In last month’s newsletter, I talked about lessons of love. It isn’t possible to learn the lessons of love fully without examining their relationship to the word ‘commitment.’ There comes a time in our lives when we must face our fear of commitment and closely examine our relationship to commitment. To do that, we have to dig deep and search for our earlier experiences with commitment.  

While growing up, we learned from the adults around us what it means to be committed to someone or something. By observing our earlier role models, and seeing whether the adults around us stayed committed to themselves and us, we learn to define what commitment means to us.  

Although we don’t want to be stuck in the past forever, we do want to be aware of our vulnerabilities and potentialities when it comes to defining the word ‘commitment.’ Sometimes, this requires visiting our past in the privacy of our own time or with the help of a professional. By examining our earlier commitments, we can use the lessons from our past as stepping stones to creating an extraordinary life.  

This is about finding a balance between commitment to ourselves and commitment to those around us. For example, to stay in an abusive relationship would mean we are not honouring our commitment to take care of ourselves. But, to give up on a relationship that has the potential to grow would mean we are not honouring our commitment to the relationship. 

While taking inventory of your past, you may discover that you have stayed in a relationship for ten years even though it was difficult. You gave it your best until you were sure it was not right for you. Ten years of not giving up on a relationship makes you a committed person, one who is willing to do what it takes to make a relationship work. You are a person who gives your best and honours your commitments to the best of your ability. Even if the relationship ends after ten years, you can still claim back the part of yourself that was willing to give it your best in the name of love.  

You also must learn when it is time to leave, because your safety and security are not being honoured—not too soon and not too late at the expense of your well-being. And, trust me, you know deep down when it is time to end the relationship. It is when you have learned the lessons the relationship was trying to teach you. And you know that you can use those lessons as a catalyst to move forward with grace. There is no anger in that situation, only a sense of calm and peace.  

When you know yourself intimately, you can make wise decisions about leaving or staying. And, if you doubt yourself, just listen to the whisper of your soul. Or ask somebody you trust to help you become clear. Don’t listen to the monkey in your head, but the quiet voice of your soul. It is always about knowing yourself and your soul. As long as you remember that, there is never any loss in any relationship, only lessons of loving again, risking again, and letting yourself receive the love of another. 

It is also important to be compassionate with yourself and pat yourself on the back for trying your best. Staying and working on a relationship that didn’t give you back the love you deserved can be looked upon in two different ways: as an opportunity to grow and acknowledge yourself for trying your best or as a time to beat yourself up because the relationship didn’t work out. It is always a choice. When you make loving choices by noticing what you did right, instead of what didn’t work despite your best efforts, you then become the love you feel for yourself. And when we become love, you can’t help but be love—and then we give love and attract love. It is a never-ending circle of love that keeps the universe going. 


Zahra Efan is a Life and Success Coach who specializes in helping women achieve their dreams. To book a complimentary coaching session give Zahra a call at 604.582.7759 or visit our web at

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