Author: Nanice Ellis
Commitment to Self creates the foundation for all other relationships.
Have you ever considered that perhaps we are too quick to make commitments of the heart? With uncountable divorces and break ups, maybe we should just stop for a moment and take a closer look at the concept of commitment. If commitment were the answer to happy and lasting relationships, wouldn’t we have more lasting and happy relationships?
Commitment can lead to a beautiful union but we often make relationship commitments for all 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 him/her if we don’t commit.
• Insecurities: we feel insecure about the relationship and we want the other person to commit to us, so we commit to him/her.
Last but not least, somehow we have gotten it into our heads that love requires commitment, and 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, premature or for all the wrong reasons.
Even if we make commitments with the intention of strengthening a relationship, commitments can be relationship suicide because they often cause us to go unconscious. Many times, commitment causes a couple to take the relationship for granted and not pay attention. When we stop paying attention to our relationships, sooner or later, those relationships deteriorate.
The truth is, how do we know how we will feel next year or in twenty years? How can I make a commitment for my future-self when I don’t even know her yet, and, what if a commitment that I make today does not support my future-self in her journey and desires?
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with commitment. When both people consciously choose to commit, something very beautiful and sacred can be created. The problem is that our traditional approach to commitment creates dysfunctional relationships.
In the name of commitment, we disregard our own hearts and, in some ways, we disregard the hearts of those we have committed to. If I am only with my partner because I made a commitment, but my heart is not in it, then I am keeping him in the relationship under false pretenses. I especially don’t want a partner to stay with me only because he is honoring a commitment that he no longer feels an allegiance to.
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 and then blame them when they fail to keep it. Many times commitment “sets us up” to become out-of-integrity with our own selves.
When we are asleep and unconscious in relationships, we are asleep and unconscious in our lives.
The real problem with making commitments to others is that we don’t first make commitments to ourselves. How can you make a commitment to another without ever having made a commitment 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 take care of yourself, how can you commit to care for another? If you have not committed to love, honor and cherish yourself, first and foremost, you have no business making commitments to do this for anyone else.
Commitment to Self creates the foundation for all other relationships.
If you do not commit to your 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 creates dysfunction and co-dependence, and why most relationships, in the end, fail.
From a foundation of self commitment, you are able to make the conscious choice in committing to another. But, even then, your commitment to another must first be a commitment to yourself about the other. In other words, your commitment is a promise that you make to yourself regarding your relationship. This means that commitments can only be made to ourselves.
Do I commit to me that I will be faithful and loyal to you?
I may say the words or I may even say “I do,” but if I don’t first and foremost make that commitment to myself, my commitment to you is void of any real meaning.
We can only create Conscious Commitments when our connection to who we really are and our commitment to ourselves is the foundation, and remains the foundation, throughout the history of the relationship.
When you have two people who are each committed to themselves and they come together in Conscious Commitment, you have the making of an Evolved Relationship based on openness, honesty and trust.
True commitment is not about staying together, come “hell or high water”, as much as it is about being present with each other, and staying present in whatever may come. This might mean that one or both of you may decide that the relationship is complete and it is time to consciously move on.
Of course, uncoupling is a possibility whether you have a traditional commitment or a Conscious Commitment, but with a Conscious Commitment, you know that if your partner is with you, he or she really wants to be with you, and because communication is open and honest, there is actually more “space” to resolve and heal any issues that arise, therefore strengthening the relationship.
This type of commitment keeps you focused on making the relationship work – invoking deeper intimacy and heartfelt honesty. The point is, Conscious Commitment keeps you both awake and conscious – and this is the making of a relationship that has the power to last and grow stronger year after year.
Because Conscious Commitment allows you to have a deeper experience of love and communion with another, and build a relationship based on integrity with yourself, your personal and con-joined growth and awakening becomes exponential. This is the evolved purpose of intimate relationships. In lower consciousness, relationships are designed for us to work-out our personal issues, but in higher consciousness, relationships are intended to support our growth and awakening.
An even greater purpose of creating conscious relationships is that we also support the planet as we contribute to bringing forth the evolution of humanity – what we do for ourselves, we also do for each other… so beautiful.
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