I wrote a piece on the importance of always keeping your word, no matter what. Overall I still agree with this. However, something has happened since then that has made me realize that if we are going to do what is right for our physical, mental, or emotional health, sometimes we cannot keep our word.
The situation for me, briefly, was that I had made a five-year volunteer commitment to an association. Two-thirds through my commitment, my husband’s professional situation changed drastically. This, of course, changed my personal and professional situation. It no longer made sense for me to be a member of that association, never mind be an officer. I decided it was best for me to resign, and best for the association to have someone in my position that could be committed to the association.
It was a very difficult decision for me to make. I had made an obligation and, even though the situation had changed, I felt guilty for not fulfilling that obligation. It was, however, the decision I needed to make.
I still believe it is important to keep your word whenever you can. If not, people will not trust you. Sometimes, though, the cost of keeping your word may be greater than the cost of breaking it.