Promises, Promises — We Make Them (and then break them)

Go out on a limb – that’s where the fruit is. Will Rogers

I’ve decided that when I make a promise to someone (anyone) I’m really going out on a limb.

When I promise to do something, be somewhere, bring something, or follow through on something…I’m also counting on a lot of “somethings” to fall into place.


Time (never enough of this)
Availability (even with a calendar in hand we can’t always predict this)
Energy (always an uncertainty)
Money (what we have today, we may not have next week)
Skills (sometimes we thought we had what it takes and were wrong)
Material Resources (see Money above)

Even more likely

My ever-changing mood, the level of my emotions, or my current desire to offer forgiveness if you’ve offended me.

It’s really embarrassing to admit that there are moments when I know I have to carry through with a promise and what’s standing in the way of me doing so (happily)…is ME.

In truth, I try to never, ever promise something I can’t follow through on delivering. I try to take into account what it will take to carry through before I say yes.

But sometimes, even our best-laid plans (and intentions) fall apart around our feet through no fault of our own.

Not a big deal.
Can happen every day

But, it’s a completely different story when I willfully withhold the good I can offer because I simply choose not to follow through.


Going out on a limb here

While I don’t ever want to become a person whose automatic reply is a rushed, “NO!” before I even stop to consider the outlay on my part; I do want to become a person who takes into account the cost of breaking a promise given.

I need to become keenly aware that when I say “Yes” it means no matter how I feel, how strongly my emotions might be tugging at me to pull out; or how deeply wounded I might feel; I still carry through.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Doing the following through — with the right attitude. Ouch.

I’m so like that little girl whose father made her sit in the chair for a timeout and she complied but answered back, “I might be sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.”

Attitude is everything.

In the making of promises.
In the breaking of them

So cross my heart and hope to die (well…not really die), I’m going to take more care in my promise-making so I won’t be guilty of promise-breaking.

Because I know deep down that even if I carry through on the outside when my inside’s all wrong…I’m not really following through with my promise to be there for someone. And that someone can tell.


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