Promises come in many forms - they can be expressed as promises (of fidelity or rescue), vows (of poverty and obedience), oaths (of service or allegiance). Over our lifetime(s), we make many such promises genuinely from our hearts with the best of all good intentions. And we make them based on the very best information we have available to us at the time, not knowing what lies ahead.
How many times as parents have we promised ourselves and our children to protect them from all harm, and in the face of overwhelming circumstances (war, earthquakes, tsunamis, epidemics, famine) we have proved powerless to keep those promises? How many times have we made vows and been unable to keep them (for whatever reasons)?
In the light of this, here is my question: just what words can we use to tell someone how much we mean what we say when we don't know how tested we will be? Even saying 'I will do my best...' can leave us in guilt and regret when we fail, and the other person/people in shock, trauma and distress at our failure.
Maybe this is all part of the cycle of reincarnation and of rebalancing karma. Maybe we truly can't protect ourselves or others from consequences and we shouldn't try because that's all part of what we came here to learn. And maybe—just maybe—we need to forgive ourselves and start honouring our journey and respecting the choices we make.
And we can start to help ourselves by forgiving and releasing some of the core beliefs and patterns of behaviour which are the legacy of these incidences. (See Forgive and Release—a truly powerful process, and to help with these: the Deva oils of Forgiveness and Letting Go—see Ascended Master Portal Oils and Prints.)