A promise is a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. Have you noticed that we tend to make promises all of the time? A promise is a vow that I will keep my word- that I will pledge my word and guarantee, that I will commit, declare and definitely do what I promised. It’s a covenant and it’s intended to be sacred.
Think about the potential that lies in making a promise- the absolute power in giving your word and making a promise to a particular thing. What would life and our relationships look like if we kept the promises we made?
I promise to love you for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad as long as we both shall live… before we explore this area of promises, it would never be assumed or expected that one would stay in a commitment where there was abuse. **The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is 8 years- 41% of first marriages end in divorce, 60% of second marriages end in divorce and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. The statistics are not in our favor…
Are we entering into a sacred promise and commitment completely unprepared? Do we have false expectations about what a marriage or a committed relationship is supposed to look like? Are we making another person responsible for our own happiness or well-being?
Are we completely missing the experience to learn and grow with another human being; in a sacred commitment, who is absolutely going to give us the opportunity to participate in feeling every emotion that we have the capacity to feel? Is there a possibility that what lies just beneath forgiveness is an intimacy, an integrity and a wisdom that we could have never known without the experience of shame, regret or hurt?
We run from one person to another looking for perfection, acting as though the most important quality of what one has to offer is a pedigree, a bank balance or a collection of things and yet much of our population lives with anxiety, fear, depression, sadness and pain.
Is it possible that there is another way to move through this or any promise or commitment with someone else or with ourselves? A way that requires forgiveness, compassion, understanding, acceptance and truly unconditional love?
And what about the rest of our relationships? Those with our children, siblings and friends. Do we just write them off as well? Again, there is no suggestion that we should not create boundaries and yet it appears we could be missing out entirely on an opportunity to experience a profound intimacy (into me I see) in the rawness, the realness, the vulnerability and the entirety of another human being- the good, the bad and the ugly. With all of our faults, fears, dreams, joys, failures and accomplishments. You can rest assure that we will have them all.
So, what if we approached “The Promise” from an unfamiliar perspective? What if the promise was to myself. That I would first make a promise with myself and make the focus of my attention me, not in a selfish kind of way, the thought is that if I take care of me first, that if I resolve to heal every unforgiveness- then I would experience you from a completely different place.