From Latin intentus: “to stretch out, lean toward” and Latin intendere: ‘intend, extend, direct’, from in- ‘towards’ + tendere ‘stretch, tend’.
This is usually understood as reaching for and pursuing a goal, but it can equally refer to stretching towards something within us. Intention can be about moving closer to our internal compass and values, a stretching toward authenticity, or even a stretching towards our true selves.
“A Prayer of Good Intention“
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.
Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.
~Parker J. Palmer
When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid… I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.
At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2022 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Living with Intention’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)