“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”
Have you ever had an epiphany – a moment that changes everything? The clouds part, and our path becomes crystal clear.
This recently happened to my friend, Angela, in an unlikely circumstance. Much to her surprise, the outcome of grieving the loss of her beloved dog has sparked a tremendous natural uprising of kindness that is permeating every area of her life. It’s the type of kindness that comes from pure empathy, the recognition of the one heart that dissolves all separation. She virtually glowed as she shared with me her dedication to allowing this newfound realization of kindness to transform her whole way of being.
The Power of Commitment
I love those moments when we have an epiphany that changes everything. The clouds part, and our path becomes crystal clear. When we are inspired to make the commitment to live our lives according to what we truly want, to what seems undeniably obvious, we find ourselves facing the unknown with the exit door closed and locked behind us. For Angela, it was the commitment to kindness. For me, it was an unceasing quest to understand the truth about reality.
A commitment of this level stokes the inner fire like nothing else. We stop pretending that our true desire doesn’t matter, and we devote ourselves entirely to it. Inevitably, old ways of being will fall away, and we will be tested. Like the shoot of a flower emerging out of the earth, we step into the unknown full of possibility.
The commitment can be to anything – kindness, truth, health and well being, forgiveness, freedom from the inner critic, mindful communication. At this moment in your evolution, what do you commit to?
This path of deep commitment is exceedingly supportive, showering us with gifts, if we use it well. It commands us:
- To be conscious in the moments of our lives,
- To choose skillfully,
- To investigate how we turn away, and
- To resolve to stay true.
We shift from going through the motions like an automaton to intelligence, wisdom, and alignment. Try it out and see what wonders are set in motion in your precious life.
The Fire to Live Consciously
Life is a constant stream moving through us, layered with life circumstances and inner reactions. When we live an uncommitted life, we fall victim to these experiences as long as they remain unexamined. We feel confused and anchorless.
Committing to a path, value, or intention is like an alarm clock going off in the middle of the night. We are shaken awake and asked to become conscious. Rather than stumbling through life, we realize that we can be present for it and truly live. We let go of filters that color our perceptions, and see clearly what is actually arising in the moment. Oh, this feeling, this interaction. So much intimacy with everything is revealed.
We stop living on the surface and come to appreciate that unconsciousness has kept us from experiencing feelings, sensations, tenderness, and compassion. What we experience may not always be comfortable, but we awaken to our lives. Only then do we contact the possibility of realizing our heart’s desire.
The Fire to Choose
The outgrowth of becoming conscious is the capacity to choose. We begin to notice when we blindly go astray, and in that noticing realize the possibility of making choices. It dawns on us that we can actually make a decision infused with our deepest intention.
This is how habits change. At first, we don’t realize that we are actually making a choice about what we think, feel, or do. Behavior seems to occur; thinking patterns appear and proliferate. Once consciousness ignites, we recognize that our actions have been fueled by unseen fear and lack. We contemplate the possibility of considering what we actually want and allowing the choice to flow from this generous, healthy, bountiful place.
This is a revelation! We can actually unwind our conditioned patterns enough so that we are no longer victimized by them. It’s just like waking up to ourselves. We can experience the moments of our lives stable in the understanding that we are aware and alive. We can be free of unconscious motivations and pulls. We can be guided from the most intelligent place inside of us.
The Fire to Investigate
Making a commitment with both feet in opens the doorway to any feelings we may have been avoiding. We live unconsciously in the hopes of hiding from painful emotions. In the commitment to stay true to something , the automatic habits come to an end, and the energy that has been driving them has space to surface.
This is where the rubber meets the road. If we are to live the intention or value that is most important to us, we need to be fully aware of all the programming that diverts us. This might mean befriending fear, welcoming inadequacy, or leaning into long-standing sorrow, then learning how these feelings generate behavioral patterns that keep us stuck and unhappy. The more we know how these dynamics work, the greater the chance of being able to make a different choice when they arise.
The process of making a commitment to a true intention reveals its opposite. In Angela’s longing to deepen in kindness, she began to realize all the subtle ways she had been harsh. My quest for truth unveiled false identities and roles that held me back. Compassion spills over as we recognize the misguided ways we try to protect and care for ourselves. And this clarity shows us that only love and how it guides us makes any sense.
The Fire to Stay True
No doubt, we are tested when we make the choice to stand in our own truth. According to legend, in the days following the Buddha’s enlightenment, the demon, Mara, showed up to entice him with visions of beautiful women.
Mara represents the temptation to give into our conditioned habits and ignore our deepest longings. When we commit to a path, Mara will most likely arrive for a visit. These trials are nature’s way of testing our resolve, and their function is to inspire us to stay true to our commitment.
Commitments are powerful – and necessary to withstand the enticements of our familiar patterns.
Vowing to live in our own fundamental truth opens up a whole new way of being. Once the fire is lit, no matter how hard we try, we just cannot stay the same. When we put the old behind us and step out into the realm of possibility, we have set the stage for wonders to happen.
Have you made a commitment to something that is important to you? How has it affected you? I’d love to hear…