But sometimes there are unintended consequences to our intentions that we didn’t foresee and seem to hit us broadside.
Just because we didn’t consciously intend for something to occur doesn’t mean there weren’t underlying intentions causing outcomes of which we were unaware.
A small example of this is suddenly discovering there is no toothpaste in the house. “Darn! Who used the last of that tube?” we ask, when we have not been paying attention and took no action to replace it before it became empty.
A slight inconvenience, yes, but when we live unaware of the small things, we will have larger problems to deal with later. We either pay attention to the details of our lives or we suffer the consequences.
And blaming doesn’t help. Blaming always result in unintended consequences. For we have projected our anger outward and take no responsibility for the uncomfortable feelings arising from within. Hurt and pain will be the result.
Procrastination also causes unintended consequences. When things aren’t taken care of in a timely way, they often break down. We meant to do something, just forgot. Our deeper, but hidden, intention was to avoid doing something difficult, so breakdown of some sort occurs. Often the result is misunderstanding and hurt feelings.
The truth will set us free, but first it may make us very uncomfortable.
How much effort goes into the examination of our intentions and telling ourselves the truth about them?
Do we stay so busy that we don’t allow time to take care of details? Busyness is most often a cover up to hide feelings of inadequacy. Underneath is the fear of not being important, so we keep an overfull schedule to prove how valuable we are.
Sometimes accidents occur because our mind was elsewhere. We might take a tumble because we were rushing and didn’t see the faulty step right before us.
We inadvertently leave a candle burning resulting in a fire. Or we forget to fill the gas tank and run out while on the freeway, thereby causing all kinds of unintended consequences besides missing an important engagement.
Unintended consequences arise when we don’t take the time to properly nourish and exercise the body. Our body responds in ways that are not happy and healthy. We suffer.
It is up to us to discover what we really intend to do or become by looking deeply into our moods, attitudes and moment by moment choices. And this isn’t easy. It is called mindfulness.
Jack Kornfield, Buddhist author and teacher, tells us that mindfulness takes all of our days, including our evenings and weekends!
But isn’t the quality of life worth the effort of closely examining the causes of our experience?
Life is not doing something to us. We choose our thoughts, words and actions, and life generously, lovingly reciprocates—gives back to us according to our beliefs. This is called karma.
Many years ago I had the unintended consequence of breaking my hip, resulting in a large pin in my right thigh, because I was rushing, being compelled by my agenda.
Slipping and falling was the unintended result of my lack of mindfulness.
Hurry is a con job. Underneath hurry is a most ungracious view of life—not enough time, a belief in scarcity. God gives us all the time to do what is truly needed every day—twenty four hours. It is enough!
How are we viewing life and the world? As a problem, a place of lack, sadness, and where disasters are just waiting to happen?
Or do we see the world as a most exclusive university of advanced education? Where we are loved and provided with all the resources necessary for our journey?
The universe treats us as we treat ourselves and others. Are we busy grabbing for all the goodness and love we can get? Not sharing our abundance with others?
Then we will have unintended consequences that we won’t enjoy.
Our intentions always flow from our view of life. We are here to learn, and we learn by paying close attention to this creative mind within us.
As Ashin Tejaniya says, “The mind doesn’t belong to us but we are responsible for it."
A good question to ask is “What am I missing?”
Each morning I ask the universe to reveal to me what I need to know, and then do my best to stay open to what my mind is doing, sensing, feeling, thinking, moment by moment.
It helps me to remember that whatever mood I am experiencing at this moment is only temporary. It has arisen and it will pass. How much energy I am going to embroil myself into, because of this mood, is my choice.
Everything is temporary and has come to pass. And something new is always on the way.
Let’s be a welcoming guest house, spacious enough to entertain whatever visitor (mood or emotion) arrives. Everything seeks love.
The touch of love heals and relieves suffering.
The universe intends beauty and lovingkindness for us. Let that be our reality.
In lovingkindness, Rev. Billie