Monday, November 7, 2011

The Tragedy of Inner Vows

     When I was a child, certain events caused me to make a decision that plagued me much of my adult life. I decided I would never allow anyone else to control me. This was impossible, of course, if I was going to be a lawful citizen and moral person. Everyone is subject to some kind of authority, whether in school, on the job, or as a member of the community. But as time went on, my subconscious found subtle ways to control aspects of my life and the lives of those around me. I was acting out the "inner vow" I had made when I was young.

     An inner vow is a decision, usually subconscious, that we make due to some uncomfortable or traumatic experience. For example, I watched my own father allow an inner vow to affect him in a negative way throughout his entire life. As a younger man, he received a life-changing blow to his career. Because of that disappointment, he lived the rest of his life dominated by sadness and depression. Only death gave him complete release from the burden he carried.

     My father made an inner vow that changed the course of his life. Unfortunately, it also affected the rest of our family as well. Living with the emotional fallout of his loss planted a deep fear of loss in my own life. As a result, when I became a young woman, I struggled with the need to exert control over the circumstances of my life and the lives of those around me.

     Fortunately, we can be released from these subtle, but powerful, controls on our emotions and behavior. Victory over the effects of my early decision began after I read about the concept of inner vows, understood it, and recognized symptoms of it in my own behavior. I saw that a lot of my life revolved around my fear of losing control over my life.

     The next step in my recovery was to turn the situation over to God and allow Him to have ultimate control of my life. Scripture says that perfect love casts out fear. God's Word also says that fear has torment and I had experienced that torment. As I submitted to God's love and his will for my life, I was gradually able to hand the reins of control to God. As a result, my fear of  loss lessened and so did the need to control those around me.

     When we examine the roots of our negative behaviors, we likely will find an inner vow somewhere in the mix. Releasing past trauma to God initiates a healing process that frees us from the negative effects of an inner vow.

                                                                                                © Laura Allen Nonemaker

1 comment:

  1. this is so very true and you state it simply and clearly. Thanks!