Last weekend I reunited with a dear friend of nearly twenty years and was reminded of the power of commitment as we walked the land at Shambhala Mountain Center and meditated at The Great Stupa. Kimberly and I met working at a clothing store in Boulder, Colorado while we were college students. We had a casual social friendship but were living very different lives. She was single and free. I was married with a house in the suburbs. In those early years our friendship ebbed and flowed. We would lose track of each other then find each other again.
Once she sold everything and moved to Durango to live in a tent, I thought I’d never see her again, and then suddenly I ran across her on the street feeding burritos to the homeless. That was the year I graduated and she took a road trip to the west coast finding me in my hometown a week after I’d returned from my own post-graduation trip to Africa. The out-of-state meeting rekindled our friendship.
As we became closer we hit several bumps in the road. My fiery Leo energy was challenging for her watery Scorpio energy. Periodically I’d boil her out of the water without even realizing I’d done so. She’d need some space and I’d say “Huh?” It was the dance of cultivating a friendship that ran deeper than most, pushing us each past our edge to a new level of trust, accountability and transparency. More than once we formally quit being friends for awhile.
Each time we’d come back together somehow and remember what we valued in each other. She was the friend who was with me the moment I realized my marriage was over. She was the friend who understood more than anyone the spiritual path that I was compelled to walk. She walked it too.
Nearly a decade had past when we decided to consciously commit to our friendship. No more of the predictable break-up, make-up. We agreed to take responsibility for whatever was going on for us individually, communicate and hold space for the friendship as we worked through whatever was up for us. At that time we also acknowledged our soul agreement: our purpose for finding each other in this life was to remind each other of our spiritual paths.
Life is a series of remembering and forgetting and remembering again.
The tables have turned, now she’s married with a son and a house in the country while I’m single and free. Commitment and consciousness made our relationship more stable. We’ve had cycles of conflict since then, drifting apart and then finding each other again. But now days when one of us takes a path that the other doesn’t understand, we hold space for each other and wait for the rekindling of our connection. We remind each other of our true Self when life has taken us on a detour. It always happens, because we are committed.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too.” Goethe