Promises are made in moments of weakness. They are coping mechanisms that our ordinary mind conjures up when facing emotional overloads. Our need to belong, assure or appease compels us to make promises that we may not yet know of the consequences. And yet, we make vows in the moment of emotional turmoil, not that we know we can realise them, but, there are no better ways to cope with the overwhelming reality.
Impermanence teaches us that vows are doomed to fail. Not that we are incapable of fulfilling them, but often, it’s because we run out of time. But time is a fiction of our imaginative mind, and continuity tells us that time persists in another lifetime. Hence, so do our vows as they are etched into our feelings and emotions, and we unwittingly bring them along from one life to the next.
It is foolhardy to believe that a promise can solve any problem, except that it is a vow that burdens the promisor and the promisee. Regardless of the outcome, a promise is always founded based on a transaction and such relationships will not withstand the test of time. Even worse is when such relationships that existed in a previous life are not resolved in this life. Therefore, they will continue to play out in a future life as dictated by the principles of Karma.
We should never rely on promises to make us or others feel better, even when trying to raise hope, as there is no basis that a promise is enough. Instead, we should rely on our wits to do whatever is morally correct and necessary before we reach the point where we are compelled to make a promise. To put it simply, if we have chosen and planned our lives well, we should never have to make any promise to anyone in this life! And once we have learned to do this well in this life, likely, we will never rely on promises to help us get through our future lives. It’s a simple concept: habits maketh a person, this life and the next!
A promise is eternal: think again whenever you feel compelled to make a promise or a vow. You may unknowingly create reborn or unborn karmic creditors for your future lives.