Yesterday I asked Social Media to help me understand the feelings that I have when others break promises. Is it disappointment? Did I have expectations? Were my reactions justifiable?
By “ask Social Media”, I mean “put it on my FB page”. A handful of my friends answered, Maybe the person is embarrassed. Maybe you can work it out with them. Maybe they meant to do what they promised.
Nobody addressed my issue: The whys and wherefores of my reaction to broken promises, except to comment on each other’s understanding attitudes, a sideways suggestion that the desired response to a broken commitment is empathy.
I want to understand my reaction so I can change it. I’ve broken promises in my time. I know that others suffered. Looking back, I feel gratitude for everyone who forgave me, especially one person to whom I made a really important promise which I did not honor. I know that I meant to keep my promises. The disappointment felt by others when I failed weighs on my heart like a handful of broken glass, sharp and unrelenting.
This quest to live a life which I can defend has helped me learn to limit the promises which I make and honor all of my commitments unless I’m bloody and broken somewhere, unable to move. But I still have not learned to successfully control my own reactions to the remissions of others.
Until I do, I will not be able to attain my goal of living complaint-free. I still experience those gut-wrenching twinges of bitterness and resentment when someone says, “I will,” and then they don’t. It’s the one human experience that trips my trigger every time. Every time. Every time.
It’s the twenty-ninth day of the thirty-third month of My [Prolonged] Year [Still Trying to Get Through One Blessed Day] Without Complaining. Life continues.