Toni Stone                                          Aug. 26, 2003
401 Buck Hollow Road
Fairfax, VT 05454


“we can create a good life together, only out of trust.
and trust, to make it last, needs commitment.”            -Lewis Smede

people that i teach, coach, and study with. . ..if i had to say the thing they seem to have the most trouble with in all of life. . .not just money, not just relationship, not just work, but no, everywhere, everywhere, it would be staying with what they committed to, not just being a mouth that runs words out of it. . .promises, agreements and saying YES, once being made, then live like you were the person who said it. not many people seem to be successful at it.

simply put, it would be said, MAKE YOUR WORD MEAN WHAT YOU SAID.

it seems simple to say. it takes one up against everything in them that is against life. everything finds its way out of the box around this one.

every lesson i need to learn, comes up as i do, what i said i would do. every resentment, rancor, renegade thought or feeling of victimhood, comes up for me to overcome it, as i put one step in front of the other, to act like i promised,

to fulfill what is required and to produce what i told them i would manifest. every commitment i broke, cost me more than i expected, in pain.

the school of life is totally available to me, as its prize student, in these interactions. i learn what i most need to know

as long as i. . .observe myself and recognize the feelings.
as long as i. . ..handle my feelings and realize what’s behind them.
as long as i. . .make my emotions serve what i said i would produce.
as long as i. . .take into my view, how the “involved others” see it too.
as long as i. . .manage my response to my own reactions and to the emotions
of others and remain promised to what i said.

then i continue to do my best GROWING and LEARNING,
as i continue to make promises and keep them. . .
as i continue to make commitments that keep me on purpose. . .
as i continue to be reliable and count-on-able to those around me.

i have gained wisdom, that continues, from these acts of commitment. i am grateful to be in a teaching, learning community, that affords me space to keep making promises. . .and to keep being accountable for what was said, by my own mouth.

i don’t have to whine that someone FORCED ME to make a promise.
know how to keep one.

i don’t have to weep that, “i never should have said that.”
i know how to keep a promise.

i don’t have to doubt trust.
i know how to keep a promise,

so i trust myself. . .
therefore, i can also trust you.

the ground of commitment stabilizes relationship in all kinds of ways.
caring enough to keep commitments, lets everyone know where they stand
with me. they know i am accountable for what i say.

someone said, “we can keep our lives together,
only if we can trust each other
to make and keep commitments.”
i believe and trust that the truth is heard in that declaration. . .Toni Stone