As a consequence of meditating on the suggested question a possible conclusion is this:
I Must Begin to Pay Attention. . . Perhaps.
Consider a child who doesn’t pay attention. A very valuable question to ask in such an instance is this: How is it this child isn’t paying attention?
Perhaps what the child is being asked to be attentive to holds little interest to them. In the context of the meditation questions posed above lonely children often develop very active internal worlds. They develop very active imaginations, and if they’re to survive, they learn how to play by themselves.
I would suggest that there are those children who become so successful at developing their internal world, that the external one, becomes less and less relevant. So much so, that when we require their attention, it becomes a struggle to fully engage with them. Is it the case that this skill – at developing internal worlds – has been labelled ADHD? Is it not the case that many children labelled with ADHD are simply lonely?
It’s also interesting to consider how things are for such a developed child once they progress into adulthood.
From looking at complicated experiences in the past, it’s recently become clear to me, that paying attention to others, is somewhat of an issue. On the occasions I’ve experienced people who’ve paid little attention to me, it’s provoked an emotional reaction.
When the actions of others irritate or anger us, it’s often worth looking at. It’s worth looking within. Beyond the bad manners – of being ignored – why would this be such an issue? It is after all fairly common. From my own understandings it would suggest the existence of unfinished business. There is often a power struggle of sorts when it comes to being attentive to others. People demand our attention do they not? And the word pay is interesting. We must pay attention.
During my time as an analyst I was quite literally paid for giving my attention and this sat very well thank you. Whilst paying me you’d have had all of my considerable attention! When people expect or demand this I find it offensive and I know this stems from childhood. It stems from my mother demanding my listening attention and giving little of her own. Resentment remains and it’s this that drives my indignation.
The cure to this is to stop demanding the attention of others but to freely give it without comment. You might ask: How is this a cure? It’s a cure in respect of the “No Comment” response letting people know you’re simply not interested in anything they have to say. We free ourselves from the demands of others when we stop infecting our minds through forming opinions on those things that have no real interest to us. Your attention, as is mine, has great value.
Back on track.
What developed in childhood was a very fertile imagination
Now as an adult this internal world is often of greater interest to me than what others have to say; especially when my listening skills are being demanded! Further evidence of this complex is how intrusive I find phones. Don’t call me, I’ll call you, kind of thing.
One thing it’s important to be aware of, with any understandings reached during meditation, is this: We can accept them as being okay. So what if you have an overdeveloped imagination? So what if this is more interesting than what others have to say? The gain to be had is this: knowledge. Once aware of our nature, and that of our thoughts, we open up our choices. When we understand how we can fail to be attentive, we can change it if we choose!
Raise you awareness by learning how to meditate, it’s a powerful tool.