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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Son of Commitment-Revisited

You’re probably getting tired of my scribblings about commitment.

Forgive me. It’s just that I forgot to mention something fundamental. Something I never, ever, want to forget myself. Something important enough to warrant an additional post. If you recall, I wrote:

“True commitment is the daily, never-ending, absolute commitment to your partner’s happiness.”

I forgot to mention one thing…(and it’s a critical thing):

Your partner must define what constitutes happiness for them.

I picture those of you wiser than I exclaiming: “Well, DUH!” In hindsight, it seems fairly obvious to me, now, as well (but not at all easy). I didn’t quite get it while I was striving to make my partner happy (and I was trying). You see, I was trying to do all the things
I thought would make my partner happy. Devoting oneself to your partner’s true happiness may entail a good bit of self-denial and sacrifice. It may entail living, doing and loving in ways you had not anticipated, ways you may have never chosen for yourself, if the choice were yours alone to make. Another soul’s happiness may take us to places foreign to our own, perhaps mystical, perhaps completely incomprehensible. And one cannot blithely assume a partner will (or even can) express what constitutes personal happiness clearly and unequivocally. After all, we ourselves often do not recognize our own true needs. We must rely on a constant curiosity, a perpetual state of open wonder regarding our partner’s heart and soul to glean the crumbs that lead to understanding. Loving someone the way they need to be loved may not even be the way we know how to love. If one wishes to live happily ever after, one must learn whatever one must learn.

This commitment to your partner’s happiness is a complicated business, no?

* * *


Blogger ever_trying said...

Just wanted to say that I truly enjoyed your previous post on commitment, and the quotation you pulled from it was exactly the one that I passed on to a friend who was seeking advice. Wise words, friend :)

Mon Nov 20, 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thanks, ET! I'm ever-trying, too. (Someday I may even get it right...)

Mon Nov 20, 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger roadsofstone said...

Thought-provoking writing, Jonas, which I'm much enjoying.

Good pictures, too, especially of your rainy evening. I love that sound against the windows - Paul Simon described it best, I think:

'Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls.'

Tue Nov 21, 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

That's quite a compliment, coming from you, N.

I love that S&G song! Here's a little nostalgia nugget: in high school, a friend and I played a few coffee house gigs. We both played guitars and sang mostly S&G, Dylan and Leonard Cohen songs. We always ended the evening with "Kathy's Song."

Full disclosure: the photos I've added to prettify the blog come mostly from others...images I've picked from the internet like tiny jewels. Props go to countless souls with beautiful eyes.

Tue Nov 21, 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger roadsofstone said...

My guitar skills are rather more limited, I must confess.

But I can pick that song in my sleep. It resonates with every travelling Englishman, and especially this one.

Sadly - I can't sing at all, you'll be very pleased (not) to hear.

Tue Nov 21, 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Never you mind. I put down the guitar pick and picked up drumsticks shortly thereafter. My guitar-playing days have long been over.

I don't sing all that well, either. Still, when one goes to an all-boys Catholic high school, one simply must pick up a guitar and squeek out a soulful song or two...why?

To impress the girls, of course! (Sadly, precious few were all that impressed...)

Tue Nov 21, 11:39:00 AM  

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