If we don’t pay our taxes, what happens? The government gets our attention, and then it will demand our interest.
In the same way, if we don’t take a moment and pay attention, what happens? One way or another, life will do something to get our attention. And then life will also demand our interest.
Our teachers tell us to pay attention, we tell it to our kids, advertising attracts it, at work we are paid for it… and if we neglect to pay it (some attention, that is)… we end up paying pay for it!
You can stand at attention, give your attention, invest it, have it stolen or lost. Like a child, attention is precious and also so difficult to manage. And you can become an attendant, but not at your own funeral…
Recovery is learning attentiveness
For those of us in recovery from substance use, from depression or anxiety (or any other mental illness) – it is important to remind ourselves that losing attention is not just for those who have ADHD. We realized that we have a deficit with our attention, and the way we recover is one day, one moment at a time.
Life has a way of getting us to pay attention
Pain gets our attention. So will a decline in our health, or mental health. Or loss of memory, or balance, or appetite, or sleep, or sex-drive. Or losing contact with a friend, or partner. Or gaining a few more pounds on top of the few more pounds that bothered you a few more pounds before that (I’m talking to myself here…). Or feeling aimless, that life is futile, that we cannot keep our promises, or be honest.
However we say it, life is demanding our attention. Either we give our attention, today, or life will demand it, with interest (which may even be later today…).
When we take a moment to pay attention to the moment we are in, that will earn interest… the kind of interest that makes a life worth living.
Today, ask yourself “Am I willing to take one moment each day, for myself?”
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I invite you to read a recent piece that I love, “I Want to Fall Apart… But Maybe Not Until Next Week Tuesday.”
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