For years I payed an enormous amount of attention to him and he had very little to offer in return. He didn't see my attention as a gift, or an invitation to deeper intimacy. Or perhaps he did. I don't really know. In any case, however he perceived what I offered, what was returned didn't match. I wanted to pour an ocean of love into him and he didn't want to get his hair wet. I battled him at this impasse, playing out an old story that if I just said the right thing and was very good, that I would finally be paid the sort of attention for which I longed.
It didn't work.
He became increasingly uncomfortable. I felt wrecked every time he refused me. It was a nightmare of my own making, born of my stubborn desire to get what I needed in an unskillful fashion. It's never wrong to have a need, but how we go about trying to get that need met matters. Some people are not the right people to ask. They already know that they can't help you. and will show you this if you're willing to see. Be willing. Believe them the first time.
Three things happened in my decision to move to New York:
First, I dreamt that I received an address in the Upper West Side and was told that's where I belonged.
Second, I visited for the millionth time and for the first time ever felt that this is a place I need to be.
Third, the small bit of attention I paid to making life happen here was paid back quickly and generously. New York answered my call with a resounding Yes. It wanted me and even if I wasn't totally sure that I wanted it, I bought a one way ticket and went all in.
When I think about what I could've accomplished with all the unreciprocated energy I sent him, I feel a profound sense of loss. I can never get that time back. However, from here on out, I can become very sensitive to the way my energy is received and adjust my behavior accordingly.
If you call out and nothing echoes back, stop calling. The currency of your attention is valuable. Only pay it to those who see this, and who are willing and able to offer just as much. Pour your ocean of love into an open container, and be prepared to receive. You are worthy of having others invest their time, attention and love in you. Anyone worth investing in will respond to your payment with just as much generosity. Never accept less.
What are you investing in?
Wisely choose how you spend the valuable currency of your attention.