I grew up in a religiously, culturally and gastronomically Jewish home in Willingboro, NJ which is a suburb of Philadelphia. Our family went to synagogue weekly, practiced holiday rituals, lit the candles on Friday night, but kept kosher only when my paternal grandmother lived with us. I attended Hebrew school until I was 16. […]
Lately, I’ve been contemplating those three topics and the ways in which they intertwine. For many, desire has a taboo flavor to it; a sensual feel and along with it a rush of breath and palpitation of the heart. When I think about desire what comes to mind is something for which I have a passion. It could be an encounter with another person (sexual or otherwise). It might look like a pull to visit another country. It could present itself like a calling toward a particular profession.
Intention includes the steps toward seeing it through. When I set an intention, it is about envisioning and inviting in a wanted outcome. Perhaps that takes the shape of getting up, suiting up and doing to the gym. Each morning, I verbalize the same one: to have extraordinary experiences and connect with amazing people. By the time my head hits the pillow at night, I have done just that. I sometimes list my intentions and then extend them to goals, followed by action steps.
Expectation….now that’s a tricky one. The word calls to mind, control and belief that things need to turn out a certain way in order for me to be happy. How many times throughout my life have I gotten what I asked for? Admittedly many. Partly because I worked hard for them and partly because I have been surrounded with people who want me to be happy. The times when expectations weren’t met, I have had to contend with disappointment, followed by a reconfiguring of my beliefs. Kind of like a GPS telling you, “recalculating” when you make an unexpected turn. I always get back on track in the process.
How about combining all three into what I think of as a desire- fire? In order for me to have a successful outcome, it feels essential to be positively incendiary about it. I ask myself what it is that lights me up from the inside and turns me into a human sparkler. Usually, it has something to do with creativity or being with people or animals. The challenge is letting go of expectation for a particular outcome. What I have discovered is that if things don’t turn out the way I, in my infinite wisdom, think they should, there is usually a reason for it. When I look back at the unfolding of events, I can see a pattern that inexorably led me to this moment. A pretty sweet one most of the time.
Others in my life have their own take to share:
“Hmmm… desire is a want, no? Intention is your mindset, as in you are set on a desire? Expectation is a tricky one for me. Expectation with others can get you into trouble, and perhaps with intentions, too. I see expectation as one knowing…knowing better than another? Knowing better as to how something should come about? Expectation is something that I strive to release, yet I believe that things will come to me. I fully admit to bouts of circular logic, it is my way.”
” In the human world, desire is primal, a force to be reckoned with; expectation is ego-driven and thus closed to listening and receiving from the divine cosmos; and intention requires consciousness, that which is fundamental and universal.”
“I believe the answer is in the question: DESIRE is the generalized emotion which leads to setting the INTENTION. Once intention is set, EXPECTATION leads to some form of manifestation–depending on the focus of intention and expectation. There may be an unconscious thought which pollutes the intention or expectation. I.E., we can set an intention with the affirmation, “I am abundantly blessed with 6 figures in my bank account”. But if we undermine that affirmation with thoughts of lack, we will get more lack–because the spoken intention isn’t aligned with what we actually believe. Expectation in the spiritual sense is knowing there is a Supreme Good, and that good is my Truth. Now living that is an entirely different matter!”
“Desire is just something that you want to have or do, intention is when you have a plan to do it or make it happen, and expectation is an unconscious believing that something or somebody will be a certain way.”
“Desire is an emotion…a mild to obsessive craving or drive to have or do something. It gives us motivation to move and do and become. Intention is the thought and/or plan that arises in us when we become conscious of our desire and make a decision to do something about it. It could manifest as prayer, a spoken vow, a contract, or simply the actions that lead to the desired end result. Expectation is where we foul ourselves up. It’s natural to have desires. It’s productive to have intentions. But when we forget that the Universe does not bend at our whims, we start to feel that our prayers, vows, contracts, actions, hard work, whatever..entitle us to the outcomes that we have our hearts set on. When we buy into beliefs like “hard work always pays off” or “God loves one group of people better than others, and I’m in that group because I pray..” or even “life is supposed to be fair” we set ourselves up for disappointment. Expectation is the root of suffering, if you ask the Buddhists. Nothing in life is certain, no matter how much we may want it to be. Attaching to feelings of entitlement over situations or people will bite you in the ass every time.”
“Desire: is how we “want” it. Intention: is how we’re working towards it. Expectation: is how we’re thinking it’s all going to turn out. Manifestation: is how we’re driving all 3 forces into reality. Gratitude is the grease that allows the Universe to help us and that really must be the first cog in the wheel.”
“Desire is a feeling process. Intention is a declarative mental process. Expectation is a belief process.”
“Desire = “Want” Intention = “Want to” Expectation = Suffering”
“None of them are real. But the only one I can relate to is intention. When I put out an intention it is a driving force underlying everything I do, say, and feel. I make things come up in my life through my intentions. Expectation is a cancer. It will rot your every move. Desire feels like lust to me. Maybe jealousy rooted in something you see that someone else has that you don’t. You really don’t need your desires. You lust after them. I desire a Harley.”
“Desire is what we want, but it gets a bad rap. There are legitimate desires. I desire to live. I desire love and connection. (Some may desire to be left alone) . My Guru once said, “How can I fulfill your desires if you don’t give them to me?” Interesting. Intention is the focus and power to create.The greater the force of intention, the more one molds the Universe. (“For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move” He was speaking about intention. Abraham titled a book “The Power of Deliberate Intention”.) . It is one of the greatest gifts we have. Expectation in the best sense is the belief that one’s intention will manifest. Therefore they are linked. Expectation in a negative sense is projecting outcome based on ego needs.” I have an expectation that someone will respond in a manner I want.” “I expect to get this job”. In a Buddhist sense, this creates suffering.”