Jason's Blog

Archive for April 6th, 2004

An update to my

by on Apr.06, 2004, under General

Something a friend pointed out, and I feel important to express with regards to commitment and sacrifice. I was equally if not more to blame myself on many issues. The comments below are slanted very heavily on my own point of view and things I was missing. I failed to be vocal about my willingness to sacrifice things, and wasn’t nearly as good as I should have been about expressing that. I also failed to offer to sacrifice a lot of my own views on many subjects. [Updated]I could have been more supportive time wise, or perhaps more willing to work more on my faith – a challenge I’ve only recently taken up. I failed in many aspects to give up some of the things that mattered most. I did offer on my car, something that was very important to me, but I also should have mentioned or offered on things like where I’d move to, or be willing to move to, what in my personal life I would be willing to give up. One of the biggest things I failed to give up, which was asked, and only recently have worked on, was quitting smoking. SO, I failed in many ways myself. [End Updated] Of course, as said, it’s a two way street, and it would have helped to have some sign back on some of the big issues for me. I guess neither one of us was willing to cross that street. I did ask for some sacrifices, but on some issues, wasn’t able to sacrifice myself. It is a two way street, and I’m just as much at fault. It’s one of those, you have to both be willing to cross the street, to be willing to sacrifice on things. Looking at it, neither one of us was willing to sacrifice the things most important to each of us. Course, hindsight is 20/20 (although in this case, I’m not even sure of that!). A friend of mine, Tonya, made this comment and I think it was true of me in past relationships:


to be honest, i’m not sure that either one of you were ready to commit to this relationship long-term. love’s about mutual commitment and sacrifice, and when one person’s giving more than the other (or neither is giving at all), the relationship won’t work”

As said, this is something I’ve learned from, and something I intend to keep in mind in the future. This is all a purely contemplative set of thoughts as I’m evaluating the concepts of relationships, commitment, and such. It’s partly because I’m now looking at the future I bring this up and am posting this – it’s thoughts and considerations on what is important in a relationship.

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A revelation of sorts on commitment and sacrifice

by on Apr.06, 2004, under General

Ok, so just here in the last hour or so, while sitting up, chatting online, browsing the net, etc. etc. I had a revelation. It’s something that all of a sudden fits, feels right kinda thing, that I know of, that hits home. It’s kinda interesting to realize, to look at and suddenly see things clearly. For those who know me, they also know I tend to grow inwards when I get stuff on my mind, that I tend to clam up, and be very quiet, very thoughtful, not as talkative, or expressive (get me drunk to fix), and it takes me a while to get out of such a condition.

The revelation tonight, and it’s a fairly massive one in thought and scope, and it’s primarily dealing with my life and certain things in it, is one that as such may or may not apply to others. I suspect many aspects of it do however apply, and as such, at least think about what I’m saying, and respond – I’m VERY curious as to what people think about this.

Now, a quick pardon for mentioning any of my past relationship information, particularly in a public form. BUT, I don’t really have any other method of expressing my thoughts on this, and as such, I need an outlet. Further, I’m posting this in that it includes information on my past relationship as it’s an example and a way to explain things and how they work in my mind. It’s NOT meant as a condemnation or incrimination, but purely as an observation. It’s a way for me to look at my own thoughts, to write them out, and consider things, to conclude an analysis. Sometimes, I’m too close to something to truly and objectively analyze it properly, and as such, writing it out helps. Plus, as such, sometimes it helps to have input and explain to others why I’ve been so withdrawn or struggling with things. So, please, pardon the references to previous relationships as I need examples to support any topic, and as such, bring them up here where I feel it’s relevant. If you’d prefer, skip to the end – the last paragraph summarizes my thoughts on commitment. And now here’s what I think I’ve learned

First, on the nature of commitment, relationships and such issues. I struggled with this, as some know, after breaking up with my ex and then realizing I did still love her and want to commit to her. However, the realization came in tonight that though I wanted to, and it was “heading” that way, there was no sign on her part, no willingness to show an interest in commitment other than words and emotions. Actions were distinctly lacking, as was communication and other aspects of a committed relationship. See, what I realized was, that in order to commit to a person, you need some indication from that person that they’re also ready to commit in the form of actions and sacrifice. With my last relationship, I never received any such indication of a willingness to sacrifice her personal desires in order to make things work.

