Commitment

December 28, 2007

I’ve always been a committed type myself… loyal to a fault sometimes,
as they say. but I learned early on in my magical studies that unless
you stay focussed on your goal and maintain steady, regular input into
whatever it is you are creating or working on… it’s probably not
going to happen. There’s just too many other factors in the universe,
all interacting and mutually impacting to be able to expect a specific
outcome without some kind of boundary around it. Commitment is a kind
of boundary after all, don’t you think? I mean, you make a selection
when you commit, and you let other things go by because there just
isn’t time for all of them, and if you get spread too thin, nothing is
likely to get accomplished.

I think the same can be true of a
relationship. How can you deepen with a person, really get to know each
other, build mutual traditions, habits, accumulate memories and
experiences, have trust… know each other’s needs so we can help
without taking a week to explain everything first (right smack in the
middle of an emergency!)…. with no commitment? How can you make
yourself vulnerable to someone… trust them to be tender with your
tender feelings… if there’s no commitment? How can you resolve a
fight with them or an argument if at any moment they might just walk
away?
                     

then again people get trapped in relationships too.
Sometimes long term commitments just make people miserable… maybe
they would be better off separating after all? Maybe young folks
growing up around those kinds of relationships between adults in their
lioves led to their C word phobia?

Around Santa Cruz we often
call it the "C" word, because so many people are so averse to it. I’ve
had years of frustration around it, because I’ve so often found myself
in that old "little red hen" postion. "Very well then, I’ll just do it
myself," was her famous refrain. "not I said the pig, not I said the
frog, not I said the cow…" whenever she asked anyone if they would
help her create the wonderful bread she ended up making. Maybe my
mistake has been just going ahead and sharing the bread anyway. Maybe
that’s why folks don’t feel a need to bother helping since they know
I’ll be passing the loaves around in the end anyway. I suppose I should
just keep it all to myself like Little Red Hen did, and maybe that’s
what folks need to inspire them to pitch in. But I so love to share,
and it’s so fun watching everyone enjoying the loaves so much…. or
the songs, or the classes, or… whatever.

Sometimes I think
the modern day fear of commitment is from the way we use that word to
mean jail. "We are committing you to prison for umpty-zillion years,"
says the judge at sentencing. Commitment sounds like prison in our
society… and folks these days, especially young folks treasure their
freedom almost above anything. Oh no sorry I can’t commit to that… oh
maybe I’ll come… not sure…we’ll see. Or they’ll say "sure I’ll come
help with that" ..sometimes they’ll even say "definitely!"…but still
not show up. Like maybe they’re just afraid to say no. Whenever someone
promises me they will be there for something, they look at me
expectantly, waiting for me to smile and get all happy and believe them
and say "oh wonderful… thank you so much." If I were to say ‘yeah
yeah we’ll see" they would look at me with astonishment, wondering why
I didn’t really believe them. They really think they mean it when they
say they’ll do it, I guess… but then something else comes along in
the meantime and off they go. Along with it comes a philosophy of "we
must accept change"…. change is the only constant anyway…. go with
the flow…keep your options open… don’t let anyone expect too much
of you…."don’t fence me in…" And you’re still supposed to believe
them and plan your life around their promise, and not show the least
bit of angst or disappoinment if they end up not showing. "oh you’re so
uptight! Lighten up already!" No fair. They get to be the lovely
spontaneous butterfly while I got to be the heavy, having done all the
work, the planning, the preparation….left holding the bag.

Maybe
it’s just exuberant youth? Do we get more capable of commitment as we
get older? Sometimes I guess you just have to live long enough to find
yourself enough times on the bag-holding end of the equation to finally
get it?

Or maybe it’s a way to prevent getting hurt and
disappointed? Maybe when they were little someone important in their
lives didn’t keep their promises. Maybe the word "promise" has lost
validity for them so now they protect themselves. There’s so much child
abuse in families nowadays… epidemic proportions. All such abuse is a
form of abandonment, a break of trust. How can folks learn to keep
commitments… learn all about the wonderful benefits it can have!- if
they haven’t even been able to learn trust…?

