I promise me

by Starla J. King on August 31, 2011

We make commitments to others day in and day out.

We commit to another in marriage.  We commit to the nice librarian lady to bring back our books in 14 days.  We commit to meet someone for dinner at a specific time and place.  We commit our unwavering service to clients, friends, family, colleagues, pets, and coffee.

But when it comes to ourselves, our commitment falters.

Their needs are more important than ours.  Their dreams for us matter more than our own.  Their understanding of right and wrong trump our own internal jury.  Our promises to them mean more than our promises to us.

It’s not really meant to be that way, is it?

Somewhere along the line we learn that self-care means selfish.  That self-actualization can only happen through self-depletion and total focus on everyone and everything outside of ourselves.   That we can only be sure we’re doing our best work if we have nothing left inside at the end of the day.  That the only commitments that are truly “allowed” are the ones to everyone but ourselves.

Let’s revolt... peacefully, of course (I’m a Mennonite.  Pacifism is in my blood)… but revolt nonetheless.

Let’s go all crazy here and decide that we matter just as much as everyone else.

Let’s… dare I say it? … make our first commitment be to ourselves.

Let’s build in ourselves first a solid foundation of energy and love and wisdom  so we have those gifts available for others.

I’d argue that’s one of the least selfish things we can ever do.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard, this committing to ourselves.  It feels uncomfortable, unfamiliar, unsettling, something we whisper nervously to our most trusted friend or only to our therapist or coach b/c they are pretty much sworn to secrecy.

Which is why I’m posting today … as a recommitment on my birthday … right here, right now… the agreement/promise/commitment I recently made to myself and my work, in the hopes that it can give each of us (myself included) a little extra courage to hear our own voices, stop the whispering, and speak up on behalf of our own selves and our own life work.


I hereby promise to allow the Universe and Universal Wisdom to speak through me and my writing.

I hereby promise to begin each day and each job and each project with compassion for myself — all of myself.

I hereby promise to believe in magic.

I hereby promise to write from my heart.

I hereby promise to allow for dictation from a higher source.

I hereby promise to find ways to just rest when any of these promises seem too big.

I hereby promise to do the work my soul, spirit, and human form are all here to do.

I hereby promise to be exactly WHO I AM.

With all my love,
Starla J. King

What do YOU want (and need) to promise YOU today and going forward? I’ll be watching… quietly…excitedly…with coffee of course … for your comment.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary September 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

You’re speaking to me with this one. Each “me” is unique and precious and this “me” understands that about others But, often when I struggle to put words on paper the 500lb-gorilla-part of me tells me my story is the same as all the others…and I become disheartened. I need to promise me that I will push through those encounters and recognize that ape for what it is…my critical/judgmental inner self. Thank you for the reminder! Love this post!


Starla J. King September 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Mary, I’m so glad this spoke to you! Your story is undoubtedly unique, and the part of you that can allow your story to come out without judgment is the part that is The Most Unique Part of all. Keep putting YOUR words on paper… for yourself first of all, and you will know if it’s meant to be shared with others. xo


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