This is the Single Most Important Commitment You Can Make
Cindie Chavez ©2018
As a relationship coach I’ve had quite a few discussions about commitment. And it might be assumed that these conversations are dealing with marriage, or at least monogamous relationships. However, the more important conversation around commitment deals with your commitment to yourself.
It is a universal human condition, this desire to be in a committed relationship with another person – someone who loves us, someone we can trust, someone to have fun with, another kindred spirit that will travel through this journey of life with us. We long to connect so we can grow together, create together, love together. We are hard-wired to connect with others – physically, emotionally, intellectually, even spiritually. I, too, share this desire and I’m fortunate enough to have found someone that I want to bump bellies with for the rest of my life. (Shout out to Elizabeth Gilbert for that succinct definition of intimacy.)
But there is a more pressing idea to consider, since each of us is involved in a very specific and singular relationship for the rest of our lives – the relationship with one’s self. And this is where the issue of commitment seems crucial to me and begs to ask the obvious question: Am I in a committed relationship with myself? And, are you?
Are you committed to your own happiness and success in life, your own vibrant health, the expansion of your own personal body of knowledge, feeding your soul, living in your purpose, creating your own contribution to the world? This is of utmost importance because these things cannot be accomplished for you by someone else, these things are your responsibility.
As romantic as the idea of someone else completing us may be (Thanks, Jerry Maguire), we do not need anyone else to “complete” us. We might want to be part of a couple, but we are not someone else’s “other half” – a healthy couple consists of two whole people.
You are entire. You are already complete.
When we make a commitment to another person without being committed to our own well-being we’ll inevitably find our self over-giving and over-caring, as well feeling disappointed when our expectations aren’t met.
We all have basic human needs – air, water, food, sleep, shelter – and we also have a slew of other human needs that aren’t so basic and might seem a bit more nebulous – such as the need for beauty, creativity, expression, contribution, freedom, ritual, celebration, independence.
In no way am I suggesting that we attempt to get our needs met in isolation. As humans many of our needs can only be met in community and in connection with others – intimacy, cooperation, touch, acceptance, friendship, and a sense of belonging are just a few of the human needs that are met in connection with others – and yet the responsibility for getting these needs met in my own life lies squarely on my own shoulders.
When I was single I longed for intimacy. I had gone through an agonizing divorce and I was exceedingly careful to take the time to heal before entering into another relationship. I didn’t want to make the mistake of committing to a new partner too soon, so I made a commitment to myself.
I recognized the need for radical responsibility – the idea that I am responsible for how I experience every single thing in my life. So it made sense to me to take the time to get to know myself and understand my needs. I allowed myself time and space to nurture my own health. I spent time writing, making art, and creating things that fed my soul. I read piles of books, and I even wrote a couple of my own. I took time to enjoy and celebrate life events with family and friends. It was a very nurturing time for me, I grew stronger in my intuitive capabilities, my knowledge of who I am at my core, my understanding of what I liked and disliked, and what I needed and didn’t need.
And when I felt ready to be in an intimate relationship again I knew one thing for certain – I was responsible for my own experience, my own happiness, my own success. I knew this in a deep way because I was already experiencing happiness and it wasn’t something I expected someone else to provide for me, I wanted someone to experience happiness with me – not bring happiness to me.
I was committed to finding someone that was a fit for me. I was committed to my own happiness, my own fulfillment, making sure my own needs were met.
And because the world is a giant mirror, I found someone who understands that we’re all responsible for our own feelings, emotions, and responses – how we experience life. Someone who is invested in self-discovery, self-growth, and self-care. Someone who sees me and understands me and has no problem with taking the time to work on understanding me when he feels like he doesn’t. Someone who listens to me so closely that he can confidently call me on my bullshit when I’ve got a blind-spot and lose confidence in myself. We see each other, we listen to each other, we are committed to the health of our relationship – and I believe that this commitment stays strong because we accept the idea of radical responsibility.
Life, as a mirror, can show us how we are showing up. When we look into a physical mirror in order to check our appearance and the mirror shows us something we don’t like – smeared lipstick, mussy hair, food in our teeth – we fix it. We fix our self, not the mirror.
The measure of our commitment to our self is written all around us in our experience.
Are we taking the time to make sure our needs are met?
Do we spend time getting to know what those needs are?
Do we nurture our souls and recognize the things that bring us joy, peace, happiness?
Do we make the effort to contribute, to reach out and connect with others to find like minds, trusting companions and collaborators?
All these things are evidence of a committed relationship – with yourself. When your needs are met you experience wholeness. There is a saying that “two halves make a whole” – mathematically this may be true, but two people each experiencing wholeness are what makes a healthy couple, one that’s worth the commitment.
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONLIGHT™ – A Course in Manifesting Love and the author of Healing for a Broken Heart. She has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONLIGHT™ – A Course in Manifesting Love and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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