Until recent years I had always considered commitment and investment to go hand in hand, that when you commit yourself to something whether it be a relationship, job, project or a purchase you do it based on an investment on what you want the outcome to look like and how you think it will make you feel. For example, a marriage proposal, having kids, getting a promotion, a pay rise or a better lifestyle.
Surely why would you do it otherwise?
Making decisions based on pictures
This way of making decisions based on a picture of a projected outcome had always been my usual process of deciding whether to invest myself in things or not. If there was a seeming guarantee that I would get the outcome I was looking for I’d be in boots and all, but without that reassurance my commitment would drop and I’d start planning for option B just in case it all went belly up.
One would think this was a smart way of operating in the world to avoid disappointment and getting let down, but what I’ve come to understand since hearing the pearl of wisdom ‘Be committed to the process, not invested in the outcome’, is that the only things that can disappoint us in life are our own pictures and expectations not people or things.
How our pictures harm us
All the pictures I’d been carrying like meeting the love of my life, having the successful career, the dream home, the fancy free lifestyle etc etc were continually setting me up to feel disappointed and taking me away from the richness of what’s available in the present moment. So why you may wonder as I did would I keep indulging in these fantasies?
And the answer is simple - because I was addicted to the illusion that they would make me feel better about myself, that if I managed to achieve all the things I had set out to that I would somehow be indefinitely happy.
But like all rainbows that only shine for a few minutes, I’d always be left with the saddening reality of how little I valued myself without success, that me just being me was never quite enough.
Committing to the process of evolution
Once I had accepted the truth that it was my pictures that were disappointing me not people, I decided that I wholeheartedly wanted to commit to being committed. Having come from the belief system that you commit to an outcome not the process, I was being called to make a complete paradigm shift in my way of thinking which required me to first answer one very big question - if I wasn’t going to commit to an outcome what exactly was I committing to in the process?
The answer I got was evolution, living more of who I truly am, not the hurt individual that was constantly seeking validation, recognition and acceptance from the outside world. Flipping life on its head I suddenly looked at every situation as an opportunity to expose any cracks where I was not truly valuing myself. For instance if someone didn’t like me and I walked away feeling less about myself I knew it was my responsibility to heal the gap – no one else could do this for me.
Seeing the opportunity for evolution in everything
Instead of spending my life avoiding situations that bring up feelings of not being good enough, rejected, abandoned etc I now value the evolution they offer more than the outcome, which means nothing that happens in my life is either good or bad but an opportunity to heal and let go of an old hurt blocking the feel-good flow already within me. Looking at things from this new perspective I’ve realised that I can never actually fail at anything so long as I’m milking the evolution for all its worth.
To many this whole evolution business would sound like hard work but in fact it has brought a new found joy, enthusiasm and purpose to my life. I’m learning to celebrate everyone that I interact with, even the challenging ones as an opportunity to deepen my self-love and learn how to truly hold myself regardless of how people react, which means a constant commitment to staying open to love. Life as I see it now is one long mastership program in claiming the amazingness of who you truly, and already are.