Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#BlogElul 3: Intentions

"I didn't mean to."

I hear this all the time from my kids.

"I didn't mean to hit you."
"I didn't mean to throw that toy across the room."
"I didn't mean to hurt my sister's feelings."

And most of the time, they are actually telling a truth of sorts.
The action may have been intended, but its outcome was not.

"I meant to hit you but I didn't mean for you to get angry about it."
"I meant to throw that toy across the room but I didn't mean for it to hit the lamp."
"I meant to say those things to my sister but I didn't know how she would react."

I did not intend to eat the whole cookie.
Is it enough if I didn't imagine all the outcomes of my actions? Is my intention "pure" if I never even began to consider what would happen if I....you fill it in.

Good intentions, as we all know, can lead to terrible things.

But what about intentions that are only half-baked?
"I didn't think that one through."

I think it's more than trying to "do good."
I think it's about considering all the outcomes before acting.
Not an easy task.
But one to work toward.

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... I will be blogging here, and sharing #Elulgram photos on the same themes at imabima.tumblr.com. Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! 

Share your BlogElul and Elulgram posts in the Linky below! If you've never done this before, try it! It will give us a list of all the Day 3 posts.


Mindy Nadell said...

I have the best intentions to respond to this blog each day, but my last two responses have not appeared. The first two were good.

Mindy Nadell said...

Yipee! It worked.
So, I'm going to repost my first comment for Day #1 Return: I want life to return to the way it once was for me. However, that is not possible, so I want to return to the inner strength I once possessed. The return to the strength that allows me the courage and confidence to take care of myself and those who need me.