“I promise to love, honor and cherish you…,” the proverbial vows we’ve all witnessed at one wedding ceremony or another, each person taking a vow to be with the other forever, a serious and deep commitment for sure. Yet today’s divorce rate still hovers around 50%.
Why? Are we just a society full of vow breakers, who don’t put much integrity into our words? The statistics say one in two people will break their vows because of issues like infidelity, abuse, sex and money, however, if you look deeper, you’ll see that those are just symptoms of a cause that was present way before the marriage, engagement, and even the dating. The real problem starts when we are single, and continues to wreak havoc as we create relationships. The real culprit? You. The real problem? You forgot to make some very critical promises first with the most important partner in your life, yourself.
The fact is that every relationship starts and ends with the relationship we first have with ME. So before you go making any promises to anyone else, take the following ME-Vows with yourself, and then get started living them.
ME-Vow #1: I Know ME.
“I promise to do whatever it takes to know who I really am, and I live as that person, totally awake and aware, and whole within myself.”
Sounds simple doesn’t it? Who doesn't know who they are? Unfortunately lots of people. Most of us live our lives on autopilot, going through life working tirelessly to attain the next linear rung on the American Dream ladder (college, job, marriage, kids, work, retire), totally oblivious if what we are doing is actually what we really want in life. It’s only when we start to question the status quo that we get wind of the fact that we’ve been driven for years by unhealthy motivations like our fear, egos and emotional wounds. Many people call it “waking up,” because you literally awaken to the fact that there is much more to you and life than you ever thought. It’s your job to commit to knowing who you are and what you really want out of life, to healing your emotional wounds (we all have them), and to living every day aware and awake.
Vows into Action: Self-discovery takes help from others; catalysts to wake you up to realities you can’t see yet. Think of one area of your life that’s not so great. Get a related self-help book, attend a workshop, or work with a coach. Explore you.
ME-Vow #2: I am Honest with ME.
“I commit to unwavering, uncompromising honesty about myself and with myself, no matter what.”
Of course, it seems completely idiotic to lie to your best friend (that's you), but the fact is we have all lied to ourselves. Queens and Kings of Illusion! Why would you do such a thing? It’s simple. Fear. But not fear of the truth, it’s actually the fear of the consequences of the truth that make us create illusions about our lives and relationships… the fear of being alone, of being rejected, of being made to look a fool, just to name a few. But here’s the real truth: fear is part of life, no escaping it, but you do have a choice – get real and address your fears and find your truths, or hide and ignore them until the day they blow up in your face. It’s your job to get to know the lies you’re telling today and make the promise to stop creating new ones tomorrow.
Vows into Action: Ask someone you trust, “Is there anything you think I am lying to myself about?” And then, listen. Understand they may be hesitant, so assure them you want their insight, and then when they give it, take it and thank them.
ME Vow #3: I Love ME
“I promise to fall more and more in love with myself every day for the rest of my life, and demand that same love from everyone else in my life.”
More than like, more than self esteem and self confidence, loving yourself is an unwavering commitment to knowing yourself, accepting yourself, living your fullest expression, and attracting into your life only people and situations that support all of the above. By taking this vow you are saying no to apologizing, sacrificing, playing small, beating yourself up or letting yourself participate in any relationship, thought, belief, or activity that doesn't fully 100% honor the beauty, power and sacredness of your soul. Some people, including the dictionary, say loving yourself is selfish and narcissistic. Baloney! If you don’t love ME how can you expect anyone else to give you the unconditional love you deserve?
Vows Into Action: Start or deepen a life-long love affair with yourself. Become your best friend, love all of you, and make your happiness a priority. Get zany, yet practical ideas by downloading the free Madly in Love with ME Kit.
ME Vow #4: I Trust ME
“I promise to listen to my intuition, to believe that it’s real, and to learn to trust its guidance more and more everyday.”
Inside of you is a very wise soul who always knows what's best. It always tells the truth, even when you don’t like it and it’s name is “intuition.” It’s that sixth sense, a gut feeling, a vision, even a voice inside your head. When you listen, good stuff happens, and when you don’t, pain and suffering ensure. So why would you turn a deaf ear? Sometimes we don’t like what our intuition has to say. Other times we discount it as irrational. And other times, we can’t hear it because our voices of fear – also know as gremlins – are way stronger, so we get confused. Your job is to build an intimate relationship with your intuition by making your intuition muscles stronger than your gremlin muscles. That means listening and acting on what your intuition has to say, starting today.
Vows Into Action: Start exercising your intuition. Start small by noticing signs, when you feel, see, hear or sense something that may not seem rational but feels right. Act on the information it gives you and see what happens.
ME Vow #5: I Honor ME
I promise that I will never, ever, ever, settle for less than my heart and soul desire.
Taking and keeping this vow will change your life. If you believe that you never have to settle, you never will. Society has conditioned you to believe the opposite so it’s your job to find out what your heart and soul really want, and then promise yourself that you won’t settle for less. People may tell you that it’s impossible, or that it’s selfish, but that is because those people are settling in their lives. There is nothing selfish about your heart and soul’s desires. Live them. Honor and respect yourself so deeply that everything in your life reflects that same deep honor and respect.
Vows Into Action: Every preceding vow supports this last vow, so do yourself a favor and literally take all 5 vows together. Rewrite them in your own words. Say them aloud. Dance them to music, whatever feels like you are actually making the commitment. Get zany and conduct your very own ME ceremony. Heck, if you think about it, is a ME ceremony really any crazier than getting dressed up to look like a cake topper to make vows to someone else?
Causes Christine Arylo Supports
Step Up Women's Network
International Museum of Women