what we pay attention to matters & grows.

I’ve wasted some time not understanding (or maybe believing) this simple concept.  Every day we wake up with a choice to be made, even when it doesn’t feel like a choice.

choices and attention lisa lillibridgeWho wants to wake up in the morning highly attuned to the things that make them feel like crap?  I honestly don’t, and yet, sometimes I do that to myself.

I want my anger and resentment some days.  I really want to hang out in the house of pain and suffering on occasion.  In the last few years though, I’ve increasingly become aware of the toll those days take on me and everyone in my orbit. My dark days will obviously never go away completely, but thankfully, by noticing where my attention is directed, those days are finally getting to be fewer and far between.

Once I noticed my habits and patterns I couldn’t possibly un-notice them. 

Damnit, I tried pretty hard.  Trust me, I gave it a really good shot.

I love that knowledge can be brilliantly sneaky that way.

Good luck noticing, folks.

A NOTE OF COMPASSION:  Many people suffer with devastating, lasting sadness that requires way more than just noticing habits and patterns.  I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s experience.  I’m only sharing what’s been helpful to me.  I struggle with the blues, not prolonged clinical depression.

What we think about…grows.

Everywhere we look in the world we see things “going to hell in a hand basket” because it gets views, clicks, headlines, sells advertising and makes money.

It’s a bummer that things going well doesn’t generate nearly the BUZZ in our culture as distasteful deeds, disaster and destruction.  It also is a self-fulfilling thought cycle.

brain its the way it is lillibridge

OUR BRAIN SAYS: “I’ve been told things are very bad—so I will vigilantly look for ways to confirm this bias over and over.”

Whatever we choose to give the most attention to is what will grow and grow and dominate our thoughts.

Can you imagine if our news and political discussion every day/all day was filled with stories of remarkable acts of generosity, compromise and courage? 

Of course there are times in our lives when very challenging events and situations require a lot of thought and energy.  However, if we stay in that place when we things have settled down—it will no doubt adversely affect our health and our relationships.

So, why do it?  We all get addicted to ways of thinking…just like any other addiction.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for long practiced patterns of thought. However, if we start to notice we just might be able to self correct this negative pattern of thinking a little tiny bit at a time.  If we all try focusing on the good things in our a lives a tiny bit more—we might just start a thought revolution. 

Hey, it’s worth a shot, huh?

what we think about lisa lillibridge

What if I…

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Sentence completion Lisa Lillibridge