The Way To Self-Commitment – You Can Do It!
Hopefully last week’s blog got you thinking about deepening your commitment to yourself. We talked about commitment as as an act of self-love, so if you missed it, click here to check it out. I realized after writing that blog, that although you may be fired up to make a stronger commitment, applying the concept may be a bit nebulous. In talking with my clients, and in my own life as well, I have seen just how hard this concept can be to apply. What stands out to me when I see someone spinning their wheels and not getting very far in their quest to change themselves and their lives is that they’re unfamiliar with how to commit to themselves. We may not know how or we’ve subconsciously made conflicting commitments we hold at a higher level than the one to ourselves. Examples of conflicting commitments can be to long held limiting beliefs or to the need for others’ approval. One I know that we women fall susceptible to is trying to commit to others like our families, friends, work, causes, etc. while sacrificing our commitment to ourselves. We have it backwards because once committed to ourselves, we show up bigger and brighter not only for ourselves but for the others in our lives. We also may not know how to show up for ourselves if we’ve come from childhoods where others didn’t show up or stand up for us. Since getting committed to yourself might be unfamiliar, I want to share a little more with you about what it is, what it feels like, and one way I symbolized my commitment to myself.
So, what is the energy of commitment and what does it really look like? I recently saw a movie that I feel really exemplified that energy of commitment and what it looks like in practice. The movie is a documentary called May I Be Frank about a man who undertakes to transform his life with the help of three young men who show an unwavering commitment to him. In the movie, you see how he has to step up for himself, how they push him through his resistance, and how even when he has setbacks he recommits and continues on. The movie is a clear indicator of how profound a transformation can take place when you dare to show up for yourself in such a way. If you have a chance, I really recommend seeing it for its great inspirational value and to see commitment in action.
To me, the energy of commitment is one that feels very grounded and firm. It’s an underlying solidity, a promise to yourself and your higher power, which always brings you back to stand on that ground no matter how many steps backward you may take. It drives you forward with your eyes on the vision and intention you’ve set for yourself. It is literally making a promise to yourself much like your vows in a marriage ceremony are you making a promise to your spouse. It is a vow to stand by your own side, practice unconditional love for yourself, and to stand up for yourself in ways that will heal and transform your life. A commitment like that will aide you in pushing way out of your comfort zone, which is where all real change happens. But how do we symbolize that commitment? I mean, how do we make it real? Well, in the movie Frank has to sign a statement of commitment before he embarks on his journey of transformation. There are many ways you can make your commitment more concrete and grounded with more likelihood of success in following through. Having said that, I‘d like to share with you an example of how I committed to myself.
My game changing commitment happened last year on my 40th birthday. My friends planned this beautiful day for me where I was surrounded by the love of the women in my life as we spent an afternoon together bonding and sharing from our hearts. My friend asked if I would be open to doing a self commitment ceremony where I would write vows to myself to share in front of the whole group. She asked that I write the vows and bring them with me on the day of the gathering. I really had no idea where to start so I thought about all I had been through and all the behaviors and aspects of my life that hadn’t been working for me. I thought about what I had been learning about myself and how I wanted to feel and show up in the world, and then I began to write. I’m not sure from what place the words came but the power in them inspired me to keep a copy in my purse and on my bedroom wall so I would always remember my vows. Maybe it was inspiring to the other women there as well because many asked me for a copy they could keep. During the ceremony, I walked down a flower strewn path my daughters laid out for me, and came to stand in front of a mirror where I looked into my own eyes and read the following vows as a commitment and intention:
I promise to love you unconditionally and under all circumstances. Whether you’re irritable or cheerful, feeling angry or forgiving, social or reclusive, nervous or confident. Whether you’re feeling pretty or frumpy, silly or serious, uninhibited or self-conscious. Whether you stay single forever or marry the man of your dreams. Whether you exercise or choose to be a lazy lump. Whether you make mistakes or get it right. I promise to love you unconditionally even when you’re having a pity party and holding judgments against yourself. I promise to forgive you and see the truth of who you are. I promise to be honest with you and compassionate.
My desire and intention for you is that you always follow your heart and let your intuition guide you. That you trust yourself always and above others’ opinions. That you be unafraid to shine your light and never dim it for another. That you remain receptive to the good that is always there for you and that you cultivate gratitude for your many blessings. That you live in the present and with total presence in each moment. That you see the sacred in yourself and in all of life. That you embrace the wonder and mystery that is you. That you become comfortable with the unknown and trust the divine plan and purpose for your life. That you love yourself as completely and fully as God loves you. That you see the beauty of your true self. That you express your authentic self and see the strength in that kind of vulnerability. That you have the courage to always believe in your dreams even if no one else does. To be for and never against yourself, and to let each action you take come from a place of complete self-love and care.
I intend to protect you and enforce your boundaries even when it is difficult. I intend to stand up for you and help you speak your truth. I intend to speak and think of you with respect and admiration, to celebrate your triumphs and not gloss over them, and to honor the courage and wisdom within you. I intend to always be on your side and to love and accept all parts of you.
I intend to always love and honor you for the beautiful being that you are.
When I created those intentions and committed to them by uttering the words in front of everyone, I did now feel more of a sense of responsibility for myself and my life, and more importantly, I felt much more powerful. I felt a sense of accountability within to follow through on my vows. I knew what my vision was for the person I was becoming and in that moment I solidified it within, allowing it now to pull me forward each and every day. It was a profound way for me to symbolize a foundational commitment to practice unconditional self-love and to be present and participate in my own life. I am really convinced that because I have a much more solid investment in me I am able to make other commitments that come from that place of self-love. Commitments such as exercising regularly, eating healthy, and following through on a daily spiritual practice, to give just a few examples.
For me, it feels as if I reclaimed my power and set a point of intentionality and direction in my life. One challenge in my life has been creating and enforcing my own boundaries, and when opportunities come up for me to flex this muscle, I remember this part of my vows. It helps me summon up the courage and push through the resistance that wants me to stay in my old behavior pattern (which clearly doesn’t work for me). Don’t get me wrong, I do have to recommit to myself and revisit these words I wrote because I lose my way occasionally. Looking at those words now I realize I would have written them with a stronger tone of promise knowing what I know now. I just may go back and do that! Writing this blog is teaching me that I am always deepening my learning of these concepts, and every time I write on a subject I have the opportunity to go deeper with it. Writing this one on commitment has given me the opportunity to reconnect to it more solidly.
I do want to say I believe that the ritual and ceremony of it all is just as important as the words you use to commit to yourself. It is a way to declare it as real, and with the love of those who are witnesses it is even better. Of course it doesn’t have to look the way I did it or be elaborate either. You can be creative and come up with your own way of solidifying your commitment. Maybe you’ve done it for yourself and would like to share your own example. I’d love to hear it and learn from you as well.
So, now that I’ve shared with you a little more about what self-commitment looks like, are you ready to create a more powerful commitment to yourself? I’d love to serve you in doing just that, so if you’re ready and want to explore it further click here for how to contact me.