Seeking Attention and the Art of Deception

The mask, face split in two.

Many of us were ‘encouraged’ to discover and engage in the act of most innocent deception of attracting much needed attention before we even became aware of what we were doing.

When you are a baby, you need attention, you need love, and recognition – you have the urge to know that you exist, that you’re real – which is all good, it’s part of an essential and healthy ego development. If the attention is not automatically given by our parents when we need it, for as long as we need it, we have no choice but to discover how to attract attention. That’s how we begin learning to manipulate energies and people around us. The story begins with a very special and simple kind of sound called ‘crying’.  

For example, if you did not receive the attention needed from your mother when you were an infant, you had to figure out how to get her attention and eventually you discovered that making noise, i.e., crying, ruffles the feathers and achieves the intention.

Surely, that can be very confusing for parents – there is crying and there is crying. One is real (pain, discomfort, hunger), the other is also real, but intentional – there’s a subtle nuance that reveals the truth and only mothers who are very much connected and in tune with their babes will know exactly which cry is which. But not all mothers have the privilege or that kind of awareness. (Please note, there is no judgement, blame, or shame intended. Thigs are the way they are and everything is a subject of change.

This is how manipulation became part of our identity, how it initially helped us attract attention and develop our personality. If you’re interested in this topic, tune into the interview about the importance of vegal theory and the co-regulation when mothering a child, which helps the child to learn about very important act of self-regulation. Knowing how to self-regulate gives a shared feeling of support and helps the child to develop the required neuroplasticity, i.e., the boldness, the strength required to courageously venture out to the world. (‘Trauma and the Nervous System’: Gabor Mate and Stephen Porges – see link below; Time stamp 33:30 – 36:05).

Nearly every mammalian child has 100% access to their mother for as long as they need her – apart from humans. Not that long ago – in hunter gathering societies – infants used to be attached to their mother for as long as they required their presence. Any other way seemed unnatural. Yet, when you look at our modern society, it is clear that infants and babies lack full access to their mother or father (mothering instinct occurs in both genders). Hence, most babies or children are literally ‘encouraged’ to find all sorts of ways of getting the much-needed attention.

Do they get it or not is a different story. Was it successful and fulfilling, or not? If unsuccessful, what kind of traumatic experiences did that leave in their psyche? What are the consequences?

It depends from one person to another, but the good news is, co-regulation happens in every stage of our life, hence we subconsciously seek intimate connection to other mammalians that help us self-regulate (well, that’s one of many reasons).  Co-regulation happens when we are intimately connected to another mammalian – be it our partner, friend, or a pet.    

Looking at the state of our society, the level of disconnect between people – many of us can not give up the need for attention, because it was never fully satisfied and we’re still trying to compensate for something that was never fulfilled. Hence, we crave and seek attention; we come up with all sorts of ways to attract other mammals – just like flowers attract insects to pollinate them and ensure their succession.

Think about the phenomena of social media – it seems to me, it was a natural consequence to develop a system that enables any kind of human interaction – however, I think it gives a false impression of receiving attention we deeply need. The number of likes and followers may boost our ego, but I’m not sure it satisfies what we truly seek. It’s important to be aware of it – else you can get lost – the path can easily lead you towards developing a new addiction.

We are human beings, we are fragile, yet incredibly resilient. We need attention, we need love, we need to be recognized for who we are. We also have a need to give attention, love, recognition to others. As long as you don’t build some fake identity of yourself, as long as you remain authentic, content with who you really are, you will be fine. Even if you end up having a million followers on your social media account or just a few. It’s all the same. Because you know yourself, and nothing, and no-one can ever change that.

Stay alert though. Be careful you don’t start bluffing, pretending to be something or someone you’re not, just because you think you will gain more traction and attention – you can slowly and surely get lost and drift away. That’s another well-known trap and the deeper you get into it, the harder it is to get out, which can turn into yet another level of misery. Here, I’m happy to share my mantra with you; you can trust me, it works: ‘Know yourself, be yourself, love yourself.’

Before I end, I invite you to try something out. Next time you receive attention, accept it with gratitude, don’t take it for granted – respond gracefully – pay it forward wholeheartedly! When someone talks to you, listen to them attentively, being fully present. This includes humans and mammals. Only with the attitude and intention that comes from your heart, can the much-needed healing of this deeply rooted, multigenerational issue, that humanity is currently facing, begin. Every intention counts.

I wish you all a beautiful and blessed day!

Dependence vs Independence

Freedom loving, mighty tree

What does it mean to be independent and what is the value of dependence? Independence gives the ability to make certain choices. It means one is fee from the outside control, not depending on another’s authority, livelihood, or support. To what extent though? What about being independent from certain habits and the influence of your mind – particularly when it no longer serves you well? Independence is also comparative; it depends what we are comparing our current state of being to? I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I’m not sure there is a state of being totally independent. It would imply that we live in isolation from everything and everyone else– no ecosystem, no food, no sleep, no air. It means we no longer exist.

