So many of the pain and suffering I recognize in the world, both in my own thoughts and in others’, are the stories we tell of other people’s intentions.
We’re telling a story of other people’s intentions when we say or think:
“He meant to hurt me.”
“She has no intention of paying me back.”
“He’s going to hurt her.”
“She knows how much that bothers me, and she did it anyway.”
“They’re going to laugh at me.”
“She always says that because she knows it pushes my buttons.”
Want to know what’s funny about these stories?
They’re all stories of EGO. They take the other person’s intentions and make them all about us.
Here’s the truth about intentions:
1. Other people’s intentions are none of our business.
Think about your intentions. You probably intend to be as good as you can. You work hard at being a mother, a partner, a sister, a friend. You don’t go out of your way to hurt anyone- and in fact, you often go out of your way to help, or to ease someone else’s burden. How would you feel if there were a panel of men and women judging your every intention? “Well, she tried to get to the grocery store but all she managed to do was drag her kids around late into the evening. She has no intention of being a good mother or she would’ve shopped earlier.” This is a wildly simple example, but do you see how no one else can truly know your intentions- and therefore, you can’t pretend to know someone else’s?
2. Other people’s intentions are never about us.
Curiously, we’re only interested in other people’s intentions when we assume they’re about us or someone we love. Do you care about the intentions of the woman who lives 300 miles from you? Our egos like to hijack our consciousness with elaborate stories of other people’s intentions that involve them hurting us, blaming us, doing things specifically to affect us.
Think of this: when was the last time you sat down and earnestly plotted hurting someone? Why do we so often think everyone else is out to get US? Again- that’s just our egos convincing us the whole world revolves around US.
3. Thinking about other people’s intentions takes us swiftly out of our own business.
When we’re worried about what someone else is thinking or feeling or doing, we’re not doing our own work, sweeping our own back porch, clearing up our own intentions. Thinking about other people’s intentions is a trick the ego plays to get us out of our power. We “spend” our consciousness on fear, anger, hurt- all ego devices- and there is no time and energy left to create the incredible lives we are meant to have. How long do you want the ego to have your power?
4. We are powerless over other people’s intentions.
Even if you do “know” someone meant harm, or meant good, or intended to do X… what difference does it make? We can only go about our own lives and control our own destinies. What other people do or don’t do is so far beyond our realm of control that to think about it and waste valuable brainspace on it is harmful to us.
The ego tricks us into thinking that we CAN control it. “Well if I know he means me harm I can avoid him.” This makes us the victim, the runner, the one who is so weak we must run from life instead of living it. In reality, the times we’re truly hurt by someone else are few and far between- but we live in fear of it practically every second!
When you operate from a place of power over your own life and recognize your powerlessness over others, you begin to create the life you’ve always wanted. Strangely enough, what others do or don’t do no longer have any power over you!
5. Thinking about other people’s intentions gives us the illusion of control.
Control is a characteristic (and favorite state) of the Ego.
Do you want to live in Ego, mindlessly trying to control others around you, hitting your head against reality?
Or would you rather exhale, gloriously present in What Is, without telling yourself hurtful stories of intentions that are rooted in the discarded past or illusory future?
Let’s take the power back from our egos.
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