In his famous book “The Road Less Traveled,” M. Scott Peck has this to say about the work of attention:
“The principal form that the work of love takes is attention. When we love another we give him or her our attention; we attend to that person’s growth. When we love ourselves we attend to our own growth. When we attend to someone, we are caring for that person. The act of attending requires that we make the effort to set aside our existing preoccupations and actively shift our consciousness. Attention is an act of will.”
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our loved ones is to attend – to be able to listen to understand, to be able to set aside quality time together, to be able to be mindful of their needs and act in forethought to show them love. One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves is to attend – to our own needs, to what brings us joy, to what feeds our comfort system, to that which makes us whole.
As Mary Oliver reminds us “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
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