We all have unconscious vows.
Here’s a common one:
I swear, I’ll never become like my parents.
Loyalty vows exist too. Like, It’s selfish for me to have an easier life than my parents, who sacrificed so much.
Perhaps you’ve made similar declarations. They often result from our childhood upbringing and painful experiences.
Unconscious vows easily control our actions. When we’re blind to our vows, we get stuck in negative patterns.
Our well-intentioned vows can keep us from abundance, joy and peace of mind.
My dad made all the decisions
Growing up, I watched my dad control our household, while my mom submitted to him.
Whenever I wanted something—like new clothes or a hangout with friends—I had to plead with him. And I got a stern no most of the time. The only thing that pleased him were good grades.
My mom would look at me, helpless.
After the nth time, I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t just about my desires… It was having no say, watching my mom stay silent and knowing all the women in my family were like that too.
I remember running upstairs and falling on my knees in my room. My rage consumed me, as I clawed the pale pink carpet.
That’s when I vowed:
I’ll never become like my parents! I’ll never let a man control me like that!
And sure enough, I remained loyal to those vows.
As an adult, I chose a partner who treated me as an equal. We split the chores. Both of our perspectives mattered in our decision-making.
But something was off…
Sometimes, I feared he was trying to control me only to later find out that I had projected my past onto him.
Much of my energy went into pleasing him. I didn’t always speak up when my boundaries were crossed.
To my horror, our relationship often resembled my parents’. I immediately thought of the tale of Oedipus and how he accidentally fulfilled his fate.
What we resist persists, as Jung said.
That’s when I realized that vows of any kind—whether we support or rebel against something or someone—hold tremendous power over us.
Peace sits in the middle
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” —Rumi
Oscillating from one extreme to another limits us.
So why do we swing the pendulum?
As children, our survival instincts drive us to focus on being accepted and safe in our families.
Rejection, criticism and emotional pain trigger our primal fear of being left in the wilderness by the tribe—and certain death.
That’s why we unconsciously take the vow to be loyal to our family paradigm. The latter includes the type of person we become and how empowered we feel about our lives.
Our vows can define the level of what’s possible for us in areas like happiness, relationships, success, income and education.
Vows that rebel against our family’s beliefs come from a desire to think differently and evolve. These opposing vows can exist within us and dictate our actions in unhelpful ways. For example, we might achieve some success and then sabotage our efforts to conform to our family.
So, what can we do?
One way to coax them up to the surface is to notice recurrent patterns. Do you often find yourself bringing in money and then a surprise expense appears?
I used to think: It’s been a while since my partner and I had a fight… I should’ve been happy. But in my past experiences, I had learned that relationships come with constant drama.
Journaling about your family paradigm can help too. When did you make a vow of rebellion?
EFT Tapping quickly reveals and releases our vows, so that we can reach our fullest potential. I offer private EFT sessions here.
Owning our vows
Up until now, our unconscious vows ran the show.
Our family paradigm dictated how we show up in the world… Not anymore.
It’s time to take full responsibility of our desire to conform or rebel. We all need to feel accepted and safe, especially as small children.
Once we clear our vows, we can feel empowered in every aspect of our lives.
P.S. Would you like some free support? Get quick stress relief in a free EFT Tapping session in exchange for a short interview. Learn more.
Annie Moussu is a certified EFT Tapping Master Practitioner helping women build confidence, set boundaries & enjoy healthy relationships. Get her free EFT meditation & guide for people-pleasing.
Further reading to free yourself from unconscious vows: