We make many vows during our journey through life, either written, vocal, or just a thought, and they get tucked away in our subconscious where, sometimes, we forget about them. But they all have a consequence, positive or negative. Do you ever wonder why certain people or situations are a struggle for you, and you’re confused about the way some things in your life turn out? Maybe your vows are behind some of it.
We make vows at any age, but children are especially impressionable, and they oftentimes respond to their environment with vows. The child hears, “You’re stupid.” So he vows, “I’m too stupid to do anything right, so I won’t even try. “The child hears, “We don’t have money, so stop asking for things.” So she vows, “I won’t expect anything. Then I won’t be disappointed.” And so vows are formed and patterns for living are established.
We walk through each day doing what’s ours to do, seldom in touch with that subtle something inside that motivates our actions and determines outcomes–those vows we made in the past. But our vows have power, and they do influence our lives. Vows are made for 2 reasons, to avoid what we don’t want or to help create what we do want. But each kind can be tricky. And we may not always get the results we want.
Avoidance: We think avoiding something protects us from painful situations, and maybe it does, but it may end up depriving us in the long run. When I was 6 years old, my father died, and no one was there to comfort me. I made a vow that I would never need anyone again and never bother anyone with my problems. I’ve spent my life true to that vow, being independent and taking care of myself. And I’ve learned its lonely being alone inside. Now in my old age, I realize all I missed along the way because I clung to my vow.
A small, shy child who is never chosen for baseball games in elementary school may be a wizard at baseball in his backyard or in the park. But to avoid any future rejection, he vows never to try again. And will never know the thrill he might have had making the winning home run for his high school team. He may also spend his life afraid to compete for anything, like a job promotion or the attention of his pretty next door neighbor.
Positive Creation: When you hold a vision of something you want to bring into your life, but you’re afraid to move forward with it, a vow to release what’s holding you back can serve you well in different areas of your life. And it can be made in the form of an affirmation such as the following by Louise Hay, “I now free myself from destructive fears and doubts.” The vow can be heard in these words, and it can give you the confidence you need to create your vision.
Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. Coco Chanel
You’re not being yourself when you’re functioning from a vow made in fear. That’s not to say you’re never afraid. Your human self knows fear, and sometimes that’s useful when it’s justified. But being authentic means you work toward recognizing when it’s the real you or when you’re coming from unrealistic vows. So take a look at your life, and make a list of what’s working and what’s not working. Then ask if a vow could be holding you back when you have all you need to go forward. And ask your Voice within to reveal your answers. Now here’s where a creative vow would be useful. “I vow to listen carefully for the answers I need and to draw on my Divine wisdom to guide me on my authentic path.” Use whatever vow feels right to you. You’re on your way to freedom.
I wish you freedom, wisdom and much happiness.
Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer
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