Now, two notes – first, any relationship is dependent on BOTH sides, and I was as much to blame for multiple things. It’s been the same with other relationships, and with any relationship. A relationship is a partnership, it’s a give and take on both sides. Further, a committed relationship is very much about this but in a level that is much deeper. The second part of this is that a committed relationship does require sacrifice. It requires sacrifice of time, energy, personal desires and wants, and the willingness to look beyond ones own world view, to be willing to sacrifice all that is important for the other person. I looked, and realized that at first, I wasn’t really willing to sacrifice much, but at the end, I was sacrificing a LOT. Things like my family time, moving into town in order to be closer in the hopes that would make things easier, my personal wishes on multiple topics, introducing her into my world in which that was a commitment for me and a sacrifice of many friendships. I was willing and offered to do a lot, even though I wasn’t always the most vocal about saying so, and in that, I made many mistakes about not expressing all of the things I was doing, all the thoughts going on in my head. I made several mistakes here, and in many ways. Communication was distinctly lacking at many levels.

Now, keep in mind, some things can’t be sacrificed – faith, and a certain level of responsibility can’t ever be sacrificed. I have a certain level of family responsibility that I’ll never be able to give up fully, but I’m willing to go far on that for another person. Also keep in mind, the offer of sacrifice is often all that should be done – be willing to sacrifice your desires. This comes in for me with something that’s said about marriage a lot. It’s only when you give up your personal desires, i.e. when I gave up thoughts about marriage to seriously consider the priesthood, that God truly shows you what’s important and helps you with that. It’s the willingness to sacrifice oneself and ones wishes that leads to the fulfillment of the true desires of the heart – the ones God places in there.

Part of the willingness to give up things that matter to you for the other person, regardless of how important to you those issues are, is dependent on the other person. An example of this, and keep in mind it’s ONLY wilingness, which I’ll explain in a moment, was time and energy in school work. My girlfriend at the time spent so much on such activities and was never really willing to give any of it up. The thing was, it was she was never willing to OFFER. If she’d offered, I would have said no to keep working or found a way to work things out, but in never offering or being willing to compromise on this, I now see that she was never ready to commit. Here’s an example – I asked a few times to maybe take a longer period of time, instead of insisting on four years so that maybe we’d have more time together. Instead of even ever contemplating such a situation, even when hinted at, I had to ask for this directly. The thing was, NO possible sacrifice or compromise was ever possible on this, and that was a sign of being unwilling to commit truly to someone – not being able to give up something that matters most, even if it’s just the willingness to do so and not actual sacrifice. There was no willingness to compromise or to sacrifice in the relationship as it stood.

And that’s something I’ve learned and see as part of ANY relationship – you have to be willing to give up some of the things that matter most for the other person – that’s a sign of your commitment. If the other person still wants you to give those things up after you’ve offered, then that’s a sign that the other person isn’t willing to give up their wants, and things probably won’t work. That’s the thing I realized tonight, and one of the reasons I struggled so hard with commitment. Yes, I wasn’t always the best at giving up the things I wanted, but at the end, I did a lot of things that indicated that willingness.

My ex-girlfriend never offered to sacrifice and was always resistant to even consider giving up anything, and as such, was never ready for commitment. I believe now this is why I struggled so hard with commiting to her – I never received any sign of that commitment back. One thing that mattered most to me, and one that was needed to be in a committed relationship is time. That’s just one example of something that’s VERY critical when looking at a level of commitment related to marriage, engagement, or in any long term relationship. If you can’t spend the time on the relationship, you shouldn’t be in a committed relationship. It’s interesting that I see that she is giving up stuff in her new relationship, sacrificing her time and energy and school work. I pray that she’s finally ready for commitment, and that she’s happy in this.

Some other notes on this. I also realize now, that things definitely weren’t working as they stood. They might have worked later once I realized some of this, and dealt with commitment issues, but such is fate – I’ve learned a great deal and have moved on, and know now much more about what makes a relationship work, and what I want. I want someone who’s willing to sacrifice as much as I am, who’s willing to look at what I’m doing, doesn’t always need me to say everything, but can ask, as I’m not the best at coming out of my shell to say what’s going on. Someone who’s ready for commitment, for a family, who’s willing to put the effort into such a relationship. There’s a lot of other aspects and desires, and it includes things like faith, challenging me in my faith, and in my person to grow as a better person. There’s numerous other aspects as well, such as similar interests and desires for a future life, but that of course is a topic different than the one of the revelation I had tonight. The revelation, when it comes down to it is this:

Commitment is about the willingness to sacrifice ones own wants, desires, and lifestyle for the other person. Full commitment requires willingness to sacrifice nearly everything to that other person. True commitment comes when the other person sees it, acknowledges it, and returns it back to you. More, in the end, it is the sacrifice of many things on both parts that makes things work, including things such as time, energy, your own personal wishes, and many other factors.

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