Is Intention Enough In Doing Good?

Day 233 of 365 Days of Being

Everyone says do good, be good. No one ask further, what is considered good? How good is good? We all know well-intentional people who foul up things for us, if we don't speak the truth, they will continue thinking they're adding value in our lives when the reality is not so. 

I know plenty of people who want to do good, all the awaken people feel a call in their heart to help others. I felt this call 24 years ago too so I hope to shed light on an effective way to do good so do gooder burnout doesn't happen.

I know many people who think they're good at supporting me when I often felt much worse after talking to them. This is also reflected in the under estimation of how effective professional support is, I have spoken to many people with ill mental health who refuse to seek professional help, they have access to it so it's about ego. 

They associate it with talking to their family or friends, the usual support they get. If that is enough then why do they still have ill mental health, if that is enough then why is there a multi-billion dollar industry around self-help and personal development? 

I also see how unpaid emotional labour by women is often taken for granted, it takes so much more to be seen as a kind or good woman than it does to be seen as a kind or good man, there's general social conditioning surrounding the idea of doing good. When supporting someone in pain is the kindest daily act. I know the rare few occasions I received good support, it carried me through for a long period, making me feel well-loved, precious and cared for. Compared to the multiple times I received lousy support, I had to heal from newly inflicted pain on top of my existing pain.

As a former people pleaser with low self-esteem, I was unaware of this happening, I felt their intentions are well-meaning and thanked them instead. I also never got my needs met as well, constantly punishing myself when it's that I never got good support, I was supporting them as they support themselves so of course they always flew and I always sunk. When I can sit in their pain, provide insightful solutions, not just comfort. The level of help is different. This became remarkably clear when I turned this light inwards to heal myself, the rapid healing and growth that occured. 

Even more aggravating is when people get pissed if I honour my now whole divinely aligned me. When I say "I understand your good intentions, I didn't feel comforted." How incredibly egoistic and exhausting. This is why people shut down and shut up over time, no one is listening anyway, might as well not. 

Then it's work projects where my colleagues bite off more than they can chew, I go in to clean it up, often thinking if I did it myself in the first place, it's less troublesome overall. If everyone has high awareness, wouldn't all work projects go smoothly, everyone contribute what they can, utilise their best, resulting in the best outcome? 

Why is it so hard to accept that not everyone is good at it? What's the big deal? I don't think it's a big deal at all, we all have to learn, we all desire growth. It's ego and ironically enough, it's the people with the biggest egos that underestimate the people who do the most good, criticise them due to their own ignorance. I think people see this as more of a personal insult of their moral fiber than say, the other more straight forward reason, we're all on a journey of continuous learning, be open to new ideas if you want to be more effective. 

When it comes to mental health, this also means that often people think they're weak and have low self-esteem when it's that they're not getting the insightful support needed to heal while being bombarded by people who tell them their support is so effective. 

My take is that intention isn't enough to manifest in actual good being done. Especially when it comes to daily help like supporting family and friends, people often overestimate their level of support. It's Dunning-kruger in real daily life. I also notice how anyone who overestimate themselves also underestimate others to the same opposite degree. I have spoken the healing truth to some that rejected it, been offended by it, then five years later came back to say, yes you were right. I also remember the times I have been stubborn, when the few rare people who loved me told me I was naive and I rejected it, when I banged enough walls, I was humbled and had to admit that they were right. When they would have skipped five years of suffering, I would have skipped mine as well, all for what? A fragile ego that can't stand correction, this is a daily act of subtle self-sabotage, so frequent that it's the norm. 

via GIPHY

Or how when I first started this journey of self-discovery, my initial excitement of joining online groups turned into the awful realisation that it's often the blind leading the blind, how if I listened to them, I would have made many more detours. I ended up supporting others 80% of the time instead. I did get support 20% of the time so I was thankful for it. 

I banged enough walls of my own so I think there sure isn't the need for more. No thanks, I'm good. Hahahahhha. Me quietly journeying along for the last 24 years is much more productive even if it was lonelier. I'm glad I did meet some genuinely humble spiritual people eventually, who are grounded in their spiritual quest, the amount of effort needed and also the kind of help they offer others. While I refrain from commenting if someone isn't helpful, I see this persistent problem all around me and it nagged at me. When I surrendered it, I was told to write this. 

Researchers Hall and Raimi distinguish “belief superiority” from “belief confidence” (thinking your opinion is correct). Belief superiority is relative – it is when you think your opinion is more correct than other people’s; the top end of their belief superiority scale is to indicate that your belief is “Totally correct (mine is the only correct view)”. Across five studies, they found that those people with the highest belief superiority also tended to have the largest gap between their perceived and actual knowledge – the belief superior consistently suffered from the illusion that they were better informed than they were. As you might expect, those with the lowest belief superiority tended to underestimate how much they knew.

This lack of awareness infiltrates all aspects of life, can have serious consequences in the areas that require the most good, for example disaster relief, when teams arrive without those skills and without their own supplies, they drain resources that could better be used for actual victims, said Dr. Kristi L. Koenig, an emergency physician at the University of California, Irvine, who specializes in disaster response.

Another case is  Zoe's Ark, six activists from Zoe's Ark, along with three journalists and seven flight crew, were arrested and charged with kidnapping. Chad's President Idriss Déby called the operation "pure and simple abduction." Zoe's Ark insisted its intentions were good. "It's unimaginable that doubts are being cast on these people of good faith," a spokesman said last week. The Zoe's Ark operation will no doubt focus more suspicion on NGOs in the area. "One of the worst outcomes is the loss of confidence and trust," says Melissa Winkler of the International Rescue Committee, which participated in the well-organized resettlement of some 7,000 "lost boys" from southern Sudan in the United States.

Or supporting someone suicidal, I have lead many to resources, helped directly myself or referred them to other professionals at various points, all of them have moved on to amazingly fulfilling lives. Sometimes people wonder why someone dies from suicide, I think this overestimation of personal support is an overarching factor, whether for the mental health sufferer or for the caregiver. The stress goes both ways. 

So, being aware of the possibility of how the ego works against you will benefit you for sure. Set your ego down and become a humbled learner, self-reflect and see what you can gain from it, instead of outright rejecting it, getting offended first, letting the offence block the possibility of new options that can serve you. This is how I work smart instead of work hard. I learn from everyone and everything daily, be it someone who treats me badly and I take it as a lesson within me or someone inspirational where I take it as a positive role model so I'm always growing faster than my peers.

Love, light and peace. 

Min

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