These days it seems like we throw away promises like dirty tissues. A promise is only as good as the next greener pasture that appears on the horizon.
We never seem to learn that what looks like a greener pasture on the horizon is also a regular old bumpy, weedy, field, just like the last one. That every field of dreams needs some work, tender loving care, and commitment. Only after receiving those things will it be a beautiful, green, and magnificent pasture.
Promises aren’t a “yeah” or “okay”; they’re a commitment to something or someone. They’re an oath to stick with it through good times and bad. A pact to put in some work so that you can reap the benefits of your vow. No new fancy pasture will ever give you the same satisfaction or inner joy than the one that you have loved and cared for and flourishes because of your care.
I’m talking about any and all promises. Words of honour in the highest regard perhaps uttered within a holy place to a future spouse, or even a quick word said in a conversation with a friend while texting. If you make a promise, you’ve made a commitment. A personal contract.
In some ways, our society has become obsessed with promises. Promise rings are the norm. Daily, no constantly, every mil-second someone is making and breaking promises to be or do something. But our obsession has also become our plight.
Marriage is supposed to be our most sacred of promises. However, approximately just over 40% of marriages will end in divorce in Canada. Many people these days are choosing to try and circumvent these statistics by not even getting married but just living together in long-term common-law relationships.
Of course, one opinion about the state of common law relationships is that they are just a way of receiving the advantages of marriage and a family without the commitment, promise and work required for a “better or worse” commitment. Something similar perhaps to leaving the back door open just in case.
Everyone has their opinion. Perhaps that’s the problem and where the discrepancy occurs.
I believe and operate from the perspective that any and all promises are important. If you can’t promise, then don’t. If you do promise, then keep it come hell or high water. You’re expected to live up to it if at all possible. I hold myself to the same standard as everyone else.
Proper promises build trust and trust build’s strong and healthy relationships. That’s the bottom line.
So what do we need to do?
How can we be better in our relationships and life promises?
~Let’s stop being so wishy-washy. Let’s start being grown-ups, stand up straight, make proper, appropriate promises, and keep them.
~Stop wasting time and more importantly, other people’s feelings making ridiculous promises about things that shouldn’t even be promised.
~We need to make sure that we’re doing our best to live up to our word. But we must stop promising to do or be things that just aren’t going to happen.
~Stop people pleasing people. If you can’t do something, then don’t, it’s okay.
~Most importantly don’t ever make a promise out of expectation, guilt or to live up to some presumed standard.
When everyone starts being more aware of and practising these standards, all of our relationships will flourish in a renewed light of trust. I promise.