Writing in my journal this morning, I caught myself – how to describe? – hedging an intention. That’s what happens when you start with a solid intention, something you are committed to bringing to fruition, and then water down that thought to the “probable” level to try to circumvent potential disappointment should your intention not come to pass.
Sound familiar? Have you ever done that? The variations on this theme are almost endless, from the inconsequential – for example – “I intend to finish Moby Dick this summer, but hey, if other things seem more interesting, who cares?” (Seriously: this has been on my list for 13 years . . .) to the life-altering – for example – “I intend to reach certification level with my life coach program, if possible.” (Of course it’s possible! It’s just a matter of time, effort, and commitment!)
This morning’s example was more personal, but I’m sure you get the idea. We hedge our bets, naively thinking that if we lower our expectations, we can circumvent disappointment, self-recrimination, as well as an endless array of other negative variations on those themes. Great idea, except it doesn’t work that way. Deep-down, beyond words and fancy thought processes, there is a Knowing in each of us that is not fooled. We will not be less disappointed because we have altered the surface verbal version of our heart’s desire. Indeed, we may even be more disappointed, because now we can regret our personal dishonesty right alongside whatever else is happening. (Or not happening, as the case may be.)
Deepak Chopra speaks eloquently about this in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Describing Law Five – The Law of Intention and Desire, he points out that the problem is not what we desire. It’s our attachment to a given idea about how the unfolding of that desire will come to pass. We need to commit honestly to the intention, and then look at it as “Point C.” “Point A” is my present location/state of mind. I intend to get to Point C, but I don’t know much about Point/Area B, the uncharted territory that lies between . . . what the route will look like, how long it will take. All I know is that I intend to get to Point C! Our job is to commit to that, to solidify our intentions by confessing them openly, if not to others, at least to ourselves.
When we hold on to a specific scenario, we actually shut off the “frictionless flow of pure potentiality,” the wide variety of ways that our intention might come to pass. If we can hold on to the intention while detaching ourselves from specific expectations about the “how,” we are freed to live in the present. “Our intent is for the future, but our attention is in the present,” says Chopra. This allows us to relinquish our attachment to the outcome, and let the universe handle the details. This makes sense to me, because in my experience, there are so many more possibilities than I am capable of imagining. Often, what comes to pass (in God’s time, heaven knows, not mine) surpasses my wildest dreams. I think I know what’s best for me, but time and time again I am proven wrong, and Grace leads me where it knows better.
We’re such fragile creatures, when you come to think about it . . . playing mind games with ourselves, thinking we can somehow mitigate suffering, when it is the games themselves that cause the most suffering. I know it will be an ongoing challenge, but I am grateful, this morning, to be reminded that it’s my job to intend, to intend with my whole heart, and the universe’s job to channel that intention into some unfolding. For one thing, it’s too hot today to have the energy to be more proactive! Hallelujah: it’s not my job, anyway!