“Commandment” is a strange word that is likely correlated with rigid religious doctrine or biblical stories. For the sake of this discussion, I’m using the term to describe a divine order. You might call it a calling, a mission, a purpose.
I have received some specific commandments over the years …
In the darkest era of my adult life (2007 – 2010), I repeatedly prayed the question “What do you want me to do?” The answer was always the same: “LOVE MORE.” I first took this to mean love others without expectations or conditions. I later realized that it also extended to loving myself unconditionally; to see my own pricelessness and worth. This commandment has been so important to me, it’s tattooed on my right forearm (the picture above).
When I decided to face my brokenness and wounds, the commandment was “heal” as well as “explore”.
When I first decided to leave Boise after nearly 20 years, the commandment was “go”.
When I was trying to figure out how to create value in the world, the commandment was “teach what you’ve learned”.
When I decided to create a business with Emily, the commandment was “build”.
In the past year, I’ve received the commandment to create; to embrace my identity as a creative. This has recalibrated my priorities from task-orientation to creative output. The result has been consistent output – from musings on social (almost daily), co-creating content with Emily and writing these Monday posts (this is #19 for the year).
I vigorously followed these commandments – which greatly influenced my current life, state of being, mindset. I am a different person because of them. My days are different because of them. So are my relationships.
But there are a few commandments that I have either ignored or sporadically followed …
“Take care of your body” – I am reminded of this almost daily. Yet there is a stubborn resistance that has produced a lot of narratives in the form of excuses.
“Receive” – I am a striver. I’m an almost 100 D in the DISC. I’m an 8 on the Enneagram. My identity has been around making things happen. The commandment to “receive” requires a new kind of patience and trust that I’ve yet to master.
In all of these commandments, I’ve learned that none of them happened (or will happen) without my commitment. It is a collaborative effort. Without commitment and discipline, these commandments are idle. Not commitment in the form of rigidity, hardness or shaming – just simple follow through. It’s also not a set-it-and-forget-it thing. These commandments – and my commitment to them – must be revisited constantly.
I am also learning that commitment is not just following a system or formula. Something seems to be lost when I do that. For me, commitment needs to be nurtured and grown – through things like: stillness, rest, solitude, freedom, silence, nature, connection.
The relationship between commandments and commitments is a continual unfolding mystery made up of daily choices, listening, observing. Each experience where both are in harmony brings with it growth, peace, confidence, meaning, joy.
What are you being called to do? Are you doing it?