I was raised to be honorable. This means a lot of things, and everyone may have a different interpretation of what it means to them personally. My understanding of it is to basically, do what you say you are going to do. One of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, calls it "Being impeccable with your word." I have come to realize that sometimes, we honor our agreements with other people, and sometimes, this hurts us. Now, you may be thinking, "I can't be selfish! I have to do what I said I would!" But, hear me out, as this is a different kind of agreement, I am talking about the unspoken agreements we make with other souls, on an unconscious level. Neither party is really consciously aware of these agreements, but they are very powerful and can often hurt both sides, in an ongoing pattern of destruction.
You may or may not believe in past lives, but if you do, this has an even deeper meaning, for you may have agreements with other souls and carried these with you for many lifetimes. This creates certain patterns which result in painful experiences, time after time, that cause us to be unhappy and frustrated. For now, let's just talk about this lifetime, since I think we can all agree on that. Many spiritual teachers believe that we are born carrying certain agreements with our family members. Let's use a hypothetical agreement you might have with your sister. Suppose you made an agreement with her to take care of her, no matter what. How can that be a bad thing? Well, it can be a good thing in early childhood, but, as we grow and evolve, you both may "grow out" of the agreement, and this creates tension between you. Your sister doesn't know how to break that agreement, so she starts to do self destructive things, such as drugs, alcohol, or other self defeating behaviors. This makes you come to her rescue time after time, and enables that agreement to be "honored." You are both, unknowingly, staying in that pattern, because you do not know any other way to be. If you try to stop saving her, the guilt overwhelms you, and the voice inside your head warns you that "she could die, you must save her!" She continues to need you, and you continue to rescue her, until someone "breaks the agreement." This is sometimes called "tough love" or "betrayal." It is very painful when it happens, and often, there is not a resolution for a very long time.
Something I have been saying to myself a lot lately is "Someone is going to be upset if you (set that boundary), is it going to be YOU, or the other person?" Often times, we choose to honor these unspoken agreements instead of honoring the fact that we need to move on and take care of who we are today. Sometimes, you can talk to the other person and you can both become aware of the agreement, and work together to break it. More often, you must break it on your end and deal with the "energetic fallout." If you have a therapist or trusted advisor to help you with this, it is ideal. You have to be in a strong confident place in order to really set the boundary and truly break that agreement. The other person will not really understand why you are changing your behavior, and they may escalate their behavior to try to hook you back in. I have recently had a person in my life with whom I had to break an agreement, and he was very unhappy about it. He tried every tactic he could, including threatening suicide, to get me back, but I stood firm. I knew that if I kept rescuing and healing him, he would never evolve into the person he had the potential to be, and I would eventually grow to resent him tremendously. Both of us have to move on in order to reach our potential and blossom into the beautiful flowers that we are meant to be.
I have learned this, and a lot more, at True Insight Spiritual Center. They are a great resource if you are feeling lost, frustrated, or stuck with your life. Please feel free to email me with questions, as well, or to request a reading from my Services page.
Many blessings, Andrea