Day 208 “Undivided Attention”

Undivided attention.

Two words that brought me hope as a parent and caused me a deep sense of guilt.

I just had to talk on the phone in the presence of my children to know that it was my attention they wanted, without any distractions, and I knew if I could deliver that, they would behave. It gave me hope.

In reality, I had three children, four and under, and a house to run, and a job on the side, and a husband that was never present, and a family who perpetuated drama – not to mention a desire for a life of my own- so giving the children my undivided attention seemed like an impossible task and caused me enormous guilt.

I was never good enough in those years. (Is this every mother’s lot?)

Then, as a teacher, I realized that my students, like my children, were starved to be seen and heard, and I strived to give each one my full attention, if only for moments at a time, but it was never enough and I felt inadequate.

Now, challenged with this illness and unable to give much of anything to anybody, I realize that it is I – my body/mind/spirit – that needs me to be fully present and aware.

It is no longer okay to feel not good enough.

Guilt, you have no place here.

I am learning all over again about the benefits of undivided attention.

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