Speaking to a friend recently it came up that they had an ‘issue with commitment’, in particular committing to people in relationships, including family members.
But then they revised this to say that in fact it wasn’t really a commitment issue, but a rejection issue.
Not about fear or anxiety about making a commitment to someone but more about the fear or anxiety of being rejected by them.
The worry about being ‘rejected’ in the short or long term makes it difficult or impossible to commit to the relationship – even in the short term.
I see this as two sides of the same coin, in this case with the coin as the relationship.
But it could be a coin of any denomination – health and well-being, work, career or business, lifestyle or anything else that you or I might want to ‘commit’ to.
In these cases, the two sides of the coin might be commitment and ‘failure’
“I can’t commit to this because I might fail”.
But what does ‘commitment’ mean?
There are other meanings but, in this context, ‘commitment’ can mean dedication to a cause or person – allegiance, dedication, loyalty, faithfulness etc. – or – an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action – responsibility, obligation, duty, burden etc.
It depends how you or I look at it: we can consider a commitment, even the same commitment, as positive, but at the same time restrictive or negative, in that a commitment to one idea restricts us from engaging with another idea – even when those ideas are not in any way in opposition.
But that doesn’t really deal with the idea of commitment versus rejection or failure.
That’s one of the problems we have with ‘feelings’.
You see, all the words I’ve used to describe ‘commitment’ as well as the ideas of rejection and failure are describing feelings.
Curious beasts, feelings.
They need feeding.
Regularly and continuously.
The thing is that some feelings keep our spiritual energy up and some push it down.
I don’t believe it’s about negative and positive energy – it’s the level of energy you and I are operating at that counts.
And remember this is about spiritual energy rather than physical energy
Physical energy is easier to understand: when it’s low we feel tired, when it’s high we feel energetic and raring to go.
But you and I from time to time also feel spiritually ‘tired’ – when although physically we may feel good, we just ‘can’t be bothered’ about something we might be thinking of doing.
Previously I’ve referred to Dr David Hawkins mapping of 17 levels of consciousness, also referred to as levels of ‘vibration’ or energy. In this he identifies 68 different states which we might understand better as ‘feelings’.
Different feelings relate to different levels of energy.
‘Joy’ for instance represents quite a high energy/vibration/consciousness level, optimism, and courage, are lower down.
He divides his ‘list’ into two parts – the higher levels representing ‘power’ and the lower levels ‘force’.
Commitment and all the other ‘positive’ feelings that resonate with it would fall into the ‘Power’ area and rejection, fear and anxiety into the lower energy, ‘Force’ area.
Power and Force are, like Commitment and Rejection, two sides of the same coin – one can very easily turn into the other.
‘At the flip of a coin’
Exercising force is an indicator of loss of power, whereas if you have power there is no need to apply force.
So how do you and I manage this conflict between the ‘heads and tails’ of everything we do?
How do we ensure that we always ‘win the toss’, and keep ‘heads up’?
To my mind the answer lies in the decisions that we make and the boundaries that we set.
The limits to any commitment and the boundaries within which that commitment operates – and the strength of the decision that you or I may make to enter into that commitment.
Now here’s the thing.
Only you or I can make a commitment to someone or something – no-one else can make that commitment for us – a ‘forced’ commitment is not a commitment.
Only you or I can make the decision to go with it or not – we are not bound by a commitment decided on by someone else.
And third, probably most important, we alone are the creators of our feelings.
What we feel may be a response to some circumstances or someone else’s action but no-one and nothing can ‘make us feel’ a certain way.
You and I choose and create our own feelings.
They are our responsibility, yours or mine – nothing to do with anyone or anything ‘outside’ of the self.
We can choose to feel committed to something, just as we can choose to feel rejected.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else chooses to do or say, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world around us – you and I choose our own feelings.
They are nothing to do with anyone or anything else!
Choose your feelings well.