You become what you pay attention to.
This particular thought has been rolling around in my brain and my heart since last weekend.
It was Sunday afternoon, and I was resting these knees that have been arguing with me for months and months now. Apparently cartilage is kind of important, and arthritis and too many years of torturing them with gymnastics have completely removed all that golden cartilage from both of my knees. There is NONE left. And while the doctor may or may not have told me to refrain from ANY and all hiking or walking, I have made the incredible mistake of ignoring him. Or, as I like to call it, I simply didn’t remember a word he said.
Well, I won’t make that crazy mistake again. (Oh, who am I kidding?)
So that particular Sunday I was laying in a comfortable, cozy pool of down (comforter) on my bed, channel-surfing as I waited for the 5 billion mg’s of Aleve to kick in. I stopped for a moment on the Oprah Network intrigued by the sight of Sue Monk Kidd on her Super Soul Sunday special. Not only do I adore her writing (The Mermaid’s Chair? The Secret Life of Bees for God’s sake???), but I am fascinated by any author’s story as I strive to push the publish button on my own.
She spoke so eloquently about her journey, and about the discoveries she’s made along the way. I was transfixed, hypnotized by the beauty of her words and the power of her thoughts. I felt an affinity for her, a sort of sister-like adoration as she outlined the path she has walked.
“You become what you pay attention to,” she said. “What we give the attention of our heart to, matters deeply. So when we give the attention of our heart to, to ourselves, to our worries, to our fears, we become that.
“We become…what we pay attention to.”
I realized that I have been paying way too much attention to the obstacles that have been thrown in my path, and not as much attention to the gifts and treasures that are right on my doorstep. I have listened to the fears that creep into my heart late at night, instead of the songs of love and joy that are sung to me every day by my friends and family.
And so today, and each day since then, I have been thinking and thinking about who and what I am giving the attention of my heart to. Who and what are worthy of the attention of my heart? It’s so very, very important to decide.
I am giving the attention to my children. I am giving the attention to my dear friends. I am giving the attention to the children in my classroom.
And above all else, and most importantly, I am giving it to myself. I am paying attention to my own heart, to my own soul, and to my own healing.
And today I say to all of you, dear readers, please listen to the song in your own heart. Please, go pay attention to someone or something that so richly deserves that particular gift.
And be damn sure to include yourself.