5/4/2011 11:28 PM
Written by Ron Smothermon
When you experience life has a natural purpose, and doesn’t have to be manipulated in some particular way to be meaningful, you are then free to manipulate it consciously. The content of life that is most meaningful to deal with is that which relates to relationships. Commitment is the cornerstone of relationships. Without it there can be relating, but there can be no relationship.
Relationships exist within the framework of defined boundaries so that people know what they can and cannot expect from you. Since commitments necessarily involve that which is relatively unchanging in life, and since the very nature of life is change, commitments are best made related to the most fundamental components of life. They are the simple things you are willing to have people count on you for.
If people assume certain commitments in a relationship with you, you are responsible to communicate clearly enough that the assumptions are examined openly. Be clear that you can be in a relationship with the commitments spoken and unspoken, or you can openly clarify and define the commitments, or even avoid making any commitments. However, be aware that relationships in which commitments are not made or kept, will not work for anyone. Hiding behind the appearance, that you “didn’t know” won’t work either. If you sincerely don’t know” if or how you want to commit”, you are responsible for communicating about it.
To really make a commitment that you can keep, you must have the experience that you don’t “have to” make the commitment. If you “have to”, then you may feel trapped and misrepresent the commitment. If you make a commitment from the position that you “have to do it”, you can be setting up circumstances, which can justify breaking your commitment. You can then use an excuse such as, “She didn’t give me space to be myself”. It was you who didn’t give yourself enough space, and you didn’t give yourself space by your own unwillingness to examine your commitment. To maintain a commitment in a relationship you have to experience that you don’t have to make the commitment. No one can force you to “make a commitment”. It is a live and dynamic agreement. It must be made mindfully and reviewed with continuous conversation.
A commitment is something you make with your Self that sometimes takes the form of involving another person. If you break the commitment, you are ultimately untrue only to your Self. They will get over it. You will never be the same. This also goes for commitments you make with your Self that do not involve others, such as choice of vocation. It has to do with completing the cycles of life. Acceptance is the starting point of all cycles of life. Commitment allows those cycles to continue to completion. Until you complete any cycle you start, you are never actually finished with it. The incompleteness will live within you always. Commitment causes completion.
So if you want a sense of completion in your life, then the way to have it is to keep your commitments. Make those commitments after continuous and mindful reflection. If circumstances change, speak about that and recalibrate. Find the rhythms in your life and create healthy and vital cycles of commitment.
By Ron Smothermon