Recently, a recurring theme has been appearing up in my life. Like a dream that comes again and again, sometimes you need to wake up and listen.
A friend of mine has never really committed to his marriage. A series of innumerable short lived infidelities stain what could otherwise have been a beautiful track run of 20 years between two people from (can you believe it) the age of 15. Charismatic, attractive and successful, this guy has it all, and unfortunately, he has used all of this not for the good of his marriage and family, but to play a dangerous game and hurt many women in the process. While he would never dream of leaving his wife and children, he still isn’t really “with” them as he keeps this darker part of his life secret and allows other people to infiltrate what should really be a sacred union. He views it as “having his cake and eating it”. He thinks he is getting the best of both worlds.
No doubt, his wife and kids lose out in this fiasco. She undoubtedly senses his lack of commitment and the kids, though they may not be totally aware, at the very least lose out on time with their otherwise loving daddy when he leaves the house on a weekly or monthly basis to meet these women. But in all reality, the person losing the most in all this, is my friend himself.
The desire to have your cake and eat it is human. It’s natural. But just like raging anger or deep despondency, not everything that is human is good. When we try to get everything while giving nothing, we destroy our dignity, our honour; we become like greedy children having a toy in our hand but asking for another. Ungrateful. Base. And just like those caught in addiction, we find ourselves hungering for more and more. The women are never enough, the sex never satisfies, and eventually he discards them and moves on to another drug to try and sate himself.
Commitment will cost you. You will have to sacrifice something to do it. Your time, your cravings, your self; but the things you gain will infinitely out-value what you put in. Success, admiration, but more than that, purity, fulfillment, a life in full colour and a kind of satisfaction that can never be gained from half heartedness or immorality; and isn’t that what we are all trying so hard to achieve.
I spoke to my friend today. Tried to make him see the error of his ways; to elucidate the pleasure and wholeness he could attain from committing to his life at home. He goes on vacation with his wife and kids tomorrow. Maybe when he comes back he will be better. Maybe when he comes back, he will be new.
What are you half committed to today? Where is there room to change in your life? Ask yourself if what you are throwing away is worth the short term ease; or if making the sacrifice may help to give you that satisfaction you’ve been craving, if putting in the work might change things in ways you’ve never even dreamed of.