Distraction has been the theme of this past month. I see opportunities everywhere, and I see everyone doing it. We have become a society of distraction, which ultimately leads to unrest and dissatisfaction. We put off dealing with our thoughts, because, well, that's BORING. We put aside those unpleasant thoughts and issues because that's HARD. Well, news flash: You are cheating yourself out of the life experience by ignoring the opportunities you are being shown.
Yesterday, my son Sam had an audition in Los Angeles. We arrived a bit early and walked in to a full room of people, ages 0-50. Sam signed in and I found a small piece of bench for us to sit on. We sat across from a woman with a toddler and a boy about Sam's age, playing a game on an iPad. I took the opportunity to look around the room and observe human behavior, one of my favorite pastimes. A few people caught my eye, but no one smiled, instead, they looked away as soon as our eyes met. The exception is always the kids. They are wide open and curious, and if I smile and give a little wave, they will always do the same back. A bunch of little girls were in princess dresses, and I told one who was nearby that she looked beautiful. She beamed with pride. The kids who were on their electronic devices had not even looked up. They stayed hunched over, disengaged. The rest of the adults were on their iPhones, looking vacantly at the screens. It reminded me of some futuristic movie where no one was connected to another person, but all their interaction is electronic. I did not see any of these "electronically engaged" people smiling. I looked at Sam, and he was doing what I was doing, and I was surprised. I asked if he had his phone, and he nodded, pointing to his pocket. The toddler sitting in the stroller across from us began to fuss, and the mom reluctantly unbuckled her from her seat. The little girl was adorable, and she and Sam began to interact. She came over to me and I smiled at her. The mom seemed relieved to have someone to talk to, as her son remained hunched over his iPad game. We had a nice conversation and when they finally left, she had told me her life story, and I sensed that she needed some validation so I told her, "Your kids are beautiful and you seem to be a very good mom." She left with a smile on her face and I felt pleased that I had been able to give her some small part of what she needed. I praised Sam for helping the mom with the little girl and he told me he actually enjoyed it! We left, a little richer for the experience.
Humans are made to energetically interact with one another. When you sit in front of a computer all day, take the opportunities you are offered to connect with other living beings. We have become depressed and unfulfilled because, in part, we substitute electronic interaction for actual human contact, and that is not enough to survive on! We have developed into this pattern because we have grown fearful of interacting with others, since we have experienced most of our pain from others. I was in the same boat not too long ago, but I am peeking out of my shell and finding that as I am loving and open to others, they are responding in kind. Not every time, but more and more often. Next time you are in a grocery store, or other public place, try saying hello to people, and smiling. You may be pleasantly surprised at how good it feels!
Go forth, and conquer, in LOVE.