Your ‘vows, pledges and promises’ are clues to the things that call to you.
Someone leaves you out of the circle and your heart calls to you in outrage: that’s SO wrong! ”I will never turn my back on anyone,” you vow – the act of a person called toward inclusion, toward community, toward wholeness. Someone humiliates you, and your heart flares again. “I will never treat anyone this way!”
Just look at the things that we promise the world:
- “I will ALWAYS defend others!”
- “I will NEVER let ANYONE down!”
- “I don’t abandon people!”
- “NO ONE should go to the hospital alone!”
- “I will never leave the dishes in the sink!”
Look at the energy surge these vows create. Look at the alchemy that’s here when, out of a wound, we create love. What beautiful hearts we have. What tender acts of love – fierce love – for EVERYONE!
Still, it’s a good idea to release yourself from these vows, pledges and promises; most of which were made years ago.
You can still take care of people; you can still honor your true heart’s call. But you needn’t be bound by vows like these.
You can trust yourself to do the right thing, freely – out of that same lovely heart.
Releasing old vows liberates you – and releases reserves of energy that you’ve been holding back (just in case you need it to animate one of these vows) back into the present where you can use it more effectively.
For example, in the past, probably in high school, you may have promised. “I will always be there for my friends” Now, with your wider awareness, you can review this pledge, asking: Do I still resonate with ‘being there’ for this person? If not, release yourself, with infinite gentleness, from this vow you no longer need.
You can still ‘be there’ but not out of obligation. Out of fresh, generous love. And if you can’t be there, you can own that, too – being equally generous and loving with yourself. In other words, by releasing yourself from this vow, you can ‘be there’ for you.
The same is true of vows you made about being a parent, a spouse, a worker. Whenever an old vow arises, check it for resonance. Do I still need to be the ‘best parent in the universe’? Or do I need, and want, to be with my children on a different level now?
Do I still need to ‘always present a united front’ with my partner? Or are there things that I disagree with and can openly and honestly discuss within the context of a loving and trusting marriage?
Reexamining old vows refreshes our relationships, frees us from ‘rules’ and opens us to genuine conversation, and the flow of a different kind of love – equally fierce, but much more freely felt.
To help you with this, I am going to grant you a pass on a few things:
- You are not required to be perfect.
- You are allowed to make mistakes. Everyone does. It’s how we learn.
- You may not always be kind; pleasant; thoughtful or on time. I forgive you.
- You will forget someone’s birthday. You will let someone down. They will forgive you if you let them, if you ask them to.
- Sometimes, the dishes will be left in the sink. It’s okay. You can ask someone who cares about you to wash them. If that someone is you, wash them from a place of love.
I release you from every vow, promise and pledge you’ve ever made.
Let yourself off the hook – and then, let the people in your life off the hook, too.