The only thing that really troubles us is that our attention doesn't belong to us. Presently, something calls for us and claims our attention. Every errant thought and feeling that passes through our psychic system commands that we attend to what it tells us to. We are made captive to whatever our negative attention has clung to.
Our work, in terms of reclaiming our right to be in relationship with what we choose, begins with being able to see that we suffer because choices are made for us by this unconscious thought nature. This is unnecessary suffering. The mind has produced commentary on the moment, and then has an automated response to the messaging that makes us miserable.
Eventually, when we reach a certain stage interiorly, we realize that the possibility has always existed for us to place our attention – and therefore our experience of life – on what we choose. To place our attention on what we choose doesn't mean that we resist or refuse what has come to claim our attention. In fact, it wouldn't even dawn on us to replace our attention if it weren't for our first having had the awareness that our attention was connected to something that was punishing us and putting us in conflict.
If we could learn to reclaim our attention, and develop it sufficiently, we would begin to have a real relationship with each moment because we would understand that we are capable of choosing to make new discoveries about ourselves and this life we’re in. What’s more, we would never fear any one of those discoveries, because the discoverer is always greater than the nature of what is discovered.
As we gradually come to embrace the miracle of making personal discoveries, we stand on the threshold of a completely different order of creative existence. Every day we can begin to discover something new about our own lives through the proper use of our attention. This doesn't mean seeing just light and bright things. It means seeing what is dark or false in us by the grace of placing our attention on the light that reveals these things to us. When these opposites appear simultaneously, this light appears and is able to work on all that has been working us over.
Once we understand that with the right effort, nothing in the universe can stop us from making our own discoveries, we awaken a love of what is true – a living trust that life is balanced and just – and fearlessness is born of this realization.
Adapted from "The Essential Laws of Fearless" Living by Guy Finley
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