Marry Yourself

Friday, August 08, 2014

Marry Yourself
The importance of making a commitment to yourself.

I’m not married.

But if you look at the ring finger on my left hand right now, you’ll probably notice the gold, diamond ring I’m wearing. It belonged to my great aunt on my mother’s side. I never met her. I don’t even know her name or which grandparent she was a sibling of. All I know is that the ring was given to my mother when my great aunt passed away, and has since been passed along to me. It’s a family heirloom of sorts.

However, I don’t wear it because of it’s meaning to my family. And since I’m not married, I most certainly don’t wear it for the meaning of a marriage commitment. 

I wear it for the meaning of the commitment to myself.

I’ve been in and out of serious relationships since I was fifteen, and I have a tendency to become a chameleon in my relationships. I’ve lost sight of myself, my priorities, in every relationship I’ve ever been in. Not just romantic relationships either. I’ve taken on the identities and expectations of everyone I’ve ever cared about. My definition of commitment has always meant a complete mergence with whatever (or whomever) I’m committing to. I bury myself in work, in relationships, in everything I make a commitment to. I’ve learned that if I’m not careful about what (or who) I commit to, I’ll wind up losing myself entirely.

So now I’m being careful. I’m making a commitment to myself. 

What does that mean?

Well, for starters, it means I have to know myself. I’ve lost myself so many times in my other commitments, but how do I know that I’ve lost myself? Who am I? How do I define myself? In this ever-changing, fast-transitioning world where nothing lasts forever and the only guarantee is that everything will change, how can I possibly know who I am?

It helps to really look within myself. The world changes, but the essence of being always stays the same. So then I just have to ask myself: what within me never changes?

Which leads me to my definition:

Empathetic: Feelings are important to me, especially sharing them. The feelings of others matter as much to me as my own feelings. 

Compassionate: Perhaps because of my empathy, I care deeply about other people. I care about everyone’s spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Writer: I’m always writing. In my head, on paper, on a screen. Writing is my breath.

With this definition, a commitment to myself would mean that I only make a commitment to those people and things that respect my feelings (and feelings in general), value compassion, and support my writing.

I wear the ring to remind me of this. It’s a visual, consistent, beautiful reminder to stay true to my commitment. The commitment to myself comes first. Anyone or anything that comprises that commitment isn’t worth committing to. It’s not worth losing myself in a commitment.

Because a true commitment should be strengthening. Not erasing.

Do you know who you are?

I encourage you to find out. Find out what defines you and make a commitment to yourself. Strengthen your sense of self. Embrace it.

Marry yourself.

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