Inspiration: Smedes, Lewis B. (1988) Caring& Commitment: Learning To Live The Love We Promise, Harper Collins Publishers.
A lot of us are afraid of commitment, by that I mean, to immerse ourselves in a commited in a relationship. How do I know this? Because I’m human, and I feel it. And I live in a world full of humans who have the same fear. The thing is, fear of commitment is natural; it is normal. It happens to everyone everywhere. So today, I would like to discuss and examine that fear, as well as what happens if, after acknowledging it, we defy it and commit anyway. What would happen?
First, let me tell you why fear of commitment is normal….simply because the stakes are high. Let’s consider the risks. By committing yourself to someone, you are risking a big part of your freedom, your individuality, and even control of your everyday life. Not to mention sacrificing YOUR time, your trust, your heart, and your money to one person. I mean, by committing ourselves to someone, we are promising technically all of ourselves when we know nothing about the future. Things will change. That’s a given. You will change over time, the other person will change overtime, your environment, feelings, priorities, outlook in life…all these things will change. And you are supposed to commit to the person for the rest of your life?
We also have other issues. We fear getting abandoned and getting hurt. We also doubt our own ability to keep commitments. That’s my issue. I don’t know if I have it in me to keep the commitments I make…for the rest of my life.
Seriously speaking, the only way, the only way…to move forward and actually commit, is to have trust, faith, and hope that everything will be fine. BUT in order to create trust, faith, hope it requires personal commitment. Let me say it again, the only way to REALLY believe in commitment is to have trust, faith, and hope , but you can’t really fully create those 3 attributes until you fully commit in the first place. Complicated.
Let me talk about what commitments really mean and why they are so important.
I read once that commitments create small islands of security in oceans of insecurity. Look around you, the whole world is full of instability. And commitments, in a way, are promises of security amidst all this uncertainty. Commitments give us hope. Furthermore, human life is lived in communion with one another. And human community lives on commitments.
You will not be here today if your mother had not committed to keeping you in her womb for 9 months. You would not be able to read and write if your teachers in grade school did not commit to being patient, teaching, and nurturing you. You get my point. Human life is built on commitments. It is a necessity.
You are already doing it. Right now, you are committed, at some level, to yourself, to your job, your friends, your family. If you are a spiritual person, or if you are a Christian, and you firmly and believe that God is committed to you and will never abandon you, then you know, that the ability to fully commit is your DNA, because you are made in God’s image. So you see, the ability to commit is already in you. And you’re already doing it. It is just a matter of taking it to the next level and committing say, to a life partner.
NOW, let’s talk about the risks…but Kim…what about losing my freedom, my identity, my control of my life in the future? Well, technically speaking you create YOURSELF and your future through the commitments that you make, commitments that you keep, the callings that you hear, and the love that you offer. You still have control over your identity and your future…AND part of creating and building yourself and your future is through your commitments.
Think of the person whom you commit yourself to as the basic foundation of the future YOU are creating for YOURSELF . You have full power to choose your foundation. The key is… to choose your foundation wisely. Listen to your heart.
• Don’t commit too quickly, out of impulse or unrealistic expectations, or intoxication from romantic love or lust.
• Don’t commit when you are full of insecurity or while lacking of self-worth.
• Don’t commit when you have poor communication connection with the other person.
• Don’t commit when you don’t share the same values, morals, or faith.