Where Should Our Attention Actually Be?
I have asked myself this question a lot. Where should my attention be? On my partner, on my kids, on work or perhaps ultimately on God? For a long time, I didn’t even place myself as one of the answers to this question. It actually seemed a bit selfish for me to think I deserved to be on that list, let alone to be at the very top. I wanted so much for myself but I had grown strongly to believe that things would come to me, not through focusing on myself, but by being selfless and always being there for everyone else. Let’s just say life has proven this to be dead wrong.
I think when our lives are not working we are always living in that falsehood. The falsehood that somehow focusing on our own needs and desires doesn’t deserve its rightful place at the number one spot. That if we just turn it over and act in a selfless way that good things will automatically come our way. The law of attraction in action. Whatever I put out will come back tenfold. Unfortunately, we often fail to see that by being selfless and always focusing on others, that is exactly what comes back to us. If we tell the universe others are more important then the universe will respond accordingly. And unfortunately we are left out again and again.
That was my experience for a long time. I was sitting there waiting and waiting for all the good stuff to come my way, you know the stuff I deserved for being so selfless. But deep at my core where the falsehoods had taken up residency, I felt unworthy of any attention being placed on me. I took the universes silence as an affirmation that the unworthiness was true and right and that hope had no place in my heart. See what I found is that I was always going to the party but was never actually showing up for myself. I truly believe that my aloneness and unworthiness stemmed directly from my own abandonment of myself. It gave, not having my own back, true meaning.
I put my partners needs first. I figured if he was happy then I would be. As a mom I thought the very nature of my job was about giving? At work I was responsible to my staff and to our clients. I was responsible to serve them in the greatest capacity that I could. And God? I believed I was there to be of service to His message, but I have come to understand that the message I had been taught was not the True message. See if everyone is hiding from the deeper truth they miss the fact that they do indeed matter above all else. When we keep hiding from ourselves we fail to see that to truly love and serve other, even if the other is God, we first need to love and serve ourselves. One cannot happen without the other.
Sometimes we have moments in life when we need the walls of our belief house to cave in a bit to understand that our foundation hasn’t been built with quality materials. It is hard to expect our house to keep standing when the very materials with which it was built are substandard. My house has caved in a few times over my years on this earth and the last time it happened it catapulted me forward in a way I did not expect. I saw very clearly that putting everyone in front of myself was no longer the answer. I wanted, I needed to lay down the old story, the unworthiness, the others instead of self, and finally put them to rest.
In every moment we have the opportunity to respond to the breakdown, to see what we need to do differently. We can get curious about why we used the materials that we used and to evaluate what we could have done differently based on this new information. I chose in that breakdown moment to pick up the truth that was staring me right in the face. I chose to put all my attention on myself. Up until that moment I had never tried this and I knew the results I got because of that. So what could happen now if I chose to see myself as the vast expanse of possibility that I am?
In truly turning toward myself I freed myself from the cage I had been imprisoned in. I freed myself from the falsehoods that kept me small.
I saw clearer than ever before that only through loving myself was I actually capable of loving others. And that loving myself was actually exactly what being of service to God was, the very definition. Only through putting my attention on myself and shining a light on my unworthiness was I able to see that there was no truth AT ALL to that story. That story passed from person to person as a distorted image of myself. It was now up to me to let it go, to put it to rest. Loving myself became this exquisite practice. And that’s what it is, practice. It comes and goes, it’s easier at times than at others, but it is in its rightful place now. I am at the top of my own list.