What are you committed to?

My first association with the word commitment was a promise made between two people.  Or to an outside cause.  Scenes that came to mind included a marriage ceremony, a spokesperson making a speech beginning or ending with the phrase, “we are wholeheartedly committed to the cause”.

Living in the world sometimes made me question whether anyone was committed to anything.  I’ve seen many relationships end.  I find it difficult to trust.  I read about corruption and deceit.  It made me sad to think, perhaps, people are only committed to achieving their own selfish ends.  For a while I lived my life with the expectation of being abandoned, pushed aside.  Whatever you think, good or bad, will happen, so living like you’ll be let down only invites others, and the world, to do just that.  And there was a cold, strange, satisfaction in it.  “I told you so,” became my mantra.

When I resigned from my job as a corporate lawyer, in pursuit of an abstract dream I still haven’t quite figured out, I was resigning from a job I wasn’t committed to, and a worldview that made me feel sad and hopeless.  If everything I believed then was true, my life would be a very unhappy one, the world, not somewhere I could imagine spending even this short lifetime.

Cue my first kundalini yoga class (in Cape Town, South Africa) and a series of events that tested whether I could commit to anything.  And what exactly that should be.

I’m not perfect.  But I have committed to loving myself in spite of that.  I’m committed to learning.  To trying to be a more comfortably ‘me’ than I was yesterday.  During my sadhana this morning  I beamed with the the realisation that this two hours of yoga, prayer and meditation represents my commitment to love my imperfect self.  To know that in this life, everyone I meet also has an imperfectly, perfect self that I can relate to, understand, and admire.  I’m committed to cutting myself, and everyone around me, a break, when they need it.  Being committed to loving my imperfections, makes it easier to love the imperfections in others, and see the world as a place with seven billion changing people committed to different things, at different times, in different ways. And each person is a door to a part of the world I haven't known before.