Have you ever had to make a really difficult choice, but you knew it was the right choice?
Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings, but honestly didn’t intend to?
Have you ever done something that very few people (if any at all) didn’t understand or want to accept?
I have. I’m sure most of you reading this have. And to be honest with you, that’s kind of a good thing. Because if you answered yes to any of these questions that means that at some point in your life you put yourself first, which can be an incredibly difficult thing to do!
If you are like me, you may have suffered from a disease I like to call “the Need to Please Disease.” You know, where you walk on eggshells, censor yourself unnecessarily, don’t say what you mean, and go waaaaaay above and beyond for others to the point where you are consistently “putting yourself out.” This disease is SERIOUS.
I dare say deadly.
Because every time you choose not to be authentically you or make the choices you know in your heart are best for you...you are killing a part of yourself. You are killing a part of your spirit.
NO ONE in your life will consistently put you first. I’m sorry to break the news to you, but it’s true. Not your mom, your husband, your BFF, or your favorite barista. This is actually a good thing because hopefully they are doing what I am advising you to do and putting themselves first. But this means that putting yourself first is not only a “good thing to do”, it’s a necessity! Everyone has their own agenda; everyone is attempting to live in a way that will bring them more happiness, security, peace, and love. In doing so, because we are all different and have different needs, they are truly unable to put you first.
So how does this relate to intention?
Whenever you do something that is meant to bring more happiness, security, peace, and love into your life, your intention is pure. You cannot achieve such positive outcomes if your intention is not pure. So if you make a choice that is right for you, but has a seemingly negative outcome for someone else, you have to remind yourself of your intention.
For example, let’s say you got invited to a good friend’s birthday party but cannot attend because you are a bit strapped financially and you promised yourself to “tighten your belt” this month...or you promised yourself you would get extra sleep this weekend because you have been working so hard...or you simply decide you need some more alone time in your life. It is very possible your friend might be upset about or feel offended by your choice, but you have to remind yourself your intention was NOT to offend...it was to honor a commitment you made to yourself. And there is never anything wrong with that.
When you focus on your intent versus what other people might be thinking or feeling about your actions, you have more confidence in yourself to keep living in a way that is congruent with your authentic self. Have you ever heard the old adage “What other people think about you is none of your business?” Honestly, it’s true.
All that truly matters is what YOU think of YOU.
I’m sure you’ve also heard the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Personally, I don’t find this idea to be true. Yes, it IS true that sometimes we intend for something good to happen and something bad happens and things don’t work out, but good and pure intentions can never lead you to "hell".
"Hell", in my opinion, is a state that is self-created by living in a way that isn’t in accordance with your beliefs, values, goals and dreams. It’s living your life according to what other people want or expect from you while never loving yourself enough to be true to yourself. THAT’S hell!
What I’m trying to say here is, even though people may not want to believe or accept your intention, YOUR INTENTION MATTERS. People may not always agree with your choices (and you need to accept this fact!), but they don’t have to...your choices are about you, not about them! As the wise Jen Sincero says in her brilliant book You Are A Badass, “You are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.”
Keep your intentions pure, focus on living a life of love, beauty, compassion, peace, and joy, and you will never be headed down the wrong path. Your Intention Matters. YOU matter. Making the choices that are best for you Matters. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!