Become Aware Of Your Life Intentions
We can think of life intentions as similar to setting intentions at the beginning of a yoga class. They might not exist in the forefront of conscious awareness all the time but they do set the tone, the tone over the next hour in the case of a yoga intention or the tone over the course of years in the case of a life intention.
The reason to take some time to become aware of your life intentions is that they play a major role in shaping your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors even though you might not now exactly how. From the psychoanalytic point of view bringing unconscious thoughts, feelings, drives, and motivations into conscious awareness increases power and responsibility. You can decide for yourself whether or not you want your life path to be dictated by those thoughts, feelings, drives, and motivations. When they remain in your unconscious you have no power, you’re like a puppet on strings pulled this way and that, a puppet who comes up with a rationalization after the fact for why those movements occurred without ever knowing the strings were there.
If you feel a profound sense of emptiness, if you’re discontent, if you feel unfulfilled, it’s more than likely that your unconscious life intentions up until this point have centered around amassing money, popularity, or power and on holding grudges or seeking revenge. From the existential point of view meaning and fulfillment come through actualizing inner potentialities in order to grow into who and what you are and through focusing your psychic energy on cultivating love. Chasing after the external indicators of success like money, popularity, or power takes the emphasis off of actualizing inner potentialities while holding grudges or seeking revenge takes the emphasis off of love.
Just like at the start of a yoga class, you can consciously set life intentions for yourself, healthy life intentions that will aid in your growth and development rather than retarding it through focusing on those external indicators of success or on holding grudges and seeking revenge. A life intention, just like a yoga intention, can’t be at the front and center of conscious awareness all the time but it does act as the foundation for the types of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are at the front and center of conscious awareness at a given time.
One way to help you bring your old life intentions into conscious awareness or make sure your new life intentions are sticking is to ask yourself, when a thought or feeling arises in you, “Is this thought or feeling a product of either my intention to actualize my inner potentialities or my intention to cultivate a loving attitude?” If the answer is yes then you’re on the right path, the path of fulfillment, and if the answer is no then you’re back on the path that only leads to emptiness and disillusionment.