(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
This is a subtle but powerful distinction. The fine line between intention and attachment may take you years to master, but it’s worth it.
Attachment shows up when you require something to be a certain way in order for you to feel OK about it; thus you are said to be “attached to the outcome”. In this case if the outcome is different than you required, you somehow feel irritated, disappointed or a failure. The key is, how you feel at the end of the day depends on how someone — or something — turns out. Your sense of self-worth comes from the outside.
With intention you can be just as committed to an outcome, you can work just as vigorously to bring it about, you can really want for it to happen, but you do not judge who you are by the outcome. Intention leaves you free to focus your energy and be totally “at cause”, while letting go of the effect. That’s not to say you will like the outcome or that it’s what you intended, but it does free you to use the feedback from the outcome to effect your next action.
These days more and more people get what they want by strong intention than by attachment. And the journey’s a lot more fun!
Copyright 1998 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.