In the past I've written about the temptation to play the victim. Being right or self-righteous is intoxicating. We feel superior. We feel in control and therefore we feel safe.
Having someone break a promise they've made to us provides similar self-righteousness. One can blog and blog and blog about how wrong the promise-breaker is and how terrible it feels to be lied to. One can wave accusing fingers about how "good" people don't break their vows and how "best friends" stick around no matter what.
I get like that. I get into how-could-you mode. Better yet is how-dare-you mode. Then there's the tried and true after-all-I've-done-for-you mode. These modes are intoxicating. All providing the self-righteousness that our egos crave.
It does hurt. Being lied to hurts. Catching someone in a lie and having them show no remorse hurts. Broken promises hurt like hell. Broken vows can break a heart so badly it never beats right again.
We might be tempted to put up our defenses and refuse to ever trust again. We can rock back and forth hugging our knees babbling "you said you'd never leave me, you said you'd never abandon me..." over and over till our eyes cross. But...and everyone loves a big BUTT...if we stay too long in that mode, it's a cop out. It's on us. Our pain becomes something we're responsible for. The pain is only painful if we stay stuck in how-could-you mode. The pain is prolonged if we keep running the painful events over and over in our heads.
As I taught today in Buddhism class, the pains we suffer at the hands of others always have a kernel of self-revelation in them. Well, maybe more than a kernel, probably a giant hill made of kernels.
not something that happens once, not twice, but a pattern -
of people in our lives breaking big important promises to us, we should ask ourselves what it is about us that's making this pattern possible. What is this pattern trying to tell me about me?
Maybe we need to be more/less trusting
or maybe we need to learn about setting boundaries.
Maybe we are so deathly afraid of a real relationship we keep attracting painful ones so we'll have damn good reasons to never trust or to never allow real closeness.
Maybe friends are betraying us because we've never learned to value ourselves. Maybe we never learned to be a flying carpet because we've been too busy being a doormat.
Maybe the pattern of broken promises is an arrow pointing at our own broken promises. It could be time to ask how much integrity we've had when we've given our word.
Perhaps we seek out the promise-breakers so we'll never have to keep the promises we make. We'll always have an excuse for our lack of integrity if we align ourselves with untrustworthy people. We can always say, "See, they broke their word. Now I get to break mine."
Continually attracting promise-breakers means we'll always get to feel "wronged" so we'll always get to be right. We don't have to hold ourselves accountable to our promises because we've made promises to hard-core promise breakers. Promise breakers break. Vow breakers break. Everybody wins by losing.
It's an ego game that will never end unless we consciously end it.
The only way to end it is to be golden with our word no matter what the other person is doing. No matter how badly we've been hurt we can do the right thing, not to be superior, but because the cycle of breaking can end if we end it.
But who will end it?