Every organism in nature depends on few other organisms and their ecosystem to survive and thrive. Our bodies depend on the food provided by nature. The food we eat is brought to our plates, thanks to the effort of multiple processes and hands. We depend on the air that We breath, the oxygen generated by trees and marine plants in the ocean. We need clean drinking water to survive, and a peace of mind to sharpen our senses, so we can properly function in our daily lives. If it wasn’t for millions of tinny organisms living in our bodies, depending on each other and our composed mind We would not be alive.

The other day I wrote something that struck a chord with me. It was about my father living his freedom out of repression, not from a blank page. As one would if their childhood was relatively perfect. I realized I have lived my independence out of rejection from being dependent – not from a blank page. Instead of learning the lesson of being humble, willing to ask for help, not always saying NO for an answer – I created a barrier that stopped me from the flow of giving and receiving.

When you depend on somebody in your life, when your dependence is reciprocated, you are also giving each other the opportunity to be dependable, so you can deepen your trust and improve the quality of your relationship.

On the other hand, what happens when one becomes obsessed with the badge of independence – is there something you are trying to prove to others in your life and if so – what is it and why? What is your opportunity cost and what do you gain if you continue this game?

I thought I gained a sense of autonomy’. But that’s just a feeling – and it does not mean I am actually free. It’s a mind-made concept that can easily be challenged and taken away from me. What am I left with when that feeling is gone? ‘I’m left feeling insecure.’ Your observation is spot on! This too is another mind concept.

OK, lets dive deeper. Why am I feeling insecure, if I know that I am imperfectly perfect expression of the Self? A decimal part of the whole, of creator itself. How can I still feel insecure if what I just said is my truth? Am I perhaps deceiving myself and not being fully authentic?

What’s true for me? Can anything that matters ever be taken away from me? Valuable objects, beliefs, memories, or people we hold precious to our heart? Of course, it pains when they are gone – they have provided us with the experience of joy and happiness, sometimes the experience brings tears and anger – it’s the whole 9 yards. Throughout life, we developed many relationships, hopefully beautifully ones, based on mutually reciprocating dependence, love, and trust. Remember, no experience can ever be taken away from you – but the object of experience can. Eventually every experience in life also comes to an end, but the source of the one who is experiencing all this can never be taken away. That which can never end, simply returns back to the source, until it is needed again. As many times as necessary until you finally realize you have always been here. It was all just a dream of the dreamer who dreams it all. Until the moment you wake up and see it for what it is – a dream and you are the creator.

How about you? Here and now. What is really going on when you think about your dependence vs independence?

Try to allow yourself to trust, to be vulnerable by reminding yourself how dependent you are in the most elegant, congenial way. By venturing out into the unknown, by being ok with being dependent. Start by trusting life, the life that knows so much more than your individual personality can ever apprehend.

Being humble, being grateful for being alive, here and now, for having been gifted this unique opportunity to play with your beloved ones, to express yourself, to learn how to flow like a river. To know that You are held by Earth’s gravity, no matter what. 

To be able to step outside your comfort zone that limits your full potential. Inching out, bit by bit, until you leave what serves you no more behind. Self-imposed limitations, ignorance, criticism, arrogance, resentments, sadness, fear of the unknown. 

Until you finally get a sense of real freedom, realizing that all this time You were being held and supported by so many caring hands, and loving hearts. Those that surround you those that came before you, those that are not even yet born. 

Ask yourself a question: ‘Why have I developed the following attitude and the stat of mind “I must prove to myself and the whole world that I can be fully independent?”  

One of the reasons is often a disconnect. Just like a temporary power cut, a tripping fuse box, that’s all. Go to the basement and find out what’s tripping your fuse box. Remove the faulty appliances that have been causing the issues or overburdening the system. Go back to the fuse, find the off button, flick on the switch, and carry on.

In peace, with joy, and sweet harmony! And if you find yourself waving the freedom flag again, which is likely to happen, just remind yourself to go back to square one.

I am held by the gravity on Earth, no matter what. Mother Nature provides enough for all of her children’s needs, I am her kin. I am a part of the infinite whole. No one can take what really matters away. I am being held and supported by many caring hands and loving hearts. Those that surround me, those that came before me, those that are not yet even born. I am supported by life itself.

You may ask: ‘Why all this seeking? What awaits at the end of the tunnel?’ Simply, all this happens due to a gravitational pull to the place of my inner peace and harmony. Space with less clutter, less friction in my mind. By going back to a certain level of innocence that makes my life calm by removing the struggles from within and conflicts that manifest on the outside.

Days become brighter, much lighter, more joyful – like the birds’ song. Remember, this state of being is not exclusive; it’s not something attainable by the saints and yogis only; we all carry the same seed – the potential within. It just needs some attention, nurturing, and TLC. We can all grow into it, just like the beautiful, freedom living & life giving, interconnected, and interdependent trees. 

It’s ok to say yes, to be held and to hold, to be part of the flow, to trust. When you start changing your attitudes based on these few basic life principles, your insecurity loses its grip. You start being at peace with yourself, at peace with life – no matter who with, when, or where ever you are. This is what true independence is all about. It happens every moment of every day, not only on Independence Day.