The Entropy Factor
I remember learning in high school about a scientific law called entropy. The definition I remember was: things left alone tend toward greater disorder. Immediately, this became my favorite law. I think because I did such a great job of proving it in my life. For years, this was my pattern. My house was a mess, my car was a mess, and - most of all - my relationships were a complete mess! In all areas of my life, the law of entropy was masterfully demonstrated. I was really good at it!
Who would have thought that my love of entropy could be related to a fear of commitment. Doesn't it make sense, though? The things we are truly committed to are the things that get done. When we lack commitment, things start to fall apart. For example, if you were to walk into the home of a man who kept houseplants, it would be very easy to tell how committed this man was to his plants. If the plants were healthy and vibrant, you’d know he really cared for them. If they were withered and dying - not so much.
When I finally made a commitment to myself, and started taking the steps to create what I most wanted in my relationships, the law of entropy lost its stronghold in that area of my life. Little by little, my relationships began to improve, and they just kept getting better and better.
So, how did I do it? How did I manage to transform my relationships from dysfunctional and unsatisfying, to supportive and fulfilling? The answer: personal responsibility. I discovered that the only way I was going to be treated with respect and commitment by the people in my life, was if I started treating myself with the respect and commitment that I deserved. This meant living with full integrity, by always doing what I said I was going to do, finishing what I started, and never making any promises to myself that I didn’t intend to keep.
For most of us, honesty and integrity are a top priority in relationships. We search for someone we can trust, and when our partner doesn’t keep his or her word, our trust begins to weaken. We may feel betrayed, or disrespected. We may even question whether or not we should stay with this person at all. If you’ve found yourself in this situation on more than one occasion, you may want to take a look at your own personal integrity - your commitment to yourself. The conditions in our relationships with others tend to reflect the conditions in our relationship with ourselves. If we don’t treat ourselves with love and respect, others aren’t likely to either.
Has entropy taken over in your relationships? Do you seem to keep falling into the same patterns, over and over again? If so, it may be time to take a look at your commitment to yourself. Are you making promises to yourself that you don’t keep?
Are you putting off doing things that you know are really important to you? Re-commit to yourself, and watch your relationships follow suit. Make personal responsibility your new priority in the new year. You’ll be really glad you did!
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