Commitment and Satya

"Commitment is an act, not a word." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre


Satya is Sanskrit for "truth." Satya demands more than just not telling a simple lie, it demands integrity...such as honoring one's commitments. If we say it, we do it. It may be unpleasant, it may take a little more than we want to give, but we follow through, because it's the right thing to do.

But sometimes it's impossible to keep a commitment because it goes against our beliefs, someone else has compromised the agreement, or it's too draining, psychologically or physically. When you find yourself unable to maintain a commitment, how do you practice satya? By remaining true in word and deed in the aftermath. You practice ahimsa by sealing your lips and not uttering harmful words, you don't further inflame the situation. You stay true to who you really are, not the disappointment inside you. You cannot change how the world treats you, but you can change how you react.

Honoring commitments has a powerful effect, it shows the world that you are someone who can be trusted, and someone who can be relied upon. But every time you fail to honor a commitment you send a message to your subconscious mind and to the world that your word doesn't mean much. This eventually takes a toll on who you truly are, as you lose respect for yourself.

Truth has the power to right wrongs and end unnecessary conflicts. Demanding integrity of yourself can be scary, but when we choose to live in truth we choose growth over our very human need to be part of the pack. 

We are human, we are not perfect, that is why this is a practice, and we are forever students. We will all make mistakes and act in ways that are contradictory to our teachings, even ones we take very seriously, but acknowledging when we are wrong and have wronged others with our reactions is part of living our truth. 

Think back to a time you did not act out with the best intentions, but rather from anger or fear and ponder how you could have handled it better. Then make a commitment to yourself to move from truth next time you are confronted with a similar situation.

Then forgive yourself.

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