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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

Me, Paying Attention to Me

Aug 01, 2023 07:52PM ● By Joe Dunne

One of the most challenging (and exciting, and scary) parts of my day, and of my life, is the time I dedicate to understanding how to adjust, improve and understand “just who I am”.

That block of time, complete with a review of my day and my interactions, puts all of my attention on expanding my awareness of myself. I am forced to pay attention to me. When I am focused on the man in the mirror—not the circumstances or the people in my life—good change is possible. 

I remind myself that change always happens within. As much as I want to try to fix others, I can change only me, so I must pay attention to only me during this time. Whether it is journaling, a therapist, honest friends—the structure does not matter—progress is the goal. Progress is hard. It takes courage, a lot of soul searching, listening, honesty, risk, vulnerability and forgiveness to grow. 

Understanding myself also means understanding my emotions. Encyclopedia Britannica describes emotion as a complex experience of consciousness, bodily sensation and behavior that reflects the personal significance of a thing, an event or a state of affairs. “Complex” is right. No single emotion defines me, but the combination of all is something I seek to understand in order to positively change what is not working in my life, even if it does sometimes feel as though I’m paying attention to many versions of “me”.  This perspective guides my journey: We have three images of ourselves— the way I see me, they way others see me and the actual me. 

I seldom ask myself if it’s worth all of the effort because improving is critical for me. I love this quote: “The quality of my thinking is in direct proportion to the quality of my life.” It makes so much sense. Shaping my thinking properly allows my life to work better, and it gives me a sense of inner confidence, pride and self-acceptance. I think this is a good thing. 

I hope you gleaned something of value from my thoughts. Most of the time, I write to push myself to be aware of what I am not doing in hope that I will start doing. And, yet again, I grow.  

With peace, love and laughter,

Joe Dunne, Publisher