– Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks in Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Committment
I’ve been reading though this book and at first I had a little problem with their math. They said that to have a co-committed relationship, each person should take 100% responsibility for their part. Well, 100% + 100% is 200%.
As I read and thought further, I think maybe I get their point. They suggest that focusing on splitting the 100% into 50/50 (or maybe 70/30 for the other!) just gets into a power struggle.
They say a co-committed journey starts with one person letting go of being codependent. “Co-dependence ends the moment you interrupt an argument and say: I’m willing to own how I have created this situation in my life.” This evaporates any victim in us.
They go on to say “Claiming creativity is when you drop a power stuggle with someone and take full responsibility for the problem, regardless of whether the other person takes responsibility for it.” Hmmm, reading that, I wonder if that means by me taking 100% responsibility and the other doesn’t, I’ll become a doormat and victim all over again. The key, though, is not even getting involved in the blame game at all. Instead, it’s for me to take responsibility for my part, and nothing more or less.
They continue: “Co-commitment is two people agreeing that each is 100 percent responsible.” In the case where each takes 100% responsibility for their life, then there isn’t any need for a power stuggle or pointing fingers.
There’s a cautionary note: when one starts taking 100% responsibility, and the other doesn’t, it creates an imbalance which can be volatile. They observe that in their long counseling experience, things get shaken up that should be shaken up. That makes sense to me because it allows things to settle in a cleaner environment.
Taking responsibility isn’t easy to do, because most of us have had years of conditioning towards a fear-based right/wrong world view. However, taking responsibility applies to “good” and “bad” things equally. We also get to take 100% responsiblity for the joy in our life, for the great moments, for those deep connections we’ve cultivated.
They finish this thought with a warning that accepting reality will not be comfortable at first. “…you should know that claiming creation is an action with true power. Be prepared for life to look very different once you get out of the trunk and into the driver’s seat.”
I’m no longer interested in going through life riding in the trunk. Instead, I invite you to join me sitting up front holding onto the steering wheel. In fact, I hope we can all create a life where we’re driving our lives ourselves in the company of loving co-pilots.