We are sometimes forced to make a choice of what to ignore and what to notice. But we can’t possibly have a peaceful life if we notice everything, and life would be uninteresting if we ignore everything. However, if we don’t learn to get a grip on our filtering skill, we might end up fighting unworthy battles in life. The question therefore, is, how would we know what to choose to notice and what to choose to ignore?
Ignoring can be easy or hard depending on how you look at it. It is hard to ignore things that really drive you crazy, like a ringing phone or an endlessly beeping alert of text messages, but it is easy to ignore simple but important things in life, like things we already have and things we really need to do. Is this not why it is so hard to sit still and read a book, uninterrupted by many other things grabbing for our attentions?
Are you ignoring things that really matter to you? Do you consistently make the simple things, like friendship, family and love your last priority, or simply an afterthought? Good health is not a menu option. We already know this. But how often do we ignore our bodies’ need for more sleep to maintain energy, more exercise to keep fit and periodic medical checkups to stay healthy.
Similarly, we often choose to notice many gossip messages on the social media, but we choose to ignore the ones asking that a sick person be assisted to pay some hospital bills. Whereas, there is probably a way for us to confirm its authenticity, and help in a little way with just a modest effort on our part. But it is often easier to ignore such call for generosity and convince ourselves that the government or some other rich people should help.
Ignoring is often a way to deflect the messages. It’s a way of justifying your position, and convincing yourself that if you don’t know something, it shouldn’t bother you. This is both a self-defense mechanism and a sort of self-sabotage: if you ignore the message, the idea, the suggestion, or the opportunity, you can maintain your stance, and remain right where you are. But you could be ignoring the vital alternative possibilities to make your life work, or the gift of step to elevate you to your next level.
The point is not that you notice everything that comes your way, but that you don’t ignore everything that comes your way. To grow, you must flow, and to flow, you must allow. Is it not a dog that will get lost in the bush that will ignore the whistle of a hunter?