Some agreements are implied and ongoing. For example, the unspoken pacts of friendship might include maintaining or initiating contact, keeping confidences and talking about problems. In some cases, it may help to discuss expectations and needs.
Agreements with children are incredibly important. “Over time, broken agreements lead to a broken heart,” said Kasl.
Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we make an agreement we regret. Our schedules are dangerously overbooked or something that sounded good at first doesn’t feel right now. (Again, it’s important to pay attention to our inner voices and our bodies.) It’s better to call and make changes as soon as possible, rather than wait until the last minute or, worse, simply not show up. It’s important to tell the truth, too. Fake excuses and white lies don’t hold up under the straight beam of integrity’s light.
The art of thoughtful and careful agreement-making is a learned skill. Broken promises and unfulfilled commitments may be as ubiquitous as the shards of ceramic that surround an apprentice potter. Still, we turn back to the wheel of our intentions, and begin again. Making and keeping agreements is a way of building trust and showing our love and respect for others as well as for ourselves.