Or maybe it’s
just a lack of ability to make a choice. Such an array of options
always parading before us in this modern, highly varied and complex
world!

Maybe it’s "The Lady or the Tiger"syndrome. Better to
not choose either door if there might be that tiger lurking behind one
of them ready to leap out and devour you…. ?

Or maybe it’s
the uncertainty of the times we live in. How can one plan for anything
when Katrina might be right around the corner…. or some terrorist
lurking in the classroom…

I was the opposite of most kids
from broken homes, abuse, abandonment, broken promises. I figured if
that’s the pattern I’m dealing with wellthen I just better do what I
can to create the alternative. I thought maybe I just need to change my
fate by putting out the other vibration. While everyone else is going
around jumping from one thing to another, I will be the rock. I will
make sure I’m prepared to keep a promise, or I won’t make one. I am the
kind that signs vows in blood… well, moonblood that is. <g> I
always try to show up when I say I will… and usually do, barring acts
of Goddess.

It seems to work ultimately. That which you put
out shall return tenfold they say…. but sometimes it takes a while.
Sometimes years. LOLOL

Then there’s the down side of too much
commitment. I mean the spontaneous view is valid too. One can get too
circumscribed….too confined… so overbooked and overloaded with
responsibilities that it can stifle. One can suffocate….lack fresh
air….creativity… fun…playfulness. Life can get grim with too much
of the old C word. Maybe that’s what those who avoid it are trying to
avoid, but maybe gone too far the other way. There it is again… the
old balance/equilibrium.

Maybe the spontaneous/commitment
dichotomy is the problem. It’s an either/or. It leaves no middle
ground…forces people to choose only one or the other…. or go batty
being tennis-rackedted back and forth between them… maybe lost and
confused around it all too.

Ok non-duality thinkers…. what’s
the third alternative? How can we turn this into a circle instead of a
line? Where is the mediating factor…. what would allow us to flow…
to choose among several options… stay with the one we’ve chosen for
the appropriate amount of time….then flow on? Passing the rattle…

The
metaphors I see for the two are Roots and Wings. Commitment- roots.
Spontaneity- Wings. Both important…both needed… yet both so
conflicted in our world. A bird that never can land and rest on the
earth. A tree that never can bear fruit.

When I studied Tarot
with the B.O.T.A. (Builders of the Adytum down in Pasadena CA), Ann
Davies, our teacher used to talk about the Saturn principle. She said
it’s the same thing as a planet going into orbit, or an embryo needing
a womb to form inside of.. or a seed needing an enclosure of dark earth
to gestate in until it’s ready to sprout up into the sunlight. Those
enclosures…they can seem very confining sometimes, especially if one
has no idea why they are there or what results they will bring. "Saturn
is the principle of limitation," Davies explained. But i never heard
her talk about it in the stern beetle-brow way some occultists use when
they write about it. They use the word ‘discipline" the same way….
another word our masculated language translates into "punishment."

But
when Davies talked about Saturn she said Saturn is our Mothering
principle! She is our Mother’s arms, holding us close, protecting us
from the world when we are little and vulnerable. She enfolds us on Her
womb where we can safely grow. Enfolds us in Her hearth, her nest, her
temple, her sared magic circle, where the magic can grow… where
things can flourish and grow strong, and yes, eventually break out and
break free of that structure when it’s no longer needed… let go of
the training wheels. That’s when it’s Mama’s turn to let go. Moonpaws!
wheeeeee! I get to be a Maiden again S maybe it all goes back to the
patiarchal rejection of the Goddess archetypes of Maiden, Mother, and
Crone.

Maiden is
free…playful…spontaneous…funloving…mobile…the fool on the
hill about to step off… unrooted… winged. Mother is full of
projects, creating things… growing veggies…making babies…putting
in roots. Not that she can’t keep her wingcloak handy for those
broomrides in the night! Hey our meataphors are flexible here, right!
<g>

And Crone?

The rattle is in the center of the circle sisters…. right inside that pentacle woven into our magic carpet…

Wonderingly,
Shekhinah

From Moonspell Library

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