By Glenn Baja
Commitment. It’s a word I’ve pondered over a lot since my divorce. For 34 years I was married and in a committed relationship.
Or was I?
In hindsight, I didn’t model a good example of what that word truly represents.
But we survived those days, leading to lots of personal growth. Those many years of therapy were a huge wake up call for both of us and made a great difference in the health of our family dynamics. While incredibly difficult at the time, it was one of the best things that ever happened. It helped mold me into the person I am today.
Post divorce, the last thing I desired was to jump into a committed relationship. I wanted to be selfish and sculpt my own way into my future. I dreamed of traveling, experiencing and photographing the beauty of the world, figuring along the way I’d cross paths with my next partner in life. I stumbled across the following quote:
‘If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.’
Wishful thinking? I think not. But the universe had something else in mind for me earlier on than I had expected. Fortunately, I was open enough to receive the gift of the wonderful relationship I’m experiencing today.
But it took me a long time to realize this.
I’m ashamed to say that, in my past, I didn’t always live in integrity. Blaming others, my circumstances, God, or my past for my challenges was easy to do. I was very good at not accepting personal responsibility.
In retrospect I was unhappy. And I looked elsewhere for what I needed but wasn’t getting in my relationship. Once, a close friend asked if I trusted myself. That question caught me totally off-guard and plagued me for years. The bitter pill that took so long to swallow was the realization that I didn’t.
I didn’t trust that I could be in a committed relationship.
Over time, I committed to living a life of integrity. For me that meant doing what I said I would do; living my word; not suppressing or repressing my feelings, and being true to my authentic self. Though challenging at times, I’ve successfully done this.
After meeting my present partner Lezlie on an internet dating site 4.5 years ago, I warned her upfront that I was growing and changing too rapidly to commit to a relationship. On more than one occasion I suggested she turn and run the other way. I wished to be open and receptive to meeting new people.
Yet, I was aware a greater power had brought us together. Why? I didn’t really know. But I chose to follow my feelings, to pause, and listen for the answer.
I made the decision that if things felt right, I’d stick with it, and this relationship always felt right. My attraction for this girl went beyond looks, shape, and being a kind person. There was a heart connection unlike I’d ever experienced before… a synchronistic, magnetic pull.
Plus, she was so easy to be with.
Over these past few years, whenever there was an “11th hour” showdown in our relationship, it was I who willingly found a solution. It was I who asked her to continue partnering with me, inviting her to move in with me, travel with me, to endure and believe in me through this life transition.
One of the toughest “11th hour” challenges happened a while back. She wanted and needed a commitment. A totally reasonable request after all this time. I asked her for one week to decide. I knew it was time to either commit or move on.
I focused inwards, asking myself some tough questions. I processed my doubts and fears with trusted friends. I had long honest conversations with Lezlie. If I was going to do this, I knew I had to do it in a way I’d never done it before… by trusting myself.
She wasn’t asking to be married… only to trust that I wouldn’t run off if the grass looked greener in the next pasture. She needed to know that all the time and energy we’d invested in this relationship was meaningful to both of us.
She needed to know that I wasn’t just some “scumbag” that didn’t walk my talk.
I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. D-day was less than 24 hours away. Our conversations on the topic had been challenging. I voiced my doubts, expressed my hesitations and, in these same talks, told her how much I loved what we had together.
What feels right Glenn?
I’d been happy. I felt blessed. I had with her something that I didn’t know existed, or was possible, in a relationship. It fed my soul and gave me strength. Was I willing to give this up and risk finding it again? Could it be better? Could the miracle that brought us together be repeated again with someone else?
Something brought us together. A force, an attraction, some may call it fate. It didn’t feel right to risk letting this slip by. There’s a reason we crossed paths. If I was to find out why, I knew I had to really jump in, go all out, and totally commit to this relationship.
So I chose.
I made decision to commit my all… both feet in, my total self, my fidelity, and give it my all. Not partially, not in bits and pieces, but wholly. I decided to trust my instincts, trust my intuition, trust my heart, and finally, for the first time ever, trust myself!
Upon making this decision I felt an empowering energy flow throughout my body. Tingling vibrations coursed through my body and caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up. I felt enlivened, energized, invigorated, and on fire!
A great weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt a calm peacefulness circulate throughout my body. It was then that I realized that this was the right choice, the best choice, the only choice to make. The bliss of knowing this relationship was solid, strong, and on firm ground was empowering.
I’d never committed on this level before. Shamefully, I realized I hadn’t ever done this, not even in my past marriage. I loved my ex-wife, and still do, but in hindsight we married for the wrong reasons… expecting each other to change along the way.
And we all know how that usually works out.
So why tell this story? What “gold” lies here that might benefit others? Here you go:
- Don’t Ever Give Up. Your next great relationship, your next wonderful opportunity, may lie just around the next corner. Risk being open to what comes your way. Be willing to receive what the universe has in store for you.
- Tune-in and trust your instincts. Choose what feels right for you. Feelings are the internal guiding compass of life.
- Be aware that what you put out, you get back. If you’re feeling hopeless, angry, or victimized, you’ll get more of that back. If you’re grateful, positive, and open to new fulfilling experiences, this you will receive.
- We are never too old, nor is it ever too late, to improve ourselves. Always strive to be the person you wish to be.
- Don’t settle. Don’t concede to a relationship that doesn’t fulfill you. Take whatever steps necessary to create the win-win situation you need. Communication is key. You must be able to share your concerns, doubts, and fears with each other without retribution. Without open, honest, integrity-filled communication your chances of happily surviving relationship challenges are slim.
May you be blessed with that which brings you joy!
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I’m a self-professed madman, adventurer, photographer, certified High-Performance Coach, martial artist, and licensed physical trainer specializing in senior fitness. My passion is to continue growing and developing into my own unique, gifted, and joyful authenticity, while committing myself towards doing my own special part to help change the world. My mission is to help others find their own direction and purpose in life, by means of mentoring, teaching, and empowering.