It has taken a lot over a while for me to understand and accept one of the most important things I’ve ever learnt, and after distilling it down to a couple sentences it looks shamefully simple—like I always should have just known it:
Things are always changing. Nothing is ever timelessly set in stone. What one says or feels at one specific point in time is ever likelier to become invalid as time continues to progress.
People sometimes ask me questions (particularly around emotions) as if there’s one definitive, permanent answer. Historically I would blindly humour this and make assurances accordingly. Often, this has eventually backfired on me.
There usually isn’t a permanent, timeless answer. Keeping this in mind and adjusting answers accordingly proves to be a lot wiser; it takes away the risk of being called out on my words in the future. Views and beliefs change over time—sometimes drastically. Making promises about the integrity over time of answers to questions is risky.
If someone claims that they could “never” or will “forever” feel a certain way about something, they are essentially declaring a precognitive awareness of the entire course of events awaiting them in their future. To indefinitely assert something just isn’t realistic. “Never” and “forever” are certainly possible, but they can’t be guaranteed.
Most people realise this if it’s pointed out to them, and they concede that they don’t really mean anything eternally. Sadly though, for one reason or another some people simply can’t or won’t do this; they know what they’re talking about and you’re a fool to doubt them. So how should one approach such an occurrence?
The best way is probably for One to accept Another’s assertions peacefully while remaining open to those assertions changing in time. Then, should they ultimately change, One will be prepared for it and no real damage will be done. One might be temporarily agitated or hurt over Another’s change of heart, but they won’t hold it against Another since One entered the agreement prepared for that very possibility. And besides, Another never set out to deceive or upset One.
Things become so much easier sometimes when following this approach, and reminding oneself that “never” and “forever” are exceptionally long periods of time to keep one’s word.