Saturday, November 12, 2011

Are you aware of this?

My first awareness of my limited awareness hit me in my Journalism 101 class in high school. The teacher had us close our eyes and tell him where the nearest electrical outlet was, describe what a certain person was wearing, name objects found in the room, and so on.

The exercise was designed to introduce young would-be journalists to the need of developing their awareness.

I received much greater training about awareness as I studied clinical counseling and clinical psychology.

Many of us who think we're fairly aware people might be surprised at how much we miss around us.

We tend to take better note of what's missing rather than what really is in our surroundings.

We may mildly note, for a brief period, if there's joy in our lives, but we're quite aware when it's absent.

We often pay no heed to our being happy, but are very aware of when we' aren't.

We often miss the fact that we may be blessed, but we highlight those times when we aren't.

We take our health for granted, until we note with keenness our health slipping away.

There are times when we need to be aware of what's missing in our lives; sometimes it's vital to note, then seek, what's missing. But more often, having a heightened awareness of what isn't in our lives and giving little heed to what we have tends to make us less appreciative and more self-centered.

What if we turned that around?

How would it affect your life if you gave a little more attention to what really is in your life, and a little less attention to what's not there?

You may find yourself a little more content, a bit more fulfilled, and a lot more grateful.



  1. I think you're right that focus on what's there can be a good thing. I know right now, I have to focus on what I have just to keep myself going each day. I'm looking forward to the day where it's not a necessity for me to stop and force myself to look at what's here and it's a joy to stop and force myself to look at what's here. (If that makes sense.)

  2. It does, and awesome you've got a good effort going on your focus. We tend to take as our reality what our focus is on --- if' we're focusing on what we don't have, it affects us one way; when we focus on what we have, it affects us another. Sounds like you've got your focus in a good place!

  3. Paul once wrote out a little list that started (in the KJV) with "Whatsoever is..." and ended with, "...think on these things." Apparently human inability (or unwillingness) to choose a positive focus rather than get swatted around like a pinball (why do I always grab for metaphors that no one under fifty will understand?) is nothing new. Our uninstructed/undisciplined nature is nothing of which to be particularly proud...

  4. Very true. Here's one of the most tragic realities of all: a great blessing of being a child of God is the exhilarating experience of transformation as done by the power of God, and our willful and wanton cooperation. To commune with God regarding our growth is one of life's most fascinating adventures. To have our minds transformed; to actually do what Paul suggested and really think in the pattern he pointed to ... to become more, and more, and more like Christ is a fascinating experience. We really can see what we have "naturally" by being changed. But few --- oh, so very few --- ever pursue that level of discipleship and maturity. But the that journey is worth it!