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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Commitment

"We make a living by what we get.We make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

The dictionary beside me defines commitment in three separate ways. The first: To make secure, and put in safekeeping. To entrust. The second: To place in or send to a prison or mental institution. The third: To pledge or assign to a certain course, or use. I am going to attempt to examine commitment.

To begin I am going to start with the last definition: To pledge, or as I define it, a vow. We make many promises throughout our lives. We go to job interviews, and put our best feet forward. We guarantee the interviewer that we are the best people for the job. We have the skills, the dedication, the knowledge, and the flexibility to get the job done. It does not matter what is going on in our lives outside of work, we pledge to leave it at the door, and be what the employer needs, to get the job done.

We commit to a relationship. We will be there for those we love. We will be loyal friends. If we have a dispute, we will work together to solve the problem, gently. We will confide, honestly. We will play together, fairly. We are companions, faithful to the end.

We commit to our children. We will raise them with the values we consider most important. We will use our resources, physical and financial, to keep safe the people we brought into this world. It is the one commitment that I personally know that I would give my life for. My children are my hearts most passionate purpose.

We commit to ourselves. Our values are our commitment. We must have a grasp on who we are, and what we are made of. If we can not save ourselves, we will be no good to anyone. This last one, for me is the most difficult to grasp. I am a caregiver, by profession. I am a caregiver, by nature. I am loyal, faithful, and like many, I spent years, putting myself last. I thought that being behind the people, I committed to, meant that I was noble. I do not like the phrase, but I am codependent.

I have actually been described as "too nice" in yearly job reviews. I worked hard, gave my all to my patients, employers, and left my crap at the door, and was rewarded with a smaller raise, for being "too nice". That was before I realized that by letting stuff like that bother me, I was giving power, where it was not deserved. I gave up my power for someone else's opinion. I work daily to be my own advocate, now. I know who I am. I know what I value. I do not become diminished by other peoples opinions, I become educated by them. It is my right to change my mind, if I see fit. It is my priority to know that I am the best person I can be, for me.

The second definition: To place in, or send to a prison or mental institution. This touches my life, as well. I have had to go to court. I have had to call the police, on both of my children, at one time, or another. I did this to make them safe. I did this to show my love for them. Neither of them will ever describe me as being "too nice" I am sure!

My Husband stated that he thinks I blog too much about the children. I considered what he said, and I justified myself with this... I think about them, night and day. They are my legacy. Then last night, I got a call from Nate. His mental state was unstable. He vented, hung up on me, called back, vented some more. He told me he could read my mind, and that I was laughing at him, in it. He told me I didn't care about him, if he lived or if he died. I stayed calm, on the telephone, and this pissed him off more. He wanted an excuse to act, and I wanted him safe. After he told me he never wanted to see me again, and hung up for the second time, I called the owner of the institution, where he is currently placed. I wanted them to know his mindset, and I wanted to make sure that he was safe. I spoke to the Administrator for probably an hour. I feel assured that they are doing everything they can for him. She is smart, and she is experienced. She knows more about this that I do. I am leaving his health in her hands. This is big, for me. It feels right.

I will leave you with this quote...

"I won't have any money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind."

                                                              Martin Luther King Jr. "I have been to the mountain top" speech
                                                                  April 3, 1968