Recently I had a conversation with a dear friend who I honestly felt knew me even better than I knew myself.
The dialogue broached a subject that I can admit I had never really thought about before - the question of what intentions or motivations are really driving us, deep down. The question of which intentions are steering the ship - intentions that we may not even have conscious awareness of unless someone explicitly points them out. These are what we mean by ‘secret intentions’.
As these secret intentions are exposed, it literally feels as though rugs are being pulled out from underneath our feet.
When this happened to me recently, I found myself ruthlessly questioning many aspects of my past and current life journey. I also questioned how this led to certain people surrounding me and situations in which I would land, sometimes over and over again. I encountered many things that were driving me on an entirely unconscious level. These included the desire to impress and make a name for myself, the longing to help others often at the expense of my own wellbeing, the drive to avoid the world and become a recluse, and also taking pride in wanting to be a ‘healer’ or ‘teacher’. Seeing these patterns play out was painful and also involved a lot of letting go, yet in the end I felt lighter, more vibrant and free.
I could well have imagined a few years ago there if someone had challenged me by pulling so many rugs out from underneath my feet, I would have staunchly ignored them, defended myself or run off in the other direction as quickly as I could.
I then reflected on how the willingness to engage in rug pulling and so become aware of our secret intentions is actually an extremely beneficial thing – especially so when comes to healing trauma and especially when we are stuck.
How, then, is this the case?
Firstly there is the question of do we really want to heal? Or are we just after one off ‘healing experiences’ which make us feel better for a short while before we return how we were before. Do we have that inner fire of determination to do some daily home practice and continually reflect on how we can integrate trauma healing principles to our life and our relationships?
Are we willing to be completely responsible for our own healing? Or do we secretly wish that someone else will do the healing for us? When we step into the pain of knowing we have been sabotaging or even scamming ourselves in this way - with complete acceptance and no judgment - the healing journey often becomes a whole lot easier.
Then there is perhaps the biggest block of all, the hidden intention that we simply don’t deserve to heal or are unforgiveable, leading us to sabotage or stifle any progress that we might actually be making. If we find it excruciatingly hard to care for ourselves or are glued to the label of being a victim, this one may be lurking beneath the surface. One of the most fascinating things I have ever heard from my trauma healing mentor Lisa Schwarz was that in her experience many people who tightly hold onto this belief system actually have something going back to the deep distant past – sometimes even many lifetimes ago - where they did something really awful or hurt others and have never really forgiven themselves for this. The good news is that if we are able to fully step into and release the guilt and shame we may still be carrying, this block to healing will often melt away.
Wanting to be loved (in a needy or unhealthy way), or needing to rescue or parent another is another hidden intention – often rooted in early attachment trauma. This is a big one which actually affects most of us to some degree or another. One thing which can help here is knowing that love, at is deepest level, is not actually a feeling that we can hold onto and that we have no inherent ‘duty’ to feel what we call love towards everyone. Instead love is our natural condition, a radiance and warm-heartedness that naturally emerges when we a free from conditioned images of what love should look like. Yet at times this can appear fierce or even cold, as when we are freely and clearly responding to a situation where we need to say ‘no’ in order to be honest and act in integrity.
Hidden intentions can also manifest from unconscious fear, leading to all manner of avoidance strategies. We might be afraid of:
1. Entering emotional pain which is so distressing that it’s just too overwhelming and scary to go anywhere close to.
2. Anything which takes us into our body, even breathing.
3. Receiving true love from another, because anything to do with love has hurt us way to much in the past.
4. Becoming an adult, with the capacity to make mature free-will based choices.
5. Losing control of our power – especially it feels good and has served us well - or letting go of a victim role which may actually be benefiting us in a certain way.
Again, the good news is it is possible to overcome these fears if we are willing to do the work it takes and allow these rugs to be pulled out from underneath our feet. It does take courage and strength to meet these fears head on, yet thankfully this is possible if we can use a resourcing approach, as in the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM).
By offering a special sequence of guided meditations which activate different parts of our nervous system simultaneously, CRM takes us to a place which is grounded, solid, stable and present enough to enter the re-membering of where these fears are rooted and thereby release them. This process also connects us to the greatest resource of all - our true Core Self - which naturally emerges as the fragments of our soul blown apart by trauma are welcomed back into wholeness, like the sun emerging in all its brilliance on a cloudy day.
When our Core Self emerges, qualities such as care, calm, clarity, courage, connectedness, integrity and responsibility begin to blossom, and it becomes more and more possible to lead from this place rather than being taken over or hijacked by secret intentions. Parts of us that previously were glued onto the roles of victim, perpetrator or rescuer become unstuck as they learn to trust Core Self leadership, and we can then give them permission to finally let go of the pain and burdens they carry by being lovingly witnessed, with utter acceptance and absolutely no judgment.
So now, in closing, I must apologize if this brief blog has been provoking or has exposed any tender points. It can indeed be challenging to engage in a discussion about revealing secret intentions and rug pulling, let alone reflecting on how this could apply to our own lives. Yet the other side of this coin is the immense potential for growth and transformation that this awareness might bring – even if it is temporarily painful or confronting.
This type of growth and transformation, I am learning, carries with it the gift of freedom. We are no longer pinned down to play out a particular life trajectory, and so are freed up to unveil deeper and deeper layers of our true life purpose.