Last month we explored the first three “secrets” for assessing both conscious and unconscious commitments in relationships, and how commitments affect your ability to make clear agreements. This month’s article highlights ensuring that the commitments you DO make are authentic, and how to keep them alive.
Imagine your commitments as the guiding force of a large ship at sea that is your life. If you desire to be in Hawaii, but your ship keeps heading for Alaska, then the power of your commitment is decidedly off course! A large ship requires that the captain, the crew and a strong engine all work together to steer the vessel to the desired shore. The captain may keep saying the destination is Hawaii, but if the crew and engine are set on a different course, then forget about it, you’re going to Alaska! It takes everyone on board agreeing that Hawaii is the destination before the course is clear. Navigation is still needed, and it may take awhile to get there, but the outcome is assured: arrival in Hawaii amidst an air of joyful determination.
Again, the key here is whether you are truly in alignment with what you SAY you want. When your three centers of “head, heart and gut” fully align with a desire, it is only a matter of time before that desire manifests. It’s very clear when a person is congruent in their mind and body while stating a commitment: there is a palpable sense of truth being spoken, even if the result is not fully manifested yet.
To avoid dramatic corrections in a relationship’s course, here are four more “commitment secrets” to consider (continued from last month):
Commitment Secret #4: Do not – I repeat do not – make any commitments or agreements that you do not truly want!
Again, this means that your three centers of head, heart and gut need to be in alignment. This may seem fundamental, but is actually where couples create the biggest snafus for themselves. A commitment made from a “should” or a “going along to get along” attitude generally ends up as a broken agreement. For instance, if you say you are committed to living within your financial means, but somehow find a way to overspend each month, your results are clearly indicating that there’s something else you value more than living within your budget! When couples learn how to fully express their authentic preferences with each other, they can then make agreements that truly enliven their relationship.
Commitment Secret #5: Recommitting is key to your success.
Check in with your commitments regularly and see if you’re still living from them. One of my favorite foundational relationship commitments is “I commit to seeing you as my ally and to being yours.” This powerful commitment comes in handy in those vice-grip emotional moments when my merciless mind gets activated and I begin to view my partner as “the enemy.” If, in those treacherous moments, I choose to recommit to this simple yet profound ally statement, the energy to fight shifts and my heart softens. How different my Beloved appears when my beady eyes and hardened heart open and I realize that I’ve been pecking at my most precious ally!
Commitment Secret #6: Commitments and agreements may change.
This is a biggie for most people to fathom, as most of us have been indoctrinated in some form of “’til-death-do-us-part” belief system around commitments. This is why RE-committing is key. It helps keep us stay current with what we want, what we value and why. In staying current, we may find that a situation has changed, and with it our commitment and agreements around it. For example, perhaps you and your partner have a commitment to monogamy, and then one of you falls ill or is somehow unable or unwilling to be sexual. You may want to change your commitment, and collaborate in creating new agreements that support you both in living a more authentically loving partnership. Or it could be that your money situation radically changes, and your financial agreements need to be updated. Whatever the case, I recommend taking time on a regular basis to update your commitments. Some couples enjoy doing this annually, perhaps on their anniversary or the beginning of the year, which is a wonderful practice. If your relationship feels stagnate, chances are you need to re-evaluate and revitalize your commitments.
Commitment Secret #7: Commitments manifest on varying timetables (which is why recommitment is so important!).
This means that some commitments are organic to your nature and occur easily, while others require fortitude. For example, your commitment to parenting or to making money may be obvious, yet manifesting the relationship of your dreams may perpetually elude you. This doesn’t mean there’s something “wrong” with you, or that your efforts are wasted. As far as I can tell, we ALL have at least one area in our life that offers us fertile soil for growth. Fully facing and embracing your greatest challenges can lead to your most satisfying successes. The great inventor Thomas Edison spent years – and hundreds of attempts – recommitting to his dream of electricity until it successfully manifested. It may be the same for you, in some area of your life.
Remember, a commitment is not a platitude. It is a reflection of a core value that aligns us with a greater truth of our essence. It feels good to us when we align with this truth, which is why we recommit to it again and again.