Pay attention to what bothers you

by gaytaylor


“If I see my responsibility to myself, to a friend, or to a patient in therapy as observing and respecting what the soul presents, I won’t try to take things away in the name of health,” writes Thomas Moore in Care of the Soul. “It’s remarkable how often people think they will be better off without the things that bother them.”

Our first responsibility to ourselves and to others, to the soulful life, is to observe and respect. What could be more intelligent, more compassionate? Start where we are, look closely at what’s going on around and within right now, listen to the messages being offered, and move forward from there. Seen in this light, “go with the flow” makes more sense to me than ever it did.

The things that bother us bother us for a reason. Far better to respect these things, give them the time of day, listen to them, learn from them–far better this than to shut them down, suppress and repress them. Pretend not to notice.

Moore puts into words a truth I had to struggle through a hell of my own making to get to.

Observe and respect the things that bother you. That interest you. That annoy the hell out of you. That get your attention. That you have a strong reaction to.

Dang. I bet this includes people, too. Those people from my past who are squarely situated in their conservative evangelical mindset and willing to throw me under the bus. How am I taking Moore’s advice/my own life lesson to heart and applying “observe and respect” to such people? How are you?

(photo credit: BarelyFitz at