Some people simply seem to make commitments of the heart all too fast. With such a slew of divorces, should we pause to examine the concept of commitment. If commitment was the answer to happy, lasting relationships, wouldn’t we all have happier, longer lasting relationships?
Why do we make relationship commitments? Commitment can lead to awesome unions but we often commit for the wrong reasons, such as:
- External obligations: it is expected by family, society or religion.
- Ultimatums: our partner gives us an ultimatum and we fear losing them if we don’t commit.
- Insecurities: we feel insecure about the relationship and we want the other to commit to us so we commit to them.
Lastly, we have assumed that love requires commitment. So if there is no commitment, then it is not real love. “If you love me, you will marry me.”
Commitments often don’t work out because they are forced or premature. Even if we make commitments with the intention of strengthening a relationship, commitments can be relationship suicide as they often cause us to go unconscious. Often commitment causes a couple to take the relationship for granted and not pay attention. When we fail to pay attention to our relationships, they eventually deteriorate.
In truth, how do you know how you will feel next week or in 20 years? How can you make a commitment for your future Self when you are still evolving? What if the commitment you make today does not support your future Self’s journey and desires?
Now nothing is wrong with commitment when both people consciously choose to do so. Indeed, something sacred and wonderful can be created. The problem is that our traditional approach to commitment creates dysfunctional relationships.
How can you honor authentic Self when enmeshed in a commitment not based on truth from the outset? For the sake of commitment, we can disregard our own hearts and somehow disregard the hearts of those to whom we have committed. If you are only with your partner because you made a commitment, but your heart is not all in, then you are keeping them in the relationship under false pretences. Do you really want your partner to stay with you only because they are honoring a commitment that they no longer emotionally feel.
We often make commitments because it is easier to commit once and then be dishonest about the relationship; in other words, once we commit, we can disregard how we really feel about the relationship and about our partner, because “the decision has been made.” It is as if commitment gives us permission to negate our thoughts and feelings – giving us no choice but to stay in the relationship. This might also mean that we embark on certain behaviors that are deceitful, rather than speak our truth, or take actions that support our greater good – and the greater good of our partner.
Or, worse yet, maybe we pressure someone else into a commitment, then blame them when they fail to keep it. Many times commitment can set you up to become out-of-integrity with your Self.
When we are asleep and unconscious in relationships, we are asleep and unconscious in our lives.
Commitment to Self. The real issue with committing to others is that we don’t first commit to ourselves. How can you ever actually commit to another without ever having committed to yourself?
If you have not committed to your own life, you lack the foundation to commit to another. If you have not committed to nurture yourself, how can you commit to nurture another? If you have not committed to love, honor and cherish yourself, beyond all others, you are incapable of making commitments to anyone else.
Commitment to Self creates the foundation for all other relationships. If you do not commit to Self, you ultimately create a relationship with the expectation that your partner will meet your emotional needs and give to you what you do not give to yourself. This dysfunction creates co-dependence, which is why most relationships ultimately fail.
Making Conscious Commitments. From a foundation of self-commitment, you can consciously choose to commit to another. But, even then, your commitment to another must first be a commitment to yourself about the other. To wit, your commitment is a promise that you make to yourself regarding your relationship. This means that commitments can only be made to yourself.
Do I commit to me that I will be faithful and loyal to you? I may even say “I do,” but if I don’t first make that commitment to myself, my commitment to you is null and void.
Conscious Commitments are only created when your connection and commitment to your authentic Self form the solid foundation throughout the entire history of the relationship.
Many Gifts of Conscious Commitment. When two people are each committed to themselves and they come together in Conscious Commitment, an Evolved Relationship can develop based on trust, openness and honesty.f
True commitment is more about being present with each other versus staying together, come hell or high water, It also means staying present in whatever may come. That could even mean that one or both of you may decide that the relationsship is complete and the time has come to consciously move on.
This type of commitment keeps you focused on making the relationship work, invoking deeper intimacy and heartfelt honesty. Indeed, Conscious Commitment keeps you both consciously aware, thereby forging a relationship with the power to last and grow stronger year after year.
Because Conscious Commitment grants you a deeper experience of love and communion with another, you can build a relationship based on integrity with yourself, as well as your personal and conjoined growth and awakening. Such is the evolved purpose of intimate relationships. In lower consciousness, relationships are designed to work out our personal issues, but in higher consciousness, relationships are meant to support our growth and development. Beyond creating conscious relationships is the notion of supporting the planet as we personally contribute to bringing forth human evolution.
What we do for ourselves, we also do for each other.