We make countless decisions every day. And often decisions from yesterday still operate in the background and influence how we show up today. In fact, some of these decisions are so old and deep they’ve become like unspoken vows directing the course of our life even without us realizing it.
To be sure, part of growing up is simply learning what to do and what not to do. And we tend to repeat those things that bring us a measure of success.
For instance, if speaking up caused us to be shamed as a kid, it’s likely we made an internal commitment to keep our opinions to ourselves. And this is a decision we likely brought into adulthood as well, though often unspoken or acknowledged openly.
Or perhaps we felt loved and admired by being smart, athletic, or creative. And this led us to make a silent promise to always be seen in this light – driving every decision from our educational pursuits, career aspirations, and even who we considered to be “our people.”
To be fair, these unspoken vows are not necessarily bad, and many meaningful successes can be accomplished without us even realizing what’s been driving us. But they can become a problem when they continue to operate blindly in our lives.
For example, we’ve made a vow to never be hurt relationally again and don’t realize how this keeps our walls up and prevents us from experiencing the relational depth and richness we desire. Or maybe we’ve concluded that no one truly has our best interest in mind, and this allows an underlying suspicion and distrust to linger in all our relationships.
Recognizing our unspoken vows allows us to reconsider the decisions we’ve made and determine if they’re still serving us well.
Much unnecessary suffering is the result when we’re still acting on decisions that no longer benefit us today.
In the end, take time to consider what unspoken vows might still be operating in your story – letting go of any old or faulty commitments that don’t allow you to move toward more life and goodness today.