Attention and Wanting to be Seen

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I have a confession to make. I want attention. A huge part of that desire or want is the simple equation attention = money. Or at least that’s how to perceive it. If You have other people’s attention it’s easier to make money.

Wanting attention itself is not a bad thing. It is actually a very good thing.

Having said that here’s a little story. I’ve spent the last two to three years (maybe even more) giving myself the attention I so desperately craved. It’s been one of the most amazing inward journeys ever. The reason I share this with You is that a lot of the times when we crave attention from the outside there is still something inside of us really wanting our own personal type of attention. This can take many forms, meditation, therapy, just being seen in our pain, happiness etc. And sometimes being seen in our greatness can be the greatest medicine there is. The same goes for pain, sadness, You name it.

So I’ve done all of that during the past few years and it still feels like there is something missing inside of me. A deeper emptiness still remains.

I truly believe all of us really want to be seen in the world for who we really are.

I believe this is key to understanding where we or at least some of us are in our current development. Wanting to be seen truly by our parents. So the world turns into our mom, dad or whoever it was who didn’t give us the attention WE thought we wanted or needed. In defense of all the parents reading this and I truly mean this, they did not have the necessary skills themselves. As well as their parents, so on and so forth. And at that time there was this popular idea in the consciousness of men that we need to get that love from the outside. There wasn’t anybody telling them “Hey, actually You can give Yourself the love and attention You so crave.” After that, the internet came to be and the rest is history. Now we have different practices all over the place, teachers teaching this very thing day and night. I believe it is of utmost importance to learn to emotionally take care of ourselves. Otherwise, it is very difficult to even allow someone else to help us in that.

After and even during doing this a realization has come to my awareness that we need to learn how to accept the attention coming our way. It is really hard.

When You have lived Your whole life without the attention of Yourself and without the attention of others, it is almost not fair to expect that You will be ready to accept attention from the outside. Have You ever consciously done that? Received someone’s attention and love? The reason I ask this is that I often notice how people receive compliments. The rejection of the compliment happens so quickly, it’s so subconscious that I believe a lot of us don’t even notice this.

When was the last time someone gave You a compliment? Do You remember how You acted? Did You say thank You? Or maybe “Oh no, who? Me? No, no.” Or was there an uncomfortable silence?

I’ve noticed in my personal experience that even when given a genuine compliment and even when receiving it well with words, I tend to still reject it with my body. My body tightens up and there seems to be a shield in front of my heart. Only in very good company I’ve fully let myself to receive the love coming my way. It is still a continuous practice for me.

It’s not always compliments, You can start noticing how are You with receiving in general.

What happens when someone offers You something? Do You receive it or do You reject it?

Let me know in the comments below.

Ian Altosaar

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