“Till this moment I never really knew myself”
I’ve always thought of myself as a very committed person. Committed to my God, my religious believes, my family, my job, etc. Turns out as I’ve become more self-aware, I have simply always been committed to things that come easily. Throughout the years I have learned however, that commitment to those things that are hard is what has brought me the most growth and ultimately the most joy in life.
When I was 23 years old I felt like I had always been committed to marriage and wondered why I hadn’t had the opportunity. My mom sat me down and had an honest conversation about commitment. She explained how if I’m committed to something I had to seek that thing out. I needed to live and pray for whatever I was purporting to be committed to.
After that conversation I tweaked my level of commitment. Tweaking my commitment didn’t change the end scenario. It took years of me working, praying, sweating, crying, preaching, and dreaming marriage. Ten years to be exact. When the opportunity finally came, it seemed too good to be true. Finally, the thing that I had always wanted to commit to and what I had worked so many years to prepare for was here.
Marriage came to me by way of a wonderful, handsome 34-year old man who had 3 beautiful children from a previous marriage. I jumped in with two feet thinking that God had helped me prepare for this over the past 10 years and that finally I had reached my prime. I couldn’t have been more excited.
This is where my commitment to things that come easily shone brightly. Our dating, engagement, and wedding came rather easily. It was romantic and everything seemed possible. I had reached my impossible dream.
During the first months of marriage, I began to wonder if I had made the right choice. As things got harder, I felt myself pulling out. The commitment that I had dreamt of making began to seem hard and undesirable. Over the months good things happened but hard things seemed to happen more. I started to feel like everything about myself was foreign and I was wandering in a strange land. I lost my identity and blamed my husband, his kids, and the choice I had made to get into the marriage for it. I felt like I was drowning in an ocean with no land in sight. I felt alone, afraid, and like I had nowhere to turn.
My mother once again had a talk with me about commitment. I clearly remember her saying, “at some point you have to decide if you are going to be two feet into your marriage or if you are going to remain one foot in and one foot out”. This of course wasn’t an easy thing to hear. I once again had to tweak my level of commitment. However, again, tweaking my level of commitment didn’t change my scenario immediately. It still takes a weekly, daily, even hourly re-commitment to create the marriage and life that I want.
As I look back on the last 35 years of my life, it turns out that it is still good to be committed to those things that are easy to be committed to. However, it is through being committed to things that are hard to be committed to that have truly taught me about myself. It is through these experiences that I have really come to know myself. For like Jane Austen said, “till this moment I never really knew myself”.