Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Promises, promises

Yesterday's rain was very photogenic.

I say that I like to think, but the truth is: I feel. I take in facts, read books, articles, etc. but what follows is hardly analytical. Nope. I drop into my heart, into my body, and feel. I'll admit it: my mind is so inept that I often say things like "My brain was the last to know ..." So true!!

Oh yeah.

Loyalty feels heart-based to me (and to some of the people who commented on yesterday's post - excellent comments!) while commitment seems head-based. Loyalty arises from the heart, making itself known after it has already established itself, or so it seems to me. Loyalty creates energetic connections. Commitment is a decision, and manifests in the "real" world through contracts, agreements, hand-shakes, signatures. I loved what Dan said, that proximity also plays a part in the distinction between loyalty and commitment. That feels absolutely true.

There's a forever quality attached to both of those ideas that feels both noble and confining to a free spirit such as myself. The forever part is, strictly speaking, untrue, since nothing is forever, absolutely nothing. What I'm thinking about this morning is that the authenticity of loyalty is what makes it a noble quality. As for commitment, how true are we to our commitments? Rather than a timeline attached to commitments and loyalties, doesn't it make more sense to periodically check out whether or not our loyalties and commitments are working for ourselves and others? Are they serving their intended purpose, or are they empty promises? Because really how noble is an empty promise, even if it lasts into perpetuity?

In the spirit of embracing holy compost and sacred rot, what I'm wondering today is how to figure out when a particular loyalty has passed its expiration date. The king to whom you've sworn loyalty passes away. So - does that mean you must swear loyalty to the new king or are you free to go your own way afterwards? These are exactly the kinds of questions that philosophers - people who really CAN think - have been wondering about for hundreds of years.

Perhaps I'll leave it to the philosophers for today at least. It's an unusually warm, very windy, sunny day in Washington. I'm going to get out there, let Brother Wind blow through my hair, heart, and soul, loosening my connections to outdated loyalties and commitments that no longer serve anyone or any purpose.

Onwards and upwards! Shalom, y'all. Yeah.


willow said...

I totally agree about loyalty coming from the heart.

Your raindrop image is stunning!!!

Tom said...

happy hiking! lovin' that wind blown look

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Loyalty in the heart and commitment in the head, sounds so simple but rings very true to me. After reading yesterday's post I was thinking "I just don't know" and pondered it for quite a while but this sums it up - thank you.
My brain is always the last to know, I even "feel" directions. My husband doesn't understand but I have a feeling you do.

glnroz said...

loyalty or commitment is not determined by "best used by certain date",, lol, rather i agree there are "completion" stipulations that can be attached to both.

Cyndy said...

Hmmm, now you've got me thinking even more about loyalty vs commitment. I've started to realize that they are really quite far apart and almost unrelated for me. Isn't that weird? And I think when someone declares loyalty, they have actually declared their commitment to the idea of loyalty.

For me, loyalty seems to come from nearly the same place as love and faith - like long time friends that you know are "forever" whether you see them very often or not, they are permanent friends who will be forever in your heart. Family members are often in this category. Spouses are statistically only there about half the time. I don't think I have a choice when it comes to loyalty, once it is there, because it's something that I just feel. It stays or goes of its own accord, just like love, but thankfully it usually stays.

But commitment - I'm now realizing that it's mostly just a sense of duty about something and you can feel either good or bad about it, and you can get rid of it if you want to. For me, guilt can often play a role in my various commitments, so it's definitely a good thing to reassess them from time to time.

Butternut Squash said...

I am comitted to my diet and loyal to my brand of detergent.

Loyalty seems related to people, the heart factor, while commitment seems more about the actions that prove the loyalty.

I would be letting down the people at Proctor and Gamble if I didn't buy their detergent.

Frightening how much politics is about loyalty rather than thinking. Peace Reya!

Reya Mellicker said...

Completion stipulations? Wow ... OK, Glenn, thanks for that. Wow. Yeah.

Yes Jeanette, I know what you mean!

Angela said...

I am a free spirit like you, Reya, and don`t want others to tell me where my ties should be. Before I take decision which will include loyalty afterwards (like getting a dog), I try to ask my heart and expect a real honest answer. If it says yay, it means forever for me. If someone else "makes me" join a group or a church or do things "they" want, I never feel committed. I might do them for a while, then have no trouble waving good-bye.
I would NOT swear an oath to the new king if I did not like him!

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Geli. Great advice, as always.

steven said...

hey reya - good piece!! i commit to what feels right. not emotional feeling but rightness feeling. it's an instinct. an availability to goodness. knowing that goodness comes with a price - sometimes a huge price!
i'm loyal to the idea of something. knowing that eventually ideas blow like leaves down the street of my being. ooooh it's a windy day!! steven