A commitment is not a straitjacket

Far from straitjacketing or stereotyping us, entering into a commitment would simply show that we are so driven with love and a deep sense of freedom that we are willing to take on whatever consequences our commitment would make on us.

We are human with a soul that is spiritual but with a body that is material. While our spiritual self orients us to the infinite and to an endless range of possibilities, our material self puts us under so many conditions and specifications. In a sense, a commitment concretizes the spiritual in us.

We have to learn how to blend these two fundamental qualities of our being, because we can neither be purely spiritual nor purely material. We have to be both. Our spiritual self needs to be materialized, while our material self needs to be spiritualized.

And entering into a commitment simply puts the spiritual and infinity- oriented character of our love and freedom into the material conditions and specifications of our life. A commitment is our love and freedom expressed in a concrete and specific way. It makes our love and freedom avoid being fuzzy. Rather, it makes them clear.

While a commitment has its costs, requirements and obligations, we would be willing to meet and assume them precisely because of love and our sense of freedom. A commitment shows our level of maturity. When we enter into a commitment, we know what we are giving up in order to gain something much better than what we give up.

A commitment reflects what Christ once said about a certain detachment that is necessary to be with him. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple,” he said. (Lk 14,26)

We have to understand what Christ really meant by “hate” here. To be sure, it does not mean that we hate anyone in the usual way we understand the word “hate.” Let’s remember that we are commanded to love everyone, including the enemies.

Rather to “hate” here means to be detached from anyone, no matter how close he is to us, who can sort of compete with our love for God. Nothing and no one should stand in the way of our love for God, knowing that by loving God fully, we also would know how to love everybody else properly.