To mistake attention to be affection is delusion
When we enter a room, we often note how many people notice us. If no one notices us, we feel bad. If many heads turn towards us, we feel gratified.
Our innate longing for love often makes us equate attention with affection. But do those who give us attention have affection for us? Not necessarily.
When a wealthy person enters a room, many heads turn towards them. But that’s because people are attracted by their wealth, not by them. Many sycophants hang around them, hoping to get a share of their wealthy pie. The wealthy, and those who imagine that wealth is the gateway to popularity, often equate such attention with affection. The Bhagavad-gita deems as deluded the ungodly who delight in the attention offered by others (16.15).
When we lose the possessions that brought us attention – as we inevitably will sooner or later, given the temporary nature of everything in this world – then we lose the attention too. And if we have wedded our sense of self-worth to the attention we garner, then we suffer the far more psychologically damaging loss of our self-worth.
Gita wisdom explains that we are at our core souls, who are eternal parts of the all-loving supreme, Krishna. He loves us so much that he always accompanies us as our indwelling companion; we always have his attention.
In our search for affection, we will get far more fulfillment if instead of craving for the world’s attention, we turn our attention to Krishna by practicing bhakti-yoga. Not only will we find sublime enduring satisfaction by our loving reciprocation with him. Also, based on our particular talents and interests, we will, by his grace, make worthwhile contributions that may draw attention. But we won’t be emotionally dependent on such attention, for we will be spiritually fulfilled in Krishna.
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