Maria-Hélèna Pacelli

when intention exceeds capacity

Today was a day not unlike any other aside from the simple fact which called my attention very intently to everything that happened in my surroundings. I was so intensely present for the slightest moments, sensations, feelings, thoughts, emotions and experiences.

I celebrate my birthday today, completing a full revolution around the sun by this calendar, measurably marking the passing of time, taking the opportunity to be grateful for all the lessons and challenges that have graced my life over the past 12 months.

As the day came to a close I struggled with a simple task of driving home – far beyond the city limits. The highway was blocked and after three separate attempts at getting on the highway from different access points I found myself driving much further down to get what I thought would be a sure access point, forgoing any access points between my starting point and the last possible access point to get to this highway.

I was so fixated on my route home that I even took an extra detour to avoid an alternate route. I did not want to surrender. I wanted to take my normal route.

As this was occuring I observed myself feeling frustrated, but moreso discouraged. My heart sank. I felt tears swelling. I wanted the release of a good cry, which had been mounting in me for months, and revelled at the thought of finally letting it go.

But it did not come. In fact, I gained access to the highway and breathed a sigh of relief that my plan had not been foiled. I eased into the drive home.

The rain consoled me, almost teasing me for I had not had the release I had been wanting. Then it dawned on me that I had been so fixated on the road home I had missed the point of this experience entirely. I gave up before the climax. I wanted things my way, and I missed a beautiful opportunity for complete release, settling only for a small breath of relief.

A moment of calm and stillness settles in. I merge with the rain and realize that the day is coming  a close, that these many detours have eroded my time away and that I might not get a chance to finish all the things I had wanted to do in a day. My intention has once again misjudged my capacity. Or so I thought.

Instead I realized that intention is not a measuring unit. One cannot measure success or failure based on achieving any intention. Instead, I’ve come to understand that intention is the driving force that brings us to the lessons we must learn.

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