Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What is intention?

One of the most important concepts I've had the pleasure of learning more about in the last year is that of "intention." Regardless of what we say or what we plan, if the full weight of intention is not there, if we hold back in any way, we cannot succeed. If we make a resolution to achieve a goal, assuming it is a reasonable goal, there are two ways it could go:
-We say we will do it, but we don't believe we will succeed, we aren't willing to do the really hard work, and/or we believe we aren't worthy and sabotage ourselves. Because our full believe and will are not behind the statement, we fail. And then we get the perverse right to belittle ourselves even more (which, for anyone with chronic body image/self-esteem/depression issues, can be quite the addictive cycle).
-We say we will do, and we KNOW we will do it. When it gets hard, we say, "Well, we are going to do this one way or another, and hard work is necessary for growth, so let's buckle down and DO this!" We may get discouraged, but we never give up. We believe we are worthy of success. We believe in ourselves!

Intention is about believing in and OWNING your own success, before it ever happens. Without the full weight of intention, we give up before we have even started. How can we help but fail when we set resolutions that inside, we do not believe or want to keep? We just say we will really try, and then when we fail, we have the cop-out of saying, "Well, I really tried, and I failed, so obviously I'm a loser/I'm too lazy/the world is out to get me/God(dess) hates me..." and so forth.

And that realization - that it is YOUR responsibility, your life, your success or failure - that is so hard to fully own. Your "lack of willpower," "laziness," etc. is an excuse, a falsehood preventing you from dealing with painful truths - or perhaps it is simply comfortable, a habit. But if you wish to grow, you have to be willing to face tough truths, you have to be willing to feel some pain. You will sometimes feel worn raw, like a skinned knee you can't see, but you learned as a child that skinned knees heal, and so do all wounds, eventually, even if they leave us changed. Pain passes; let it wash over you, be present to it instead of resisting it, and then the growth you so desperately need will come more easily. That growth is going to come whether you resist or not, so why make it harder? Not everything you need in life is easy or enjoyable or even what you want!

Put your full intention behind your decisions, and you can move mountains!

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