We all want to find the key to letting go. After all, this is one of the most important steps when it comes to any form of healing. But most of us get stuck when it comes to letting go because we are missing a puzzle piece relative to what we cannot let go of. That puzzle piece is the piece that ties it all together and it is in fact, the key to letting go. The missing puzzle piece is the hidden positive intention. Every action that is ever taken and every belief that is ever held is taken and held for one reason and one reason only; because the person taking that action, or holding that belief, is convinced that it will enable them to feel better in some way. Another way of saying this is that we only ever engage in something that we think serves us positively in some way. But often this positive intention is buried so deep that we do not have conscious awareness of it. Our healing depends on us being brave enough to uncover and be honest with ourselves about those buried positive intentions. And our ability to live in an open, compassionate way towards others depends on our ability to recognize those buried positive intentions in them. We can take this concept of buried positive intentions even further by applying it to the understanding that we create our own realities. Some of our reality, we create consciously.
Some, we create subconsciously by default. But the truth remains the same that we create even the things that we feel as if we don’t create (things like illness and accidents); and even those things that we feel like we didn’t create are the result of a positive intention. The moral of the story is that there is always a positive reason for the presence of something in our lives. The first question we need to ask ourselves relative to anything that we are struggling with is, “how is fill in the blank positively serving me?” For example “how is getting sick positively serving me?” Sit with the question and allow the answer to surface. The answer may be something like “If I’m sick then other people pay attention to me and so I feel loved”. The second question is “what is the positive intention I have for: fill in the blank?” For example “what is the positive intention that I have for: being sick?” The answer may be that “I’m trying to feel loved”. The positive intention may be different for two people who are experiencing the same negative circumstance. But for the sake of understanding the idea that there are positive intentions behind everything, here is a list of potential hidden positive intentions:
- I got fired. My positive intention behind getting fired is that I actually hated my job and I want an excuse to have to start my own business. So the positive intention is I want to start my own business.
- I have the belief that I hate traveling. My positive intention behind having that belief is that I will decide to stay home where I feel in control of my environment and feel safe. So my positive intention is to stay safe.
- I doubt myself. My positive intention behind doubting myself is that it will prevent me from making a decision so I can’t be held accountable for making the wrong decision. So my positive intention is to avoid shame and maintain external approval from other people.
- I beat someone up. My positive intention behind beating someone up is that I felt a sense of power as opposed to powerlessness when I did it. So my positive intention was the desire to feel empowerment.
- I lose my temper. My positive intention behind loosing my temper is that when I get angry, everyone shuts up and listens and I suddenly feel control over them. Having control over them makes me feel as if I control my world and that gives me a sense of inner calm and peace. So my positive intention is to feel a sense of inner calm and peace.
- I relapsed and drank alcohol again even though I’m part of the 12-step program. My positive intention for relapsing is that I started to get scared that other people would start to expect me to take care of myself if I’m recovered and I don’t feel capable of that yet. So my positive intention was to feel the support of other people.
- I cheated on my wife. I started to feel as if I was taken for granted. The other woman made me feel as if I was important and wanted. So my positive intention for cheating on my wife was to feel a sense of significance, to feel wanted and loved.
- I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the pressure that was placed on me at home. I did not feel good about asking for help from my husband who expected me to fulfill my duties as a wife, mother and homemaker. By getting sick, I had an excuse for why he had to help me. So my positive intention for having MS is to avoid having to do things that I don’t want to do and to feel my husband participate in our life together and support me.
- I am fat. Being fat allows me to feel warm and hidden and feeling warm and hidden makes me feel not so exposed and therefore safe. So my positive intention for being fat is to feel safe.
- I lie. My positive intention for lying is to make myself seem more impressive to other people because I do not feel as If the truth of who I am is good enough. So my positive intention for lying is to feel as if I am good enough and to get approval from other people.
- I killed someone. I usually feel separate from people and separate from connection. When I killed them, it felt as if I owned them and as if I was suddenly significant in their lives and that is the closest I’ve felt to human connection. So my positive intention for killing someone was to feel a sense of human connection.
We can always discover higher and higher levels of positive intentions as well. For example, if we find that our hidden positive intention is to gain approval, we can ask ourselves “what is my positive intention for gaining approval?” And the answer may be “to feel loved”. Then we can ask ourselves “what is my positive intention for feeling loved?” And the answer may be “to feel at one with other people and therefore the universe”.
There is a positive purpose and function behind everything in our lives. Everything we experience serves us in some way. It is our positive intention that binds us to our current unwanted experiences. It is our positive intention that binds us to the beliefs and behaviors, which no longer serve us. It is the positive intention that binds us to the things we can’t seem to heal from. If we are brave enough to recognize the positive intention hidden beneath the negative rubble of the things that we are struggling with, we can untie the bond that anchors us to them. Our positive intentions point to our most basic needs. By discovering the hidden positive intentions behind the things we struggle with, we can find different, healthy ways to fulfill our needs so there will be no longer be a reason to perpetuate negative situations in order to meet those needs.
When we are brave enough to search for these hidden positive intentions within ourselves and within others, we can finally recognize the tenderness that is at the heart of every being. We can live from our hearts with compassion. We can finally let go of whatever is causing us pain.