Are you holding back? In this delicious painful vulnerable beautiful human journey, are you all the way in, or in by just a toe?
Someone once said to me “I only want to commit to my life just enough to be ok. I am afraid if I show up and engage fully I’ll lose my escape route.”
Fear of our human limits over outcomes that matter to us drives us to play a cautious game. Some folks decide (or at least their subconscious defense system decides) to keep back from the fullest experience of being alive. They avoid their feelings. They do not let themselves cry deeply or love fully or laugh easily or live authentically. They do this in the hope they will not suffer the misery of rejection or pain or loss. The problem is, they actually create the very thing they are trying to avoid.
When we shut down our access to the flow of information and energy in our emotions we lose vitality and power. We lose the sense of meaning and aliveness that gives life purpose. We cannot connect truly with others. We believe the “escape route” is needed just in case things get messy or miserable, so we avoid the intensity and complexity of our inner life. But by avoiding ourselves we do not have the life we deeply long for, the life we are called to manifest from the deepest places within us. And we end up feeling lost and disconnected and frustrated. The very misery we wanted to avoid trails us like a shadow.
Sometimes I see this same decision made in relationships, where someone decides to stay uncommitted until they know the relationship is a sure thing. The problem is by not committing wholeheartedly we cannot know what the relationship could be, and further, the ambivalence creates a dynamic of mistrust and hurt that erodes the very bond we hope to forge. By relying on the escape route, we create the misery we felt we needed the escape route for.
What about you? How do you feel about “I only want to commit enough to be ok.” Enough to function. Enough so everything looks fine. Enough so I don’t have to risk my heart. Enough so no one else is made uncomfortable. Enough to get by, but no more than that because more would be selfish and what do you think you deserve anyway you self absorbed thing?
Our inner voices seem so very afraid about truly madly deeply giving our whole hearts to ourselves.
Committing means coming home to the body and feeling what it feels like to be you. It means noticing the feeling of vulnerability when you are faced with limits to control over outcomes that matter to you. It means staying with those sensations of muscle tension and agitation long enough and lovingly enough until the body knows you are there. This act of love lets your body know it is not in danger and the physical anxiety wanes. Committing to you means (once the anxious arousal is down) feeling the waves of your emotion and riding them until they crest and ebb and carry you to more of yourself.
Your body needs full commitment. Your life wants full commitment. Your deepest self calls for full commitment.
You do not need to be without fear. You do not need to be without doubt. You do not need to be without urges to avoid. All you need to is to commit nonetheless.
Will you commit? Come home and embrace what it feels like to be you. You are so worth it.
Photo Credit: D.Beder Photography