Value of Attention
Children and adults need emotional and psychological attention for happiness and health, as much as newborns need physical touch for survival. Our need for both receiving positive attention and learning to cope with negative attention is inextricably linked with our general state of health.
In his work with cancer patients, Carl Simonton, MD, observed: The biggest single factor that I can find as a predisposing factor to the actual development of cancer is the loss of a serious love object, occurring six to eighteen months prior to the onset of the disease." The love object - frequently a child or spouse - is a primary source of attention. When that is lost, it can lead to destructive means of compensation. Nobody wants cancer or another serious disease, but everybody wants attention!
Sometimes a problem develops because we have collected a poisonous supply of negative attention. Many of us tend to store it up until it eats away at us from within. Hurts, anger, fear, deep sadness - these create an energy that will look for an outlet somewhere in the body if it doesn't get conscious recognition or expression. Such outlets include:
- Smoking or overeating
- Driving recklessly
- Gritting teeth
- "Getting" a sore throat, an asthmatic attack, or a headache
- An extra rush of adrenaline into the bloodstream that makes us feel wired
- A stress-related condition such as constipation, a skin disorder, eye fatigue, or an ulcer
- Building defenses, by withdrawal and depression, to keep us from being hurt again