So today was one of those days where nothing went as I had planned for it to go, and yet everything that happened felt so perfectly awesome in the unfolding of it. I found myself resisting emotions of resentment and anger which then led to self-judgement and self-criticism….that is until I happened upon an article about what being passive-aggressive really means and how showing up late is actually a form of being passive-aggressive, and that becoming passive-aggressive happens as a result of stuffing down emotions we don’t think we should be feeling or displaying – so I didn’t want to be stuffing down any emotions!
I have to admit, having learned the value of commitment to my word and striving hard to organize my life around keeping that commitment, I am amazed at how often I see and experience people in my life not keeping their word. And lately it has been happening in and around my time – people make plans with me and I’ve set aside time for them and then something just ‘comes up’ for them and they break that commitment. We lose power when we break our word. It’s in the simplest things. Those of you who have young children have likely learned this lesson well. If you promise a child that you will take them to the park after work and then after work it is raining and you ‘can’t go’, you can see, feel, taste, and hear the disappointment – they are emotional powerhouses. Not to mention the fact of what happens if that promise is broken because of any other excuse other than an act of nature – like “traffic was bad and I got home too late” or “I’m too tired” or “wouldn’t you rather do X instead?”….
In fact, just 10 days ago I had to make peace in a hurry with breaking my word – I had committed to going to Toronto for the weekend and I was dearly looking forward to seeing friends and loved ones and having a jolly awesome time. What I had to admit by Friday morning was that I had not arranged myself that entire week to be ready to go to Toronto. In fact, I was so exhausted that if I had gotten in to a car that afternoon alone to drive for 5 hours, I would have been putting myself and others in danger. Not cool. Also not cool that at my age I couldn’t organize my life a little bit better to keep my commitment. Or, perhaps evaluate the commitment against the existing commitments that I had BEFORE making it (I know March is busy at work, I knew a colleague would be on holidays and my workload would be exceptionally stressful, I knew there were family birthdays that week, and I knew there were other business meetings happening in the evenings, so not a single day was a ‘down’ day or night for rest and repair). Yes I wanted to be in TO, and yes I wanted to connect with friends and loved ones, but there really are only so many things I can do at one time right now. So I admitted my loss of integrity to my friends and loved ones. I apologized for not arranging my life better in order to keep the commitment. I acknowledged their time they had set aside to meet me and host me, and how now there was a loss of memories we were both looking forward to. I suggested a compromise in some instances, that turned out to be heartwarmingly amazing points of connection, which was my intent all along for the weekend, and generally felt satisfied that even though I had broken my word, the people who saw me break it, and were impacted by me breaking it, were apologized to, acknowledged, validated the loss of power we both felt in the situation, and the consequences of me breaking my word. I know, I know – all this sounds extreme for blowing off weekend plans right? Wrong….
That is why I am writing about this today.
This is one of the keys to the kingdom.
Your word is a point of creation.
Keeping your word is the fuel in manifestation.
Saying what you will do and then doing it creates more momentum than ANYTHING ELSE!
How do you feel when you commit to working out 3 times per week? Powerful.
How do you feel the first time you don’t work out 3 times in a week? Not so powerful.
I invite you do take a look at your average day – how many times do you say something you already know you’re not going to do?! And how many times do you hear someone else say something and you already know they are not going to do it?! Total loss of power. All the way around.
Start small. Start easy. Forgive yourself for any setbacks. Forgive others for they know not what they do, but you do now, so help them along the way. Say what you are gonna do, and do what you say you’re gonna do. It builds momentum, trust, confidence, power, freedom, self-expression, and on and on and on. You can do it. Just find yourself in that state of all possibilities, don’t say yes, or no, right away to anything. Say ‘I’ll get back to you’ and practice giving yourself the time and space to weigh out your commitments at first. You may get gut feels in the moment that opportunity presents itself to you indicating a yes or a no for you. Either way, be compassionate with yourself and others. This is a difficult behaviour to acknowledge that we all slip up on (I mean all of us!) and even once it is in your awareness, it is still like quick-sand to fall back into a loss of power – especially when there are friends and loved ones who will gladly accept your excuses/reasons for breaking your word and keep on loving you anyways. There is not as much power in that status quo as there is in living a life beyond reasons and doing whatever it takes to keep your word.
I was enrolled in a course in Montreal last winter and a friend was driving us there. Along the way we had a flat (with run-flat tires, so you get another 100km’s out of it before you must change it) and instead of turning around and heading back to Ottawa (which would have been very reasonable) we drove to a dealership in Montreal that we found the location of on our smartphones, rented a car from them, and still made it to our course only about 20 minutes late. My gawd we were SO PUMPED to be there and SO PROUD of our accomplishments in being unreasonable. It was exhilarating! And my friend drove the rental car back the next day to pick up his car – he was showing EXTRA commitment! WOW! There is great power in honouring your word. I know it, you know it, and now we’ve both acknowledged it here. No turning back. Happy word-keeping!