How good are you at keeping promises? Keeping promises is a demonstration of our ability to be faithful. Just like you, I’ve broken promises to myself before. Whether it’s maintaining a commitment to a healthy diet, a job, friends, or a romantic partner, a great deal of effort and dedication is required. What happens when the going gets tough? Do you throw in the towel and give up? Is your faithfulness based on the expectation that it should be effortless?
The truth is we have to work at our happiness, have faith, and trust in the process without knowing the outcome in advance. To be faithful requires the courage to live in and maintain faith through the inevitable ups and downs of our life journey.
It's easy to stay faithful when everything is going well and as expected, but the real test of faith happens when life gets challenging. In the event that your partner becomes ill, depressed, or suffers a job loss, can you keep your faith strong and remain trustworthy while facing problems?
When it comes to our jobs, it's easy to maintain loyalty during career highs, but when times get lean or the economy turns are you able to stay the course and support the team? How about your commitment to health and wellness; are you able to stay faithful to your diet when the scale shows no visible result? Can you keep your promise to yourself without succumbing to the lure of a short-term fix?
Being faithful in a romantic relationship implies that you find each other to be trustworthy. It carries a promise that you'll always be there, and through your faith in one another will build a sanctuary of togetherness. I don't recall my exact age when I first heard the vows, “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health,” but they were imprinted on my young brain. Even then, this public act of faith had a huge impact on me. This promise between two adults created a sanctuary of trust and dependability no matter the ailments or misfortunes of life.
My parents were married until death interrupted them. My father passed away suddenly when he was only 59 years old during a routine checkup. My mother has been my faithfulness role model, as she kept her promise to my father until his sudden and tragic death. Looking back, I realize how difficult it was for her to stay steadfast in her commitment to being our mother first, to my brother and me during this trying period, instead of a widow. In my romantic life, I believe that I will find a partner who holds such conscious integrity that he will remain honorable as a friend and lover throughout my life journey, much like my parents.
Active faith starts with keeping our commitment to loving ourselves by having a healthy diet, promoting good self-care, and talking to ourselves in a positive inner dialogue.
One of the main virtues that my spiritual practice of yoga and meditation has taught me is perseverance. This virtue of sticking to it and not giving up on a pose when it gets tough has served me in all other aspects of my life, since the difficult poses come aplenty. I can think of more than a handful of friends who are currently facing a serious illness, loss of financial stability, or emotional pain and am inspired by their courage to keep their faith strong.
Whether it's a romantic relationship, your job, how you look after yourself, or your diet, remember to keep true to your promise when the going gets tough. It will inevitably feel impossible from time to time but you must believe, trust, and stay faithful.