just about anything to avoid the pain, and sometimes those choices make the crisis worse. If you need to see your doctor or therapist, do it. If you need to go to the gym, do it. If you need to eat healthier foods, do it. Journaling, meditation, prayer, bubble baths…you get the point. This goes with committing to yourself. You gotta take care of your mind, soul, and body. It’s not selfish, so don’t even go down that line of thinking.
4. Honesty…If you’re going to get out of this, then you’re going to have to do the hard work of analyzing how you got to this point. I won’t lie; it sucks. I’d rather do a million other things than think about how my life reached a crisis point. Unfortunately, you can’t grow and change without this crucial step. There will be some painful stuff dredged up, for sure. You’ll be mad at yourself; you’ll be mad at other people. But, if you want to make the necessary changes for a better life, you’re going to have to be 100% honest with yourself.
5. Responsibility…Ugh. That’s no fun. It’s WAY easier to avoid taking responsibility for our lives. Wouldn’t we rather blame our parents, our spouses, our jobs, our second grade teachers? Isn’t it easier to hide under a blanket with our eyes closed? If you want to climb up that mountain, then you’re going to have to take responsibility for every action, every word, every deed, and every decision that you’ve made and will make. Some things are out of our control, for sure. However, YOU and you alone are responsible for your behavior. You want to make a change, right? Well, you’ve got to decide that you are the one responsible for making that change. Decide today that you will take responsibility for the words you speak and the actions that you take. And, if you get off course, then do your dead level best to get back on the path.
You’ve got this. You can make the vital changes, but you’ve got to decide to make a commitment first. No matter what is going on around you. You can do this. I know you can.