It is time to write this week’s blog, and the well is dry. I reviewed my November 2021 blogs, looking for inspiration, and I found it. Last November I wrote about the importance of commitment. Commitment is on my mind again, from a different angle. How does one who is a person of commitment know when it is time to quit? When does commitment become an excuse?
I am a person of commitment. That does not mean that I always get it right. What it does mean is that I have a hard time letting go. The “letting go” can be of people as well as things. It has also included a career and a job. I know where this difficulty in letting go comes from. I grew up in a very dysfunctional family, where stability was lacking and alcoholism thrived. I know how to hang on. I just don’t know when it is time to let go. Or maybe, I know when it is time to let go, I just don’t let go. At some level, I think I believe that if I just work harder at whatever it is that isn’t working, it will work. What I am realizing more and more is that it isn’t only about me.
People who grow up in an alcoholic home tend to be controlling. The controlling can be of people and situations. While we all know it isn’t possible to control another person, that the only person we can control is ourselves, we too often try anyway. The result is that we end up being disappointed, angry, and in general unhappy. All because our controlling behavior isn’t working. And we shouldn’t expect it to.
So, does this mean we are no longer people of commitment? No. It just means that our commitment to ourselves has to take priority over what other people do or do not do. Our focus needs to be on ourselves, not in a selfish way, but in a manner of trying to only control ourselves and our own behavior. This must include managing our expectations so that we are not continually disappointed by the behavior or actions of others.
I don’t have clarity yet on when it is time to quit, other than it is time to quit trying to control others. I also have clarity in knowing that our first responsibility as adults is to ourselves. If we work harder on ourselves than anything or anyone else, clarity about the rest will come. It always does.