Commitment - that can be a scary word to a lot of people.
As a product of divorced parents I’ve had a proclaimed “fear of commitment” in relationships. This stance has felt very safe for a long time. It meant that I didn’t get to let anyone get close enough to me to REALLY hurt me, however by pushing people away, in actuality I was only hurting myself. It sucks to WANT commitment, but not fully understand it.
Well, that changed for me recently. I led a workshop on self-care that was attended by some amazing women who were able to open up and express their deepest fears, frustrations, and judgements about themselves in a safe environment I had created. I committed to holding space that was open, safe, and transformative for them and it felt AMAZING (both for me and for the women that were able to let go and experience transformative change).
So, what’s different about me now that changed my idea of how I will commit to spending time, get to know and ultimately create a life with someone? For me it was letting go of the idea that a relationship has to be perfect. That commitment meant I would have to do and say all the right things in a way that is both perceived and experienced as the ideal image I have of relationships in my head. How fucking exhausting and unattainable does that sound??
So, yeah, I am afraid of that kind of commitment. However, I now see that commitment doesn’t have to look like that. Commitment in a relationship is merely saying ‘yes’ to surrendering WITH another person and being WITH that person. You’re not controlling them or letting them control you, but rather you’re both agreeing that this “relationship” you’re experiencing is pretty cool, maybe a little unexplainable, and ultimately something greater than both of you. There’s an ability for you both to surrender control of how it needs to look and committing to staying honest and open with yourself and each other about what’s working and what’s not.
Commitment also doesn’t have to be forever, it can be for as long as it needs to be (without expecting a time limit or expecting that commitment to end). If it does end, that can feel hard for a little bit, but it’s ok. And if it doesn’t end, and instead grows and changes into something even more - that’s a bonus.
Ok, now how did I get here and what can you do to let go of your own fears of commitment?
Soften into your fear. Really sit with and allow that fear to come through and not be right or wrong. Based on past experiences, or what you may have seen others do, you’ve come up with a meaning in your mind of what may be expected around the decision to commit.
Let go of past experience. Just because you’ve had an experience of making a commitment, then breaking it, doesn’t mean it’ll happen like that every time or even again.
Use your gut to commit. Don’t commit to something that part of you is feeling isn’t ‘right’. If you feel constricted by the commitment, DON’T DO IT. If the commitment feels spacious, nourishing and ultimately good for you - be ok with committing for as much or as long as you need to. Knowing that it’s ok to change or deepen at any point along the way.
Remember that commitment is a process. Commitment is not the end goal, it’s a step in the process and you’re allowed to choose it again and again when it feels right. And when it doesn’t feel right, you’re allowed to question it, change the parameters around it and either recommit or completely let go.
Just because you break a commitment doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just means that you need something else - maybe space to express where you’re feeling a loss of commitment and a place to openly explore your needs in a new way.
Where can you deepen, soften, or let go of a commitment in your life to bring more joy, ease and expansion to yourself and your life? Share it with me here.