Commitment, Forever, Here and Now

by Belinda Munoz on December 7, 2009


Like many of you, I, too, am Tiger Woods-ed out.  So, no, this post is not about him.  However, I will bring up the word “transgressions”.  But I promise not to mention the words “pre-nup”, “smashed cars” or “Cablinasian”.

Seriously, let’s talk about commitment.  The kind that makes us willingly, happily, affirmatively say “yes” or “I do” or “I will”.  At times with joyful tears, or with a fullness in our hearts.  Or maybe with a teeny lump in our throat or a slight nagging doubt, but still with mighty optimism.

I wonder:  Is it in our genetic makeup to commit?  Are we capable of committing?  Do we even know what the word means?

While yes, there’s plenty of evidence that we humans falter all the time when it comes to committing, I’ll go out on a limb and say yes, yes and yes to these questions.  We make all kinds of commitments all the time.  We commit to a marriage, a partnership, a vocation, a calling, a principle, a diet, a truce, a mindset, a business plan, a vision, a mission, a dream, etc. etc.

We commit with our grasping minds and our sturdy hearts and our seeking souls as constant as the ticking of the clock.


And as steady as the changing of the seasons, we commit transgressions.  Transgressions that break our vow not only to others but also ourselves.  Big ones.  Little ones.  Transgressions that leave a crack on the surface or a chip on the edge.  Transgressions that sometimes smash our vitreous vows way beyond fixing.

The big ones are at times too big to forgive.  They’re the ones that betray not only others but also ourselves.  They keep our feet bolted to the ground, unable to go back to undo what’s done; unable to go forward as the damage, the shock, the wreckage, the pain are still unfolding, unsettled, unassessed, raw.  They’re the ones that clip our wings.  That handcuff our wrists.  That banish us to the back of the line.  Not entirely unforgivable, but still, some would say only the truly evolved or the truly foolish would forgive.

The little ones are pebbles small enough to ignore but somehow can incrementally snowball into an avalanche big enough to interrupt our course.


And thankfully, there are truly little ones, transgressions that we catch just in time before they grow too big for our psychological forklifts to shove to the back of our mental warehouse.  A warehouse that over time collects pallets of past transgressions: always stored, always hidden, never truly gone.

We find ourselves drawn to the back of the warehouse from time to time.  Not to rest.  Never to rest as the things we find there are not tools to help us rest.  Rather, it’s the opposite.  They bring much unrest.  We revisit often when we commit a transgression big enough to notice.  Perhaps not willfully.  Perhaps not deliberately.  Perhaps not consciously.  And still we revisit, sometimes for no reason other than it’s there — always there, always ready for a visit.


Commitment is so many things to so many people.  It’s life-giving, fulfilling, grounding, redemptive, joyful, hopeful and, dare I say, liberating.  Yes, liberating.  Commitment liberates us from uncertainty, from questions, from things in-between, from our limited ideas of blissful reality, and sometimes from ourselves.

For others it’s a curse.  A hill to climb.  Many miles of hard road.  A blocked tunnel filled with sewage water and starved rats the size of cats.

Yet even through a blocked tunnel, there can be light.  Because if we’re capable of starting a commitment with grasping minds and sturdy hearts and seeking souls, then we’re capable of finding a path more true, more sincere, more fitting than the one(s) we are on now.  If we’re being true to ourselves, the light that shines through the blocked tunnel, no matter how faint at first, will show us if or when a commitment is no longer right for us.


For so many reasons commitment doesn’t relate to forever.  For one thing, forever is a word many declare or claim or believe, though, really, does anybody know what it is?  Forever does not belong where we are; in the here and in the now.  Commitment in a way trumps forever because it’s a daily vow, not a daily mystery.  A word, an action that we can know and live.  Forever, I don’t pretend to know.

Commitment is an active shot at getting it right everyday.  A moment of renewed promise at each dawn.  A hopeful breath at every sunrise.  A rebirth at each morning.

At least for me, here and now.  And yes, I hope for you as well.


I’m eager to hear what you think.  Do you think this is a naive view of commitment?  Of forever?  Do you believe in forever?  Do you make commitments?  If so, what kind of commitments?  If not, why not?

Image by Billie Hara

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patty - Why Not Start Now? December 7, 2009 at 2:27 am

Hi Belinda – No, I don’t think it’s naive. It’s you, your life force coming full on. You are a committed person. And that’s inspiring. I like committing too, sometimes. But I’m also learning to be more experimental. To hold off on a full commitment at times. It’s sort of like I’m committing to being experimental right now. Because sometimes my past commitments have been driven by my need to be right. And lately being right feels draining. I’m actually enjoying finding out I’m wrong too! I don’t know if that makes any sense, but there it is.


2 Nicki December 7, 2009 at 6:46 am

Are we able to commit? As you said, yes. I think it is hardwired in humans to want to commit. This sometimes causes problems. We commit too soon. We do not take our time and make sure that what/who we are committing to/with is what we think.

I believe in commitment. I believe in forever. I will say, my beliefs have been tested. I test them. Life has tested them. I reformulate and rethink and then, yes, recommit to my beliefs.


3 Ben Leon Guerrero December 7, 2009 at 8:45 am

I wholeheartedly believe in commitment. To my people, my island, indeed to love for all of humankind. I like how strong you are on this point Belinda. Commit! And show your passion, it will grow fruit.


4 Jeffrey Tang December 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

I think that the capacity and desire for commitment is hardwired into us; the problem occurs when we look at commitments as forever. We live in a transient, ever-changing world, and the expectation of forever is unrealistic. That’s not to say that we can’t make lifelong commitments; it just means that these commitments are very difficult to keep and should not be made lightly. Lifelong commitments, after all, are not made in a moment, but nurtured daily over a lifetime.

That being said, I believe that we need to find a way to reconcile those daily moments of renewed promise with the long-term outlook that a commitment entails. We may not be able to see into forever, but the question is: how far -can- we see? How long should a serious commitment last?


5 LPC December 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

Commitment needs to have an intellectual and an emotional component both.


6 Malo December 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Commitment is a willful decision. For those who are passionate, it may come as second nature. But it also requires a lot of discipline to overcome transgressions. The fruit of it is bliss, so yes I’m all for it!


7 Liberty December 10, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Getting into a commitment is not easy. However, I believe that making the decision to commit should be the harder thing to do. A person making the decision has to think through a lot of stuff like…can one accept and take on the challenges that will come; is he/she ready to make some sacrifices; is he/she disciplined to do his/her duties and responsibilities; so on and so forth. It is a painstaking process. Thus, one shouldn’t just jump into a commitment.


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