When we make a vow, a promise, some kind of commitment to deity, it matters.
Sometimes these moments of dedication – beautiful, profound, awe-inspiring, frightening as they may be – can feel so distant from our ordinary, everyday reality. Big or small, these dedications, these promises, these commitments count. Even (especially) when we return to ordinary reality. So often, it’s here, in our every day lives, that this dedication, this commitment, will be tested.
And you know what? We always have a choice. However urgent, or even inevitable, certain commitments feel, we always have a choice. We have the choice to make the commitment. We have the choice to bring that commitment to fulfillment. We have the choice to take action – or to refuse to take action.
Sometimes what’s presented to us will be testing a promise or commitment we’ve already made. Very likely, for any significant promise, this will be the case many times over. How far are you willing to go to bring your promise to fulfillment? Will you play at fulfilling your obligations, or will you take it seriously? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it real? Will you dare to keep saying ‘yes’? Or when will you hit that point where you say ‘no’?
Some requests come on powerfully strong. You still have a choice, and indeed, you have an obligation to honor your capacity for choice.
One thing I know for sure is that when the Morrigan asks something, what She asks is very likely to bring deep and profound change. She may ask of us things that stretch the boundaries of what we believe ourselves capable of. She may ask of us things that challenge us to act or to be other than what we have been before. She may ask us to do things we’d very much rather not do, in fact. But She never asks of us that we become less than what we are or are capable of becoming.
And we always have a choice, not only in that moment of making the promise, but also in it’s enactment and fulfilment. This is the beauty and danger of free will: it is actually possible to get it wrong, to fuck it up in small or large ways that change the trajectory or the outcome of even the most binding commitment, causing harm to ourselves and others.
We all have this gift of free will. It holds us under obligation to take full responsibility for our actions, even when we are acting under guidance, in accordance with our vows or commitments. Free will demands that we take the risk and our full share of responsibility for our part in how things go forward, regardless of the outcome.
It’s an uncomfortable place to be, when things go wrong, as they sometimes do.
Sometimes they go wrong through no fault of our own, through no lack of commitment on our part, but simply because there are other people involved, each equally endowed with free will. We rarely stand alone in our choices. Rather we remain part of a complex web of interactions, and others equally have the capacity to choose – their choice may be other than what we would wish, perhaps other than what they have promised, and sometimes this tips the balance. (But the future is generally malleable and we have incredible capacity for creation and recovery even when things do go wrong – and commitment, it always counts for something – new pathways can and will be forged from loss.)
It’s not ever just the promise that matters. The promise – the moment of commitment – is a kind of conscious binding, a strengthening of our ties to a chosen course of action or quality we want to cultivate within ourselves. It is a powerful articulation of intention and commitment that carries consequences. If we fail to honour the commitment there is likely a price that will be paid.
Ultimately, what makes it real? The action. The manifestation. The living and breathing it into being. We can choose to do it, embrace it fully, or we can choose to live it superficially, or to abandon it. What we choose changes things.
Free will, commitment, responsibility, action. Our choices matter, our actions matter.
by Rebecca Wright 2014
Rebecca Wright is a mother, doula, healer and teacher, and one of the founders of the Call of the Morrigan FB Community and UK retreats. You can find her on FB in the Call of the Morrigan Community group or at http://www.rebalancingwoman.com.