Did you know that breaking a promise is the surest way to destroy a relationship? Seems so obvious, right? As I mentioned two weeks ago, until you ask for what you want/need, your expectations from another person exist only in your head. But once that contract is made, your expectations are legitimate.
There are some things you can do when someone has a habit of not living up to your expectations; first, you must reassert your needs, then, if nothing changes, you have to decide whether lower your expectations or you walk away. Because ain’t nobody gonna treat you as less than.
But what if that person is you?
I went looking for fables and parables to illustrate my point –The Boy Who Cried, “Wolf,” maybe – but I decided to share something of me instead, mostly because this topic is especially poignant for me, and that’s exactly the reason I should speak my own truth.
This is my third blog since I promised myself I would write one weekly. If my history with opening up about myself is sketchy, my history with internet posting is worse. *deep breath* About six years ago I authored some fanfiction. Oof. It felt good to get that out. The first story almost wrote itself. I got up at four o’clock some mornings to write and research. My stories were set in London, England, so, for accuracy, I got to know the London transit system, highways, and neighbourhoods. I had my characters eating in existing pubs and restaurants whose menus I had not only perused but found reviews of. I even had pages and pages of British vernacular printed out. I don’t throw myself into anything halfway.
The second story was better than the first, because, where in the original I was working with the template of the actual show, the sequel saw me flying without a net. The third story is not finished. I told myself that if I began posting chapters, I would have to finish it. Right? It’s about three-quarters done and just sitting there. The worst part is that I know how it ends. I just got stymied at a certain point. True or not, that’s an excuse. I broke that promise to myself. And, like, four other fans of my work.
As a result, here’s how beginning to write this blog in earnest (after a two-year absence) sounded in my head:
The spiral was on! Those voices gave rise to some even louder ones:
The point is, every time I break a promise I’ve made to myself, these thoughts bounce around in my brain like Tigger after a double espresso. While none of them is inherently true, my subconscious mind doesn’t know that. It takes them as gospel, reinforcing them with each broken promise, and tearing down my worth.
Or they would have done, but I’ve battled through and come to realise that my thoughts aren’t me. My thoughts aren’t me. They are just a part of me, like my knee or that weird recurrent twitch under my eye. Sometimes they hurt for a bit and other times, they almost drive me crazy, but, ultimately, I’m in charge of how bothered I am by them. I am grateful to my own coaches for showing me the tools.
When all is said and done, they’re just words, and words can be rewritten.
Sometimes I don’t know where my own writings will end up – it’s fun living in my head; you should try it! I’m fairly certain that I’ve illustrated how breaking promises you make to yourself is counter-productive, even destructive, but I believe that I’ve also indicated that the mind is strong enough to overcome the negative self-talk. That second bit requires some training. Hypnotherapy can be used to help you figure out whose voice it is and to mend your relationship with that person. Imagine the freedom of not having to carry your limiting beliefs with you forever.
Christie Morden is a legacy coach serving Calgary and surrounding areas. She helps people of all ages and all levels of health heal their relationships with things that have happened in their lives, with loved ones - living, dead, or estranged - and with their own eventual and inevitable deaths.
Leave the world better
Mental Health Coach