Thursday, November 4, 2010

Intentions 4

I’m not saying all the intentions we are in conflict with come from outside influences and authority figures. Most do, but a large number have been developed on our own and codified in the form of rules, ethical codes, standards and the like. Once appropriate and useful, conflict arises as we begin to see that these no longer serve. Looking at them is just as painful and time consuming as looking at the ‘outside’ influences. Tho claiming our loyalty and allegiance and are often what we think is best, most vital and worthwhile about us, the things we ‘stand for’ and are proudest of, these intentions can create our greatest problems and cause us to sacrifice parts of ourselves, relationships, compassion and love in the name of ‘principle.’

Such strongly held intentions are not really intentions, but addictions. If you would step over your grandmother for the President, as Charles Colson said and did, tho he is now born again, if you must do it because it’s the right thing to do and Jesus wants you to do it, its an addiction, not an intention. You’re being arrogant and putting words in God’s mouth. Source doesn’t work that way, ego does.

Addictions of heart and mind and soul, tho seemingly right and the best and brightest can have their roots deep in pain, suffering, anger and fear. Look at these and see if you can’t hold them more lightly and convert them to intentions. A lot of the pain, suffering, anger and fear that anchor addictions, keep us addicted and in denial that we are in fact addicted, come from things that once were intentions and are now frequently dark and in the dark, seemingly with ‘personalities’ of their own that don’t want to be disturbed or looked at. Carl Jung called these the “shadow,” the parts of ourselves – intentions, concepts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, we have suppressed, cut off and rejected.

Bringing this shadow into the light – thinking about it, clearly, without guilt or judgment, and reintegrating it – accepting it with compassion and gratitude, is how to best work with it and reclaim the energy that is both used to suppress it and inherent within it. This is work, but its spiritual work worth doing, with a big pay-off. So here’s another intention I’m setting: I bring my shadow into the light and reintegrate it on an ongoing basis as opportunities arise to do so.

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