Friday, January 08, 2016

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From a self-proclaimed commitment-phone.

I am terrified of commitment.

Over the years, I’ve changed jobs, relationships, places to live, and plans in general too often to be considered stable. This past year, I celebrated a full year of working in one place, and immediately felt this terrible sense of doom. Like I’ve been wasting my potential and my life staying in one place.

After all, what is the point of staying in one place for too long when there is so much more to experience? Why live a limited life when you can live an abundant and ever-changing one?

I’m the girl who will eat a second (or third) serving of dinner and the last piece of cake not because I’m hungry, but because the food is there, and won’t be forever; the girl who binge-watches shows on Netflix out of fear they’ll be gone if not consumed in one day; the girl who dates a guy not because she’s genuinely interested in him, but because he seemed interested in me and why not? I’m the girl who asks why not instead of the more accurate question why?

And at some point, all this endless seizing of opportunity becomes extremely unhealthy.

I wasn’t always this way. In fact, I was the complete opposite. I was once the girl who didn’t do anything interesting at all. I was the girl who didn’t leave her room, or talk to people, or voice her opinion or feelings. I was the girl who was borderline invisible, and liked it that way. I never put myself out there, and therefore, I never risked anything.

But eventually, all that repression and holding myself back led to a severe illness I found I could only escape by releasing myself from my commitments. 

Commitment, I decided, was the root of all my problems. I needed to learn how to let go, and go with the flow. I needed to loosen up my self-imposed restrictions, and free myself.

And somehow that meant becoming a total commitment-phobe who jumped at every new and interesting opportunity.

Sometimes, this strategy was just what I needed. I’ve certainly experienced much more than I ever thought I could before, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, by freeing myself completely of restrictions, I’ve wound up limiting myself in the worst way.

By making commitment the enemy, I’ve failed to connect with anything (or anyone) truly worthy. I’ve fallen into the trap of believing something better is out there, and dismissing what’s right in front of me for the grass I’m sure is greener on the other side. As soon as things no longer look like roses and sunshine, I jump ship. I automatically assume it’s not meant to be: the job is wrong, the place is intolerable, the person is an asshole. I run when things aren’t perfect, and therefore I miss out on the opportunities of true value: love, honesty, respect, gratitude, patience, and total acceptance.

Commitment isn’t the enemy. Staying in one place, one job, or one relationship isn’t the problem.

The problem is letting fear rule the decisions.

My commitments weren’t what made me sick. What made me sick was committing to places, people, and work out of fear rather than genuine love. I was afraid of the unknown, being alone, and being dependent, so my commitments reflected that fear. 

But my anti-commitments were also made out of the same fears. 

I’d been living in fear for years without being able to acknowledge it. Thankfully, this past year (The Year of Fearless) was miraculous in self-discovery, and I was able to finally admit and challenge the fears I’d held onto all this time. 

Now, I embrace commitment in several areas of my life, even when they aren’t easy and my first instinct is to disappear.

This year, The Year of Genuine Connection, I’ll be committing to the hardest parts in my life. 

I’m letting go of my fear, and finding my true freedom.

Are you?

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