When I think of the word “commitment,” another word comes to mind, as well, Phobia. I was about to start this article by saying that I am afraid of commitments, but I’m not sure that covers it. I believe commitment is the thing that will set me free, yet I keep it at a distance, looking towards greener grass and other horizons imagining my life cloaked with circumstances not my own.
The thing about commitment is that it does not come without stipulations attached. Once you commit, you are opening yourself to the possibility of disappointments. If you want something really badly and then you don’t get it? Crushing disappointment. If you love someone so hard with everything you have and they still end up betraying your heart? Horrific disappointment. If you commit yourself to a change in lifestyle and you don’t follow through? Disappointment. Your own disappointment, but disappointment nonetheless.
Commitment does not come without its little potential consequences. It’s easier to believe that, if you never commit, you will not suffer as much. If you want something, but always keep yourself open to another thing, then the safety net is always that other thing. If you keep your foot poised just a bit outside the door ready to flee at the slightest chance of disenchantment, then you can leave without much disturbing. It’s an escape hatch the not committing thing. It leaves you open to shrugging your shoulders and saying to yourself, “Well, I didn’t want it that bad anyway.”
Committing to a project,person, job,location,pursuing or anything means you are jumping off the cliff, not knowing where you’ll land. If you never commit, you’ll always have the control. You’ll know how far you’ll let yourself go before you start to pull back, retreating to what’s familiar. Committing purely and with enthusiasm is terrifying. You are essentially blind thrusting yourself towards a day to day action without knowing the outcome.
To relinquish such control is not easy, I do not give up anything without a fight.
Commitment is my Everest: that looming mountaintop I can’t quit to conquer. I keep myself indecisive and fill my pauses with “I don’t know” and “maybe” and “we’ll see” like I’m stalling for more time.
I’m stingy with my love and my commitments which is something I learned to do when I was young and too sensitive to the whims of people, the world and the uncertainty of everything.
I learned to protect myself, to keep everyone and everything an arm’s length away. If the world was going to hurt me, I’d be ready. I still have that imprinted on me and I keep trying to unpeel that truth from my skin. I’m still learning to be open to people,situations and love while still maintaining my strength. I also learned to harden against the world, but now I’m softening.
Yet, I’ve never known softness, love, commitment, devotion and also staying long enough without knowing pain.It seems I can always love a person, place and a project when I’m certain I can unlove it. Until I see the escape hatch, I’m pushing away.
This resistance I feel to commitment is simply an indication of how much I need it in my life. I have to commit to commitment. “Oh dear God! ” Even if it’s scary and I don’t know what the outcome will be, it’s only worth it to know that “I can do it” . Shying away from the potential of disappointment leads quite poetically to a very disappointing life.
I found myself at the end of my life unscathed,untrue, unsullied from my years, I would not be proud. Had I committed myself mercilessly to the parts of my life that needed devotion, I wouldn’t even care about the outcome. I’d care about the pursuit. I’d be happy that I’d done the things, that I’d let my life beat me. It’s going to beat me any way. I don’t get out alive. Might as well go down with a fight.