Devotion



Devotion is a curious word. It's a noun full of implied action. Devotion is defined in Apple's Dictionary as "love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause." What does that even mean? As we grow in experience (which usually correlates directly to time but not always), we are able to make more decisions about what we are devoted to.


As any host of demographical identifiers would have me believe, my job is to keep my head down and accept what's available. As tempting as that level of withdrawal and passivity can be, it just doesn't work for me. It becomes self-abandonment. Every so often, I'll check in with myself to make sure I'm not hiding. Where are you hiding and what is that showing you about devotion? If you're mildly familiar with life, you know that everything exists on an axis or spectrum. We attach to people, places, things mostly without conscious thought. To relate and create accord requires us to know where and who we are. Sometimes we find that it's time to sever attachments and separate from old ways of being.


When I fall in love (platonically or romantically), I have a beautiful ability to devote myself. In the past, I used to take this gift and distort it. I would abandon myself in my desire to cleave to the other person. When evidence of this abandonment would appear, I would hold on through sheer willfulness. I always want to love.


To protect myself against this tendency, I would isolate myself each time I was (rightfully) forced to detach. This is also not the "right" course over time. Healthy interdependence is what I cultivate with my love now. In my devotion to myself, I know this is what I require to thrive. I have "faith" in all of the people I remain closely attached to but it is no longer the reflexive act it used to be. So like all axes, the healthy place to be is wherever I've consciously decided. I cannot live my life contorting myself to create accord or alienating everyone. Usually, both courses of action are trying to achieve one thing: safety. When my boundaries are strong and I'm comfortable with meeting my needs, I know I am safe. It's not something external I need to seek out. This is where I bring my clients through processing and reaffirming their authority.


Let's ask the question again with a twist: where are you hiding and what is that showing you about (your) devotion? It is transformation season. Rededicate yourself to your well-being. Being hopelessly devoted to yourself is a beautiful thing.

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