Commitment and Re-commitment
Commitment is often thought of as an event, rather than an ongoing process or practice. We make an overarching commitment such as living together, or getting married – yet there are many smaller commitments every day that determine the success of our relationship and personal happiness. Commitment is a process that evolves and changes over time – it’s more accurately thought of as a series of re-commitments, than as one big decision toward an outcome. Personally, I find this approach quite refreshing. If things go sideways in any area of my relationship, I look squarely at what happened and I re-commit to a new set of choices from where I am.
Commitment is a choice, and it’s important to know that choice is only possible in the present moment, over some action step that you can personally control. All too often people will try to commit to a specific outcome rather than to an action step, especially in the case of a relationship. This type of approach automatically puts you in a passive role – since many of the outcomes will involve the compliance of your partner, over which you have no control. In the old paradigm of relationships, compromise and moderate personal fulfillment were tolerated. Today, our quest for personal fulfillment requires that each of us take a more active role in reaching agreements that both partners want to commit to. When things go sideways next time, rather than tolerating despair or rebellion, ask yourself – what do I want to re-commit to now in order to get the relationship back on track?