Breaking Commitments. Honoring Commitments


Commitment. Honor. Truth. Strength. Compassion. Commitment.


I call this pentacle many things, most often the Pentacle of Autonomy, though I wrote about it in Kissing the Limitless as the Warrior’s Pentacle. It is also a Healer’s Pentacle. An Activist’s Pentacle. A Parent’s Pentacle…

I use this cycle as a way to assess my commitments and examine my relationship to them. What am I willing and able to commit to? How do I honor that commitment? How does honoring that commitment help me to live more truly, in greater alignment? How does that alignment give me strength? In what ways does increased strength deepen my compassion? How does compassion flow back into my commitment?

Going through this cycle, measuring, weighing, ascertaining how I am doing in living out my commitments helps me to see where I’m slacking, where I’ve grown accustomed to things and doing them by rote. It shows me where I may be sleepwalking through patterns and assumptions rather than choosing my commitments anymore.


Does keeping this commitment still feel honorable and true, or is keeping this commitment draining my energy and time? 


Looking at my commitments from the position of autonomy enables me to re-commit fully, and with honor. It also enables me to honorably break commitments that have served their usefulness.

Sometimes the most honorable thing to do is say, “I’ve done my best, and now it is time for me to move on.”Iron Star

What do you need to re-commit your energy and attention to?

What has become a slow drain on your energy, letting you know it may be time to cut your ties and walk away?


What is the honorable choice, and what are you going to do about it? 

8 Responses to “Breaking Commitments. Honoring Commitments”

  1. Lizzy

    This has been my experience recently with work. I’m generally a stubborn person and don’t ever want to be a “quitter”. But I realized that I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by slogging away without any passion or drive left. My coworkers deserve better than that. So I finally found the strength to make a change, and in a couple months I’ll be starting a new career direction. For the first time in ages I feel excited about my future, and I realize I didn’t act honorably at all by suppressing my unhappiness for my perception of duty. I don’t regret the process though, because this was the lesson I needed to learn.

    • Thorn

      Lizzy, well done! Oftentimes figuring out how and whether to honor commitments is figuring out how to best honor ourselves and our lives.

  2. Syrbal/Labrys

    Within the last year, I finally had to walk away from a longtime online friend who always promised to get the mental help she needed “once the kids finish high school”. Her youngest child is now 20 — she refuses to get help although she now has insurance; she likes savaging those around her with rage and then blames her mental issues.
    In my own life? I’m examining my ptsd beleaguered 37 year long marriage; now that he IS seeking help, is it time for me to walk away? Have we exhausted our possibilities, are we a weight upon each other? Or is there something left to built upon that is not too damaged, that still has the flavor of love?

    • Thorn


      that sounds so challenging! Walking away from that friend sounds like the right thing to do.

      Your marriage? I’m glad you are asking these questions. Sometimes what it takes is cutting the cords on old patterns to get a little breathing room, in order to see whether or not we can indeed set the template for some new patterns of relationship. And sometimes, yes, we do need to still walk away. The question is, how to do so with honor – which is where the pentacle comes in. And our own integrity, of course.

      I hope you are getting some help and support.

  3. Jeyn

    Thorn, I love that you refer to this as a “parents pentacle” as well – yay! We get a pentacle too….;) 🙂 And as a parent, I reasses my commitments to my children all the time: am I doing right by them? Am I doing a better job with them than I feel my parents did with me? Am I teaching *them* to listen to their own integrity and to discern what does and does not serve them? (they are both throughly convinced that homework does not serve them, by the way….I can’t say that I blame them, lol)

    Thank you for this – it is a wonderful tool for meditation and rediscovering clarity….! 🙂 And as a parent (among other things), that clarity can be challenging quality to hold on to!

    • Thorn

      Jeyn, yes! Parents have a clear long term commitment that must be reassessed in order to remain vital. All long term commitments need this!

      I’m glad to read of the ways you are doing this in your parenting practice. Yes, though I am not a parent, I see how parenting can be a practice like any other. We just have to choose to make it so.

  4. lpemburn

    This is such a deep challenge for me, especially regarding relationship with others. Lately I have stepped away from one that I felt was a deep commitment; on careful examination, my feelings of commitment were more about my vision of myself than my desire to truly commit. And I wasn’t doing either of us any good. One day I may find out that stepping away was the best thing to do. Or not.


Comments are closed.