Today, I went for a 2-mile hike in Ed Davis Park in Towsley Canyon located in Santa Clarita, CA. Along the way, I begin to think about all that had transpired in my life the past few weeks. It has been one of those weeks which has challenged and frustrated me like no other week has. Let me first state that last week I fell. I mean I fell hard. Instead of getting up like I normally do, like I teach and train others to do, I laid there. Instead of getting up, brushing myself off, I reacted very emotionally and aggressively to what I thought/ believed had caused the fall. Instead of taking stock of where I had fallen, and why I had fallen and how I could prevent it from happening a second time, I became resentful. I became angry. I took on a victim’s mentality asking why me. I did all the negative things that I know, again that I know, I should not have done. For this, I am deeply upset with myself because I know that I am capable of and have done so much better. Let me explain what I mean.
My wife and I had a really bad last week. We were both parties to a stupidly bad and ugly argument that led both of us saying and doing some really bad things, ultimately contemplating divorce. To make matters worse, her daughter/ my step-daughter was involved, and my son/her step-son overheard and witnessed the entire ugly ordeal. While I will not go into details about it all, I will say that it was so bad that I said f#$k this. I don’t need, want nor deserve this crap. Subsequently, I begin to immediately make plans and take actions to separate our lives. After all, how could we come back from this?
Well, that was last week. It is amazing how time, space and the opportunity to do some serious thinking and meditating can shape your perspective in just as little as a week. It was within this opportunity I thought about not just this argument, but all the other arguments my wife and I have had in the past. Surprisingly, I notice a pattern; that is, each time things escalated to a point where I felt it had gotten way out of hand, and I have exhausted all my efforts to make it right, I notice that I wanted to pack up my bags and get to stepping. Now, if I am honest with myself, I have done this in just about every past relationship. Now for those who know me, I mean really know me and my background, they know that I am not a quitter. They know I don’t give up on things that I want so easily. If I did, if I had, then I would still be living the life that I was unfortunately born into and had experience for the first 1/3 of my life. Notwithstanding this, however, I find that in relationships, I have been a quitter.
During my hike this morning, I begin to think about Commitment and Perseverance. I began to think about how these are qualities that need to be ever present in every aspect of our lives that we hold dear. There is a quote that I love regarding commitment. It states that “commitment means staying loyal to what you say you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you”. Eric Thomas has a video on YouTube that talks about how commitment means keeping your word; it means keeping your promises; it means staying faithful/loyal to that which you have committed to 24/7/365. Commitment take no breaks; it takes no days off; it takes no vacation. Commitment means staying true no matter what, no matter how hard and extremely difficult the situation, circumstances or conditions; Stanley Sheneau, the Pastor and family friend, who married my wife and I, has shared with me on many occasions how commitment means staying true to your promises made even when you don’t feel like it; especially when you don’t feel like it and especially when others don’t.
These past few days, I have come to realize how my behavior in frustrating and challenges times are not in alignment with my desire and spoken words on being committed to my relationship, to my marriage. Because it is during these times that character is both developed and revealed. More importantly, it is during these times when I can demonstrate to my wife that she has nothing to worry about; that I will honor the vows I made to her on our wedding day to be there in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, on the sunny days and yes, the raining and stormy days. Additionally, it helps to demonstrate to my son the kind of a man I am and constantly becoming, and the kind of man I want him to be when he matures.
My wife sent me this image this morning. Looks like she has been doing some reflecting as well. We undoubtedly have a lot of healing to do not just from this past week, but from all the small cracks that we have allowed to happen in our marriage, our love and our lives for the past seven years. While I know that it will not be easy, nothing worth having ever is, I do know that she and I have done a lot of work to get to where we are today. If we are going to be principled people, people that stand for something no matter what, then this is a time when we need to be a living embodiment of what commitment truly means!