Commitment is a large word, or perhaps, I should say a difficult word. It’s a word that conjures up many different shades of meaning for many different people. I’ve thought of myself as a commitment phobe for most of my adult life. I suppose you could say I was soured on the word early on when my marriage — married right out of college at the tender age of 22 — failed spectacularly and painfully. And without much conscious thought, I found myself scared to commit. Didn’t like a job? I’d leave it. A relationship … or first date(!) … not working? I’d leave it. Not happy about where I was living? I’d move. By the time I hit my mid-thirties, I was exhausted.
Now I find myself slightly astonished to realize that I’ve somehow committed to my job — I’ve been at the same company for ten years. Granted, it’s a commitment loaded with periods of regret, recrimination, and resentment as well as a sense of accomplishment. But I’m wondering now whether I’ve been truly committed to my job, or to the accoutrement my job has provided — my car, my condo, my vacations, my credit cards(!), etc, etc. To what am I truly committed?
My first instinct is to answer, “Yoga,” and then follow that up with, “my relationship” and then, maybe, my job. All of these things tug on my heart-mind-body strings in different ways:
- I’m struggling with the idea of *truly* committing to my Yoga practice — What? Practice Asana every day?! What? Give up my tamasic, tasty pink cocktails?! What?! Be kind enough to myself to practice daily meditation? Huh?!
- My current relationship is unfolding in ways completely unfamiliar to me. I’ve never experienced this level of communication, intimacy, attraction, caring, connection and love. I’m overflowing with joy while at the same time breathing deeply because sometimes, the idea of where we’re going — somewhere I’ve never “successfully” been — scares the bejeesus out of me!
- My job makes me crazy most of the time. But I have to admit I work with good people and it’s the whole “devil you know” thing. AND I’ve got some serious financial obligations which mean I can’t just up and quit my job as I did in the “good ol’ days”.
So, I keep returning to the question, “To what am I truly committed?” And I find no clear answer. And interestingly, this choice to go deeper into my Yoga seems to be opening doors and windows of my psyche heretofore successfully ignored … and once the door/window is opened, it’s almost always impossible to stuff things back in. Sigh. And the “stuff” spilling out wants to be dealt with NOW. The time of reckoning, so to speak, has arrived. *Deep breath*
To what am I truly committed? HOW do I truly commit? To anything or anyone? How do I translate my current situation into commitment?
I do understand I can commit to anything I choose. But as I’m looking at my life’s past and current choices, I’m realizing that I’ve not truly understood this, or rather, I’ve not lived this. I’ve let habit and the examples of others dictate too many of my choices — conscious and unconscious. I’m now beginning to entertain the idea that I don’t have to keep repeating the same stuff (karma/samskaras) over and over and over again. I can change it. I don’t have to keep paying down a credit card only to have the balance creep back up to scary. I don’t have to leave my current job to be happy and fulfilled. I don’t have to walk away from a wonderful relationship just because I’m scared. But I DO have to choose to commit to my reality. I do have to breathe and acknowledge the truths of my present moment — I AM in a wonderful and supportive relationship. I DO own a condo which I’ve turned into a welcoming home. I AM in a job that pays well, working with good people and which could probably be more interesting if I engaged more. I DO have scary financial obligations which can’t be ignored, but can, with commitment, be steadily dealt with. I AM worth daily Yoga practice (asana AND meditation). And I AM worth happiness.
And so, I’m setting the intention to commit to the moment, to what’s true. If I remember that each moment contains everything, then it’s a whole lot easier to contemplate commitment. It’s not so scary and all I have to do is breathe and be present. The credit cards will go down. I’ve done it before I can do it again — and this time, by choosing to stay present, committing to honor my reality, they can stay down and then be gone. My job will keep me in food, shelter, clothes and comfort. It will also provide me challenges both creative and difficult — but if I surrender the struggle and accept my present reality, then I may find some peace and fulfillment within my work. And the relationship? The one I’m calling the love of my life? I’m going to keep breathing, keep acknowledging and sharing my fears, keep trusting him and commit to taking us one day at a time.
Om shanti, shanti. Namaste.