How Do Commitment and Presence Affect Your Relationship?

Photo by Wilson Sánchez

When we sit down to write our blogs, we have two main principles we keep in mind. First is that we want to share our personal experience on how we live peacefully in our relationship. Second, is to convey how the reader can apply this information to their relationship.

As we were working on our theme of presence this morning, we seemed to be knocking up against each other a bit. Then we realized we were talking from our individual thoughts, and not coming from that mutuality between us. We were not actually looking at the topic in terms of our relationship, but rather from each of our separate experiences. Looking at those separate examples is fine and important to the discussion, but its better when we come from how it works within our relationship. In fact, as soon as we began to discuss it in those terms, the ideas flowed and we were present and creative together.

Don’t think of being present as some rare and unachievable state. It is sometimes described as a sudden illumination earned by years of personal work. “Then I felt drawn into a vortex of energy.” Eckhart Tolle. “The only thing I could say was it felt like I was home.” Ram Dass. There is no doubt such epiphanies occur. But being present is also a matter of degree, of which things you do and don’t give attention to.

It is a matter of how aware you are of your senses. Short of a fire starting, you can ignore them completely by thinking of the past or the future. But in a relationship, nobody wants to date a fire alarm; they want the experience of interacting with another human being. There is nothing else like it; not a video game, not a pet, not a 3-D movie. For that interaction, you have to be present, you have to be aware of their words, their gestures, their tone of voice.

When you stay alert & present with each other, there is no repetition; every time is new #presence Click To TweetOne of the immediate things that came out of our discussion this morning was how we are present with each other, that we are totally relaxed, feel free to communicate openly with each other at all times, and never fear reprisals, rejection, anger or withholding.

How do we achieve this state of presence with a total lack of fear? We believe one of the more important factors is our commitment to each other. Yet often in relationships, that very commitment creates almost the opposite results from our experience. Couples commit and begin to feel the relaxation and security that comes from knowing both people are fully in the relationship, and then slowly begin to accept that and take the relationship for granted. It’s like having a list and checking that box: “Okay, we are committed. Now on to the next thing that has to be taken care of!” Unfortunately, the very thing that lets you feel connected and present without fear can lead to complacency; you forget to nurture and foster, and to face things together from that place of unguarded security.

But when you stay alert and remain present with each other, there is no repetition; every time is new and different, and life is a continual sense of adventure.

We live in a constant state of honoring and celebrating our committed union. It is the source of our ability to share everything with each other without fear, without worry of lack of acceptance, or any need to guard or hide or suppress ourselves. As a result, we share in the present moment when we are with each other. We are not worrying about the past or preoccupied with the potential future. We are right in the moment with each other, getting the full pleasure of being together.

We invite you to move into this kind of presence with each other. Stay awake and appreciate the connection you both have. Foster it! Find your place of mutuality and live together in it.

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2 comments on “How Do Commitment and Presence Affect Your Relationship?
  1. Steve Figler says:

    I can see where/how being “present” can be crucial to a good relationship. But I have a hard time seeing how the following statement can hold consistently: “totally relaxed, feel free to communicate openly with each other at all times, and never fear reprisals, rejection, anger or withholding.” Particularly the “at all times” and the “never” seem beyond reality. Does it really hold for you so consistently?

    • Phil says:

      Hi Steve,
      I have to say yes, it does. I think it stems from the fact that neither of us want conflict, which is not the same as saying that we avoid it, because that just introduces a discomfort of its own. Several things help. One, this is it; we’re committed. One of us is going to be present when the other one dies. Secondly, we share core values like respect for other people. It’s hard to name them accurately; it’s more a knowing about the nature of the other.
      When issues come up, we’ve always been able to find a working solution, and every time we do this, it adds to our faith that there is an answer there, we just haven’t found it yet.
      And then there’s the fact that when we met, it was a gradual attraction, not that 2×4-over-the-head jolt that kick-started many of my relationships, so the hang-over from that was never a hurdle in this relationship. Quite the opposite, actually; its absence made it hard to recognize that this was a relationship, but one with a different quality,

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  1. […] this week’s blog, we asked how commitment and presence affect your relationship. Here are two articles and a poem […]

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