1/12/2011 Admin

The Pain From A Promise


Anytime “things don’t go the way we want them to” we get angry. Not knowing “how things will turn out” is the core of our fear. Acceptance for how things are now and acceptance for how things will be is required for peace of mind. With that said, there are things we can actively do to minimize anger and worry. We can be very careful with our promises.

Frequently, when something is “not going the way we want it to”, it is because we have promised someone that “we can make this thing happen”. When we are unable to do this, for example we promised someone that we would meet them at 3:00pm today, yet we find ourselves stuck in traffic, this leads to anger, “the traffic right now is not what I want it to be”. As we race to keep the appointment we worry “the traffic will get congested and slow me down”. If we did not make this promise, we could just turn on the radio and not worry at all, we get there when we get there.

It is the promise that creates the stressful situation.

Being careful with our promises

Things we can do:

  1. Make promises after we have thought things through. Do we know for sure the appointment we have before the next one will end on time? Will traffic be unpredictable that late in the day? Is this promise based on other people that we know from experience are unpredictable?
  2. Most promises we don’t have to make. In most cases we can say we will simply try to meet a person at 3:00pm, but we will call if we cannot make it (only make the promise to call if we know we have a reliable phone).
  3. The majority of promises we make we simply do not have to make.

Stopping the pain

The only way to stop the pain is to break the promise. This can be painful, but as soon as you call the person and break the promise, the mental pain of trying to keep that promise will end.

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