There is one thing from which we cannot hide or escape.
We may deny it, defend it, or deflect attention away from it… but deep down inside, we always know the truth: that our own true and actual intention, no matter how we dress it up, is still our own true and actual intention. And it is that that the creative force of life (otherwise known as the law of attraction, the universe, God, even) responds to, every time, and without question.
Here’s a little (made up) example: Sue pokes around in her ex’s new relationship, because, she says, she is genuinely concerned about him, and doesn’t want him to get hurt or be let down. She spies on his new partner on social media, and hungrily absorbs all of her friends’ tittle tattle and gossip. She says she doesn’t want to get back with him, and has already moved on… but still, she believes his girlfriend is not the right one for him, and refuses to leave the situation alone. Because she cares.
In truth, Sue is struggling to accept the fact that her ex is creating a new life, even though she herself doesn’t want to rekindle their relationship. Deep down inside, she fears that he will be happier with his new love than he ever was with her. When they’d initially split up, he had been desperate to win her back… but now it’s as if she has been replaced – and so easily, too. Sue is being motivated by resentment, emotional fear, the pain of rejection, and a degree of unresolved anger… and her actual intention is to see her ex and his partner break apart, and for him to remember just how important she, herself, used to be to him.
No-one can really judge Sue, because, let’s face it, we have all dressed up our own motivation and intention, in order to look better to others, or to feel better about ourselves… and probably more than once. In the past, when I was struggling with severe financial issues, I would innocently talk about my situation with people I knew were likely to help me, because they were generous, caring souls. I am absolutely not proud of that behaviour, and would never repeat it again. I didn’t actually set out to manipulate others into giving or lending me money, but one day I recognised what I was doing… and it was a bitter pill to swallow. Up until that point, I would have absolutely denied my true intention, stating that I was only talking… that there was no way that I was hinting, or asking for anything.
And here is another way in which we fool ourselves into believing that our intentions are pure and selfless: we turn ourselves into resentful martyrs, running around after everyone we know, whilst telling ourselves, and the world, that we always put ourselves last, that others aren’t so quick to reciprocate… and that we have no say or choice in the matter.
We believe that the reason for this is because we are too soft, and because we are more giving and less selfish than others, none of which would actually be a problem if we genuinely and honestly felt good about placing everyone else’s needs before our own. However, if we consistently find ourselves inwardly seething, feeling stressed and exhausted, we are not being honest with ourselves about our motivation, or our intention. Under these circumstances, we are actually being driven by the need for approval, or the fear of confrontation, or a desire to be needed, or the belief that only we ourselves can do things properly, and therefore we have no option but to maintain control.
So, why is self-awareness and honesty SO important? Who cares what our true intention is? Aren’t others only concerned with how our actions affect them, and how we make them feel? Why should anyone, especially ourselves, scratch away at the surface, digging out stuff that we really would prefer not to acknowledge? Surely, if we say something, or project an image outwardly to the world, shouldn’t we just be able to believe our own story, and expect others to do the same? After all, isn’t life too short for all of this soul-searching rubbish?
Well, I believe self-awareness and honesty is important because our own, and other people’s, happiness is so hugely dependent upon it!
I remember, when I was around 12 years old, my stepmother was called away for a few days, in order to tend to an ailing parent. I decided to help out by doing the housework and vacuuming the carpets. However, I wasn’t just being helpful, although that certainly was a part of my motivation. What I really wanted, and hoped for, was my father’s approval and affection. Instead, he coldly informed me that the only reason I’d cleaned up was because I wanted to take my stepmother’s place – to replace her.
I was shocked and hurt, but really shouldn’t have been surprised. He was completely, utterly wrong about my intention, but there was never any arguing with my father, and discussion was not allowed. He was an intelligent man, but with very little self-awareness, and that led him to be unnecessarily harsh with others. I have been aware of this trait within myself, at times throughout my life, and have had to consciously work on addressing and changing it. There is no shame in having to face up to our own short-comings… but there is shame in continuing to grow older without allowing ourselves to become emotionally wiser. Age alone does not automatically lead to wisdom; that is something that requires ongoing self-reflection, and a willingness to be deeply honest with ourselves.
And yes, we will sometimes find ourselves suffering because of someone else’s untruthful ‘story’, and the way in which they perceive themselves, and the world in general. All we can do is to continue to take responsibility for our own selves, and the way in which we are developing; our happier, more fulfilling future depends upon it.
Sue would be so much more free to heal and move on, if only she could stop pretending to be motivated by concern for her ex. And he would definitely prefer not to have to keep looking over his shoulder, or pacifying his new partner, every time Sue overstepped the mark!
When I faced the fact that I couldn’t reasonably continue to scrabble around in the financial gutter, and that I had to get beyond a miserable, survival mentality – for my own and other people’s benefit – I felt better. When I was no longer secretly asking for help, I liked myself more.
When we quit kidding ourselves, and admit that we have been consistently blaming others, or pursuing someone who doesn’t want to be with us (because we ‘love’ them), regardless of how uncomfortable we are causing them to be, and how much we are chipping away at our own self-esteem, we can become FREE! We can’t heal a wound we refuse to admit exists, and we can’t evolve when we are trapped within a lie. We need to throw our shoulders back, lift our chin, open our mind and heart, and let the fresh, clean air in!