Where your attention goes...Grows
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I often think of attention as a flashlight in the dark, and the more we repeat a thought or focus the brighter and bigger the light gets. I had an opportunity to observe this when my husband and I were getting ready to travel back to the USA from Mexico over Christmas. We had my husband’s “new” work car fully packed and ready to go. We were just minutes away from leaving when I opened the glove box. To my surprise, I found a rat. I screamed and the rat ran deeper into the dashboard. Needless to say, I asked my husband to come and remove the rat. He did his best by making noise and I only saw the rat come out and then run back underneath the dashboard. I had a choice to make: do I stay in Mexico or travel back to the USA with a rat in the car? I must admit the rat was BIG. The longer I sat in the car and the darker it got while waiting at the border for three hours, the rat seem to grow in my mind. I was nauseated the whole trip home and kept my feet up on the seat the whole way. Although I realize the rat was probably more scared of me than I was of it, my attention was consumed by the rat. Even though the rat didn’t literally grow in size, it grew in my memory.
This is similar to what happens in my mind. The rat is a negative thought and when my mind becomes stuck on it, it consumes my attention and grows in my mind. Focusing my attention on the rat (or negative thought) doesn’t seem to change it or make it go away, but it did change me and my experience.
So again, where has your attention been?