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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Attention! Attention Seekers!

Attention! Attention Seekers!

It's what you have all been waiting for!

I hear you. I see what you are yearning for and what you are craving. Your small cries for help or grasping for everyone’s undivided intention. I can relate. Sometimes we just need to do some type of action or say something just to make sure that we are noticed. Maybe it is something deep inside of us that relates to our social needs as humans. Maybe it has something to do with our wavering and our seemingly constant antagonizing insecurities.

In this modern age it is so easy to seek that attention that we so crave. With a flick of a finger and an instantaneous rush of ego fever, we can take to the internet with unbridled passion and fortuitous abandon. We have no need to label it on a spectrum of good or bad. We only need to listen to it and pay attention to our own “attention”. What can we do to fulfill your needs? Our needs? Our desperate seeking for attention?

We all want to have a voice and express ourselves in this landscape of constant content. How can we express ourselves mindfully and with conviction? How can we take control of our attention? Shall we seize the attention like a snake or simply just pay attention to the attention? Is our attention on the surface really what it is or is it something masked over something deeper?

We can keep up the chatter of our own thoughts. Share our thoughts. Expose our opinions like hidden moles and spray out our complaints like a rusty nozzle. What good does it do for us to keep constantly identifying with our sense of self ego? Does it benefit others to show our stream of consciousness type of thought expression to our friends, family and the immensity of the internet?

We have heard the term, “Paying Attention”, but at the core, what does it mean? If we treat it quite literally, we can see how valuable attention can be in our lives. As if we are paying time for the attention we are tending to. When we pay attention, we are directing all of our mental focus towards one thing. We are disciplining our minds with a sense of conviction in order to acquire some specific type of output we can use. This is how the mind wants to work. It wants to learn in order to figure out how to survive, adapt and become more efficient in the future. The constant acquisition of knowledge!

But why do we want to seek attention?

Our seeking of attention usually is driven by the means to an end. We want to achieve, get a reaction in order to fill voids and pump up our sense of self. Our semi-deflated self esteem. The needy seeking of attention is driven by the ego and inherent unconscious insecurities. Like a child, we are trying to grasp for things that make us feel relevant, heard, loved, in control and ultimately comfortable in certainty. When we become uncertain or experience any type of wobbling malaise, our minds tend to grasp for things that will bring us back into self importance and our own unique sense of complacency.

We can veer towards labels all we want. Whether it be a Meyer-Briggs scale or an introvert/ extrovert spectrum continuum, at the end of the day it is missing the causal relationships and conflicts within ourselves. These labels stifle us from digging deep and  have us stagnate into complacency and dullness. Most of the time our attention seeking is unconscious and we lack the ability of paying attention to our own attention. This is what we need to bring up to our own attention. Attention with Intention. Attention with the courage to look at our own fears and insecurities head on.

When we cling to the outside world to try to fill and fit our attentive needs, we miss the mark on what we are really trying to get attention from. Our willingness to seek attention on the internet or in public, lets us look into the “why” of our own behavior. Why are you posting so much personal stuff? Why are you talking about yourself so much at a party? Why are you trying to be the life of the party all of the time? How are we paying attention to our attention? How are we FEEDING our attention?

You may say...
“ But this is who I am.”
“ I love the attention.”
“ I love just being a no-filter type of person.”

These statements are all fine and dandy, but they are still sign posts for the clinging to fixed identities. You might think that being an Attention Seeker is who you are, but it may just be who you “think” you are. Does that make sense? Maybe you are a conduit for the grumbling attention seeking insecurity that lives through you. Maybe you are repeating old habits and patterns that were never brought to life in your childhood. Issues with not getting enough attention. Issues with getting too much attention. There are so many factors to consider, but none of them are exempt from the self which consequently is a product of time.

If we can ask ourselves with honesty and courage on why we are seeking attention without judgement and ridicule, we can learn to see the unseen and pull up the veils that have been distracting us from self growth. If seeking attention is so important for you and gives you so much value, then by all means keep doing it. I am certainly not in the business of trying to control or change people’s behaviors. But ask yourself..

Are you seeking attention?
Is attention seeking you?


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