7 Stages of Commitment

[Excerpt from TT: 2008-11-09]

[Question] I recall reading in MFM (Messages From Michael) about “romantic” or mating relationships that many people arbitrarily decide they have a “great deal in common” and they decide to proceed w/ the “next step” whether that be co-habitation, marriage, having children, or “all of the above.” This often results in “broken contracts.” Michael mentioned something to the effect that possessing the personal trait of “willingness to allow one another the space to learn, grow and/or evolve” to be one of the most important characteristics of a strong, enduring relationship. I am paraphrasing from memory here, so hopefully my memory has SOME semblance of accuracy w/ regards to what Michael has said in the past!

My question is: Are there other considerations that can or should be given thought to (generally speaking of course) before one enters into or attempts an enduring relationship with another (marriage, for example) and if so, what are these considerations? I just look at the divorce rate getting higher and higher, and think to myself, “There should be a ‘better way,’ more of a ‘science’ to this courtship thing than there currently is given attention to.” It seems our current culture’s philosophy is more characteristic of a ‘throw in on the wall and see what sticks’ method. I realize that it is sort of in my “scholar” way to seek a “scientific method” for such a thing that is not all that “scientific.” ;) In addition, I might add that it also has not escaped my attention that this is may be too individual of a matter to be described in a more general sense (not to mention VERY broad), but I was curious about Michael’s thoughts on the matter. Of course, this might be why scholars seem to gravitate towards the Michael teachings: they seem very scientific method oriented — what w/ all the validation and such.

[Michael_Entity] Primate relationships are not easily confined to the constructs of marriage, which inherently contradicts the profane nature of most, but whether through marriage or through mutual commitment that is not constrained by laws, long-term commitment is, of course, possible, but not the goal for most, even if they would like to think so.

Beyond the social and cultural imprinting is the drive to evolve. Many quickly discover that they have associated the confinements of marriage and commitment with the cutting off of personal evolution. So not only does the individual have the profane nature of his primate self to contend with, but the higher drive to grow and evolve beyond perceived confinement. In a world that is evolving beyond cultural imprinting, evolving beyond incongruent rules and institutions, it is not surprising to us that a more fluid movement in and out of marriage has become a symptom of that evolution. This is not a sign of a breakdown of “morality,” or a sign of irresponsibility, but quite the opposite. From our perspective, this is a sign of ownership of CHOICE, even if this is rather new in your world. The transition from the false safety (and sanctity) of marriage (and other institutions) and into the unknown of personal choice and fluid navigation, can seem chaotic and even hurtful, but these are simply “growing pains” of your species. A pattern will eventually emerge to accommodate this fluidity. The entire concept of marriage is currently under revolution in your society precisely as a part of these growing pains and adaptations to a new paradigm, a more mature paradigm.

[Question] Could Michael give us an idea of how this paradigm usually manifests itself?

[Michael_Entity] In terms of entering into a relationship, if one wishes to bring about a greater amount of presence and intention to commitment, we could suggest comprehending how relationships work, which would help you to “hang in there” when working through these natural processes.

We will elaborate:

Inherent in any commitment, are 7 stages, whether this commitment is to a project or to a relationship, and these 7 Stages are:

Initiation Stage: You might recognize this as the stage for discovering commonalities. This stage inspires and offers up the entirety of potential for that relationship. This stage is often short-lived, but can last through most of the courting stage.

Discrimination/Discernment Stage: this is where most projects or relationships end, or remain stuck, because this is the stage where everything that WILL NOT WORK is brought up for examination. This examination is natural, and is a part of helping the evolution of that relationship by bringing to the awareness of all involved what might be pitfalls, traps, gaps, and an opportunity for finding solutions is intended here.

Many who enter this stage of a relationship tend to think that the information arising is a sign that the relationship is clearly not going to work, or that it is fated to collapse. Or the fragments involved realize that he or she is simply not interested in doing the work of finding solutions.

This stage is a natural and important factor for building a relationship because, in the same way that one would not build a home on a faulty, unchecked foundation would one builds neither a project nor relationship upon one.

The 3rd Stage, if one allows room for the insights, solutions, and wonder of discovering differences within the 2nd Stage, begins then. This is the Stage of Stability.

This stage is lengthy and acts as a plateau for the relationship; the home built upon the now-sturdy foundation.

This can last for many years.

As with any home, regardless of how sturdy the foundation, storms WILL arise. This is Stage 4: Interruption, Corruption, Threat, Challenge, etc.

No matter how strong or how long a relationship has enjoyed stability, CHANGE will come.

Understanding that this is an opportunity for rejuvenation, revitalization, revolution, reinforcement, can help one to navigate this natural process.

This is a natural part of any evolution in a project or relationship simply because it is the nature of the universe to evolve, and evolution requires CHANGE. Once a relationship or project has grown steadily for some time, it is natural to participate in the nature of change and evolution.

Many believe that infidelity at this point is a sign of a failed marriage, but this can be opportunity for re-evaluation and recommitment. Infidelity is the result of not understanding the need for change and challenge within the relationship. Change does not have to come in the form of threat or infidelity, but can come from a conscious choice to raise the stakes, bring on an adventure, and expand beyond the safety and stability enjoyed. In other words, knowing that “storms” may arise, the relationship can include as part of its commitment a built-in understanding and adaptability for this, because it WILL happen.

This stage, like stage 2, contributes the most to failed businesses, projects, and relationships. If one or both (or more) are not willing to do the work of navigating this storm, the progress dissipates. If all involved can find footing and opportunity in this uprising, then Stage 5 can begin, which is Healing, or recovery, adaptation to the new information, new direction, new elements.

Once the healing stage is implemented, Stage 6 can come about, which is the very personal comprehension, transformation, sense of completion. This is Stage 6, Gratitude. One comprehends the necessity and value of all that has happened.

A final stage of 7 is involved here, as well, but can be implemented at any point within all of these stages, and it is the Assimilation, Digestion, or “time out” stage. This could very well be the most important stage to comprehend as being vital to a relationship’s evolution. When a partner needs to call a “time out” or a halt to the intensity of events, it may not be pleasant or easy, but if the other can honor this, it can help both to get back on track TOGETHER, when both are ready.

There is much more to be said about these stages, but this is a fair synopsis, and would be our response to the question of an organized method for understanding what to consider before entering into a union or project.