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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Commitment....

Commitment - a word that is so loaded with definitions.  Commitment is sticking to something/someone no matter what.  For many of us it could mean a relationship, while for others it could be a job, a habit, a quality.  Whatever it is -it is something that requires a lot of hard work and courage from us. 

There is alot of fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, and perseverence that is involved in sticking with commitment, and yet at the same time there is also a sense of pride, joy, lightheartedness, beauty, love, and growth that comes with.   Taking on a commitment, we really don't know what is in store for us until we are in it.  Most of us either have a flight or fight attitude to new situations - we either want to run from it or face it head on. 

Depending on our personality, we may look at it with excitement or we may look at it with anxiety.  Regardless of how we look at it, the journey is something that most of us really don't know how to appreciate.  It's not so much about the outcome  as much as it is the process and the journey that we are on.   We don't know where or what it is going to go, but the key to keeping committed is resolving to stay in the moment and enjoying the process.  
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A commitment is a promise to stick to something no matter what.  That means no matter how bad or rotten the situation is, no matter what, you are sticking by it.  In theory it seems easy to do, but in reality, it is probably one of the most difficult things that a person can do.  

Think about it - how often have we started a hobby, a sport, an instrument and when the moment it gets tough, the moment it gets daring, the moment we feel our weaknesses in our knees we start to take a step back and make excuses for not wanting to go through with it.  And this starts from childhood.  My son will be the first to say this - that i'm always telling him - never say I can't --things will always be difficult, but it is more about trying and saying to yourself - "I know it is hard, but i will keep trying.". 

We all don't have to be perfect in what we do, but we have this sense of perfection that is instilled in us because of these experiences and because of our obsession with wanting things to be perfect, we lose sight of enjoying the process and learning to be mindful.  This begins with us as children - we are given the freedom to find rationales for things not to work out, or to stop doing something because it is too difficult, or because it may not be "our thing", or we give up on people in our relationships because someone may have given up on us when we were younger. 

If we look at our interpersonal relationships, think about how many misunderstandings, how much sabotage, how many hurtful words may have been said because of a projected assumption and because of a fear of what the possible outcome may be.   The two people in the relationship have to be willing to look at each other honestly and at themselves honestly and see how each of them pay a part in the dance and how to keep the dance going. 
Being committed is an exercise in being true to ourselves.  It really takes us to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror  and say -i have to look at myself in the mirror and i have good days and bad days - and i really don' t like what i see when the going gets rough - i don't like the ugliness of my vices coming out but i am willing to accept the feelings and the emotions and i'm willing to let it sit there because that's what is going to help me through the process of staying on my path - whatever the path is - a job, a sport, a relationship -  i may not like what i see, but i'm willing to take the risk and go all the way with it.  I like to look at the analogy of commitment similar to that of being in a job for 10-15 years.   How accustomed do we get to it? how much of it is burn out? how much resentment do we have? how tired have we become? or is it the opposite - do we look forward to coming in everyday? do we say to ourselves - what are we going to learn today? do we be joyful in our day to day activities even if we do the same thing everyday?   

It is a real test to how much each of us can really withstand each other and let go of so much that we have in our head in order to enjoy what we have in front of us.  
Journaling is an excellent tool to keep committed to anything - a person, a hobby, a sport, anything -it gets us to really look at our own issues and see where we need to improve, where we need to back down, where we need to move forward.  It pinpoints our triggers, it pinpoints our anxieties, but most of all it really gives us a chance to be honest with ourselves and begin the process of accepting us for who we are.   If we can accept us, we can accept another - we may not agree/understand - but acceptance can help with being committed.  
What kind of journaling exercises can help with that? A standard practice for me is the Dialogue.  I love it and use i over and over again - not only is it helpful with understanding ourselves better in the context of a person, but it is also helpful in the context of a situation, an event, or a conflict.   It  helps us communicate better, helps us be in tune with what our issues are, and helps us be more ourselves.   The dialogue is an internal dialogue with your Higher self - it gets u to be in tuned with your inner self, your higher self and allows u to do that through the process of writing.   It may seem silly for a while, but it is important to let go of the silliness and tune into what u think the other person is thinking/feeling/anticipating and allow yourself to have a written dialogue with that person. 
I have done this over and over again and everytime it never ceases to amaze me as to how so much of what we think is going on is about us, and how much we project onto others.   It also is a letting go and cathartic exercise -    An example...
Me:
Partner:
Me:
Partner

Each line u write, allow it to flow freely rather than restricting yourself to see what comes....i really encourage you to try it....it works wonders.

Another tool that is amazing is going for a 20 minute walk or run and writing for 15 minutes after that.  

And yet another tool is picking three feeling words to describe to your day at the end of the day and then write for 5-10 minutes.  After that write three feeling words again...

It clears your mind, lets you look at the picture in a more wholistic way and gets out all the stuff from your head so u can be "YOU."

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