What is the importance of attention to the present?
Contributed by Isabel Hernández Negrin from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,
You know that you are almost always thinking, criticising, justifying yourself, regretting… And all that while doing other things. We are full of noises inside and outside. I dare say that the inner noise is the one that harms us worse. When there is a lot of noise outside, we cannot hear what others are saying, but when there is a lot of noise within, we do not listen to ourselves.
Living distracted from our own lives, paying a mechanical attention and being influenced by our own films and comic strips, allows us not even a moment of silence. Silence within. Have you noticed how rare it is to be in a state of inner silence? There is always a thought, a judgment, a memory, a desire or a worry that traps your energy and entangles you in it. That energy that you dedicate to it, automatically and unconsciously, you pull it out from listening to yourself.
When we do not pay attention to ourselves, we live locked away, kidnapped, by the stimuli and ringing of sirens from the outside: “with a new car, I will hook up more”, “with a house to my liking, I will certainly be happy”, “when my children grow up, I will be able to dedicate more time to myself”,” when I have enough money, I will be satisfied “. If everyone does it, it has to be good.
I do not contemplate, with even a minute of silence, what it is that I want to do with my life or if I am deceiving myself by pursuing ineffective desires to be happy.
Paying attention to what happens inside is of utmost importance.
How do you feel right now? What involuntary thoughts come up in your head as you read this? Do you sense any feelings right now? Are you clear about which is the compass of your life?
If you do not know, it is a good time for you to take a few moments and just pay attention to what is moving within you right now. Do not hesitate, do not judge it if it’s nonsense, do not expect anything… just stay with yourself, paying attention, or maybe there is something more out there that you can observe without making judgments or giving an opinion about it. Just pay attention to what there is with an open mind: a lizard on a tree, a piece of bread on the table, some flowers, a child that’s running. Pay attention without thinking anything.
With the inner noise, one loses so much… You can even lose life, your own life… And it is not worth waiting to be at the gates of death to discover that you have not done anything worthwhile. Pay attention, listen and observe. You will see a change. It works!