When looking back at a journal entry I wrote when I was in my mid-twenties, I was shocked to see how much I was affected by commitment phobia. This is a common theme in women in their twenties and thirties.
We often resist committing to just one thing, whether it is a partner, a career, or a spiritual path. It's far too attractive to have the freedom to dip our toes in and out of whatever shiny new thing that crosses our path. Sticking to just one thing is boring. Choosing only one partner, career, meditation technique or guru for the rest of our lives is frankly, quite scary.
Now that I'm in my mid-thirties, I can look back and see just how strong my commitment phobia was and the critical steps I took that helped me break out of this paralyzing phobia once and for all. Here's my story.
Commitment Phobia Was Sabotaging My Happiness
Looking back I see my life as pre-meditation and post-meditation because the difference between the two is staggering. When I was 24, I moved to New York City from my hometown of Toronto full of ambition, eager to climb the corporate ladder, and chasing a happily ever after with my ambitious and successful boyfriend.
After four years in New York City, the fun died down, the career was well on its way, and the relationship was ripe to take the next step. This is when my commitment phobia sabotaged me. The undercurrent of the personal belief that I wasn’t good enough to deserve any of it rose up and I made the impulsive decision to leave New York City behind and move to London.
The same story repeated itself in London. I didn’t attach my self-worth to a guy this time around, my career was taking off and I started a new relationship with a really nice guy. As soon as these good things happened to me, the horrible feeling that was so much a part of my belief system reared its ugly head and convinced me that I wasn’t good enough to have it.
My phobia disguised itself as a mean voice in my head that told me that I didn’t deserve to be happy. So I did what the horrible voice told my subconscious to do, and made myself miserable. I broke that nice guy’s heart, retreated from my friends and family, and started to feel sorry for myself.
Then something magical happened. Through a series of events that I now know was a part of a divine plan to help me in my darkest moment, I joined a group meditation lead by a friend of a friend. I was hooked!
Another series of synchronistic events lead me to Atma Kriya Yoga and my life changed. It was the most powerful meditation technique I found after searching for six months and trying out everything I could get my hands on.
The Power Of Atma Kriya Yoga
I incorporated meditation into my everyday life and finally shut up for long enough to hear my loving self speak up instead of my hateful self. I sat down on my meditation pillow and listened to my heart. This time I heard encouragement and unconditional love instead of doubt and negative talk. Indecision and confusion lessened when I sat down to meditate and asked for guidance. A difficult relationship became easier after I closed my eyes and sent love to that person. My life completely changed at its core.
And most of all, listening to that nicer voice, I found the courage to finally commit to the guy I had been dating. That relationship didn't work out in the end, but that doesn't matter. I learned about the sacrifices we must make when we are serious about committing and sticking to just one person or just one thing.
When you truly commit, you have to sacrifice wanting everything else that comes your way. You have to stick to what you have chosen to commit to no matter how many shiny objects try to distract you away from your path.
Your Strength Is In Your Commitment
Luckily, once I overcame my commitment phobia with the help of meditation, I was able to apply this lesson to my next relationship, to my next job, and to my spiritual path. After searching and sampling many different meditation techniques, I could recognize the power of Atma Kriya Yoga and commit to it for life.
After sampling many different spiritual paths and teachers, I could recognize that the one path for me was the one lead by Paramahamsa Vishwananda and I could humbly commit to him as my Guru and me as his follower.
This lesson in commitment helped me to dedicate myself to one guru, one path, and one meditation technique and finally focus on being happy with my choices. When you can live with your choices, you can accept yourself a bit more fully, and you can live with yourself even when life gets hard. After all, to live with yourself, to accept your choices, to be at peace with yourself - isn't that worth committing to?