I learned to apologize early in life. Most of those lessons came under the threat of some type of repercussion like a spanking to ensue. Every time I apologized I promised never to do the infraction again. In my mind I meant it. In my heart, I am not so sure. In life, my apologies evolved into telling the truth and into promises. The difference between them comes down to two things--- being willing to tell the truth and being willing to keep those promises. Telling the truth is easier than keeping a promise. Ask my heart how I know.
It never cripples me when I hear someone's truth. It hurts sometimes but not in a way that erases the purity of the moment of truth. Truth is hard to tell. Truth deserves credit. Truth telling has its place. Truth trumps lies.
Broken promises is a truth on an entirely other plane. I tell my children the worst offense to the heart is breaking a promise to someone. Unlike truth, the teller of truth just has to walk out the consequences of that truth, no matter how hard and for no matter how long.
With a promise though, you have a contract. You enter a new sacred space on a spirit level. Thing is you are under no obligation to make a promise, so when you do it is sacred. It is lasting. It is without condition. And if and when that promise is broken, it much like a ball that has been stepped on under full pressure leaving all the air to come gushing out. Even if that ball wants to inflate again, it will never take the same form. And it is because of that broken promise that it will never be the same.
You may try to handle that ball differently, reshape it, hold it close, force new air into it. But unlike telling the truth that hurts with its consequences, a broken promise has no where to go for healing. Time does not heal, reshaping does not heal, handling it gently does not heal. A broken promise is purposeful and hence the outcome and response is purposeful too.
And even if that ball starts to behave like a ball again, you best believe it is not telling its truth.
A promise is a promise and when it is broken everything it touched breaks too. A broken promise carries with it a regrettable finality.