With January behind us and 2018 in full swing, we may have created and forgotten about the resolutions, goals, and intentions we set early in the year.
So I’d like to circle back around to revisit these efforts, successful or unsuccessful, through the lens of the Pathwork Stages of Commitment. Last year I wrote a blog post about commitment that you can read here, but today I’d like to begin a series that dives more deeply into each of the Pathwork Stages of Commitment.
I believe that periodically reviewing our commitment to the path we are traveling on is an important step in staying on the path, as well as in deepening our experience of coming to know our Real Self.
I am not inviting you to commit to something you are not ready to commit to, or beat yourself up for not living up to a commitment you made earlier. That would be encouraging and affirming the Idealized Self Image, and that is certainly not my intention.
Instead, I’d like to invite you to consider exploring commitment as a sacred action that emerges from the willingness to find the right balance between constructive effort and absolute surrender in service of the wisdom, love, and power of the life force that animates all creation.
Commitment can take different forms and focuses depending on where we are on the path at any given point in our lives, so the Pathwork Guide has offered us four stages of commitment to consider. They are not linear, and one is not better than another; if we are truly growing we will revisit each of these stages many times in the course of our lives. But I’d like to begin by exploring Stage One.
The Stage One Commitment is first and foremost a commitment to the Self within the framework of the Pathwork teachings. The Guide emphasizes that the work we consent to engage in is not therapy or a dogmatic religion, but a path of spiritual development whose goal is to connect with the greater consciousness that resides within every soul. So we have to begin with our own internal work.
What does it mean to commit to yourself and your personal spiritual development?
To take the First Stage commitment acknowledges that beneath the surface level of character defects, tragedies, traumas, and woundings lies your potential to manifest divine gifts and energies that are longing to be expressed and shared with the world.
You have heard this call and responded with a emphatic “YES!”
You have recognized your purpose for this lifetime.
You are willing to make time to read the Lectures and contemplate the teachings as they apply to your life in order to discover for yourself what is true.
You probably will not come anywhere close to mastery in your day to day living of this ideal, and yet you are willing to show up in your messiness and imperfection with compassion and with the intent to see all obstacles as stepping stones for further growth and development.
What an honorable endeavor….. to live your devotion to your Real Self that is already here, unbroken, untouched and undiminished by the reality of human limitations.
This kind of commitment is not dangerous, for it does not require loyalty to anything but yourself and the Truth. It does not limit you, but rather opens you up to the freedom of a myriad of new possibilities.
And yet make no mistake… it requires courage, discipline, patience, humility, and perseverance.
So often we romanticize wedding vows where we commit our lives to our beloved. We often look back on this day as one of the the highlights of our life. What if we held sacred a similar vow to ourselves? Perhaps we might say something to ourself like…
“Self, I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
How would it be to cherish ourselves so much that we would strive to live our lives aligned with these simple yet challenging words?
Have you made a commitment to yourself and your personal spiritual development? I would love to hear your experience of how you are honoring that commitment.
Are the Pathwork teachings a source of guidance and inspiration for you as your navigate your way home?
What spiritual practices support your journey?
What trips you up along the way?
You can read more about the Pathwork Stages of Commitment here. And I hope you will stay tuned for my next blog post where I’ll explore the Second Stage of Commitment.
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