We fear that making commitments limits our freedom, when really, making the right commitments gives us more freedom than anything else we could do for ourselves.
Allow me to paint a picture by contrasting two clients I worked with within the last decade.
Karissa was terrified of commitment. She had bounced around from career to career, and boyfriend to boyfriend for a number of years, and was beginning to tire of the lack of structure, certainty, and familiarity in her life. She came to me looking for perspective on why she routinely left her intimate partners within six months (the one exception being a multi-year partner who was abusive and a terrible fit for her), and her fear of commitment was quickly highlighted.
When we dug into it, we discovered that her fears of commitment stemmed from a rocky childhood where her friends, family members, and caregivers were all unreliable. She had to raise herself, and therefore saw committing to anyone as fundamentally foolish. Obviously, the only way out of that pattern was through it. She began to commit to places, people, and a career path, and has been flourishing ever since.
Then there was Ron.
Ron was one of those freaks who had two loving parents, a stable household growing up, and loving, supportive, verbally encouraging grandparents and caregivers throughout his formative years.
Ron made commitments to an aligned and fulfilling career path, an intimate partner, and a close circle of good friends from a young age, and never looked back.
I asked him about his relationship to commitment on our first call and he said something that always stuck with me.
“I am never more free than when I am deeply committed in all areas of my life. Being undecided and perpetually searching is such an anxious hell to live in. I am committed to the things in my life, and I feel freer for it.”
Do Our Commitments Really Make Us More Free?
The adolescent in us wants to keep our options open forever. Play the field. Taste the rainbow. See what’s out there.
But the adult in us wants to put down roots. Deepen our relationships. Commit.
Now, obviously, if you commit to the wrong thing, or just commit for commitment’s sake, then you aren’t doing yourself any favours.
Commitment first requires self-awareness. You have to know yourself in order to commit to the right things.
If you’re in a stage of your life where you know who you are and your life’s core values are becoming increasingly self-evident by the day, then it behooves you to make and deepen your life’s commitments in order to allow yourself to flourish in the right direction.
How Our Commitments Give Us Freedom
Our commitments make us more effective, efficient, and focused.
When we lack commitment in our lives, we feel scattered, aimless, and ungrounded.
When we make and honour our commitments, we feel focused, alive, passionate.
Our commitments save us energy.
When we lack commitments, we feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by choices. Decision fatigue sets in.
When we commit, we feel certain, trusting, and full of abundant, overflowing energy.
Our commitments give us roots, healing, and help us to be more fully ourselves.
When we lack commitments, we are only slightly known by many people.
When we commit, we allow ourselves to be fully known, seen, and loved by others. Being known by someone and making a commitment to a relationship gives you the safe container that allows you to flourish all the way into your truest and most fully expressed self.
As one of my business mentors used to say, “99% is hard as hell, 100% is a breeze.”
When you allow yourself to commit to something fully, the world conspires to help you in your mission.
Everything becomes easier when you commit yourself to it totally. Your emotional healing journey. Your creative endeavours. Your business/career path. Your intimate relationship. Your social life. Your familial relationships.
When you say “I choose this… I am two feet in” then you get a surge of energy that you once dedicated to remaining scattered, unattached, and incessantly searching.
I get it… we resist the things that are the best for us because our ego’s job is to sabotage connection, and keep us in a state of fear.
But don’t let your ego get in the way of something that your heart desperately wants.
By committing to the right person, you will become more free. More yourself. More expansive. More aligned. More true.
There is freedom in commitment. And you will feel it when you deploy the courage and take the leap.
Dedicated to your success,
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