My fourteen year old daughter has got modern multi-tasking down to a fine art. I might not have believed it possible until I saw it in action: she can watch a television program on her laptop, a music video on her tablet, and a text beckoning on her iphone, all at the same time.
As if this wasn’t enough, she can juggle these three screens while simultaneously doing ‘homework.’ It takes a virtual act of Congress to get her to stop all the screens, lock eyes with me, and give me her undivided attention. And, I admit it, I’m not the most available person either when I get lost in my own agenda and my own thoughts.
But what a pleasure when two people are actually present with each other. With no internal or external distractions, it’s possible to be 100% available in the moment. Being together in this way — laughing, touching, loving — that is truly a wonderful and increasingly rare gift.
One of the primary reasons that psychotherapy is effective is that the undivided attention of the therapist is healing. How many of us have our loved ones’ undivided attention for 50 minutes at a time? This year for Christmas, all I want is presence . . . from all my loved ones. In a time of multi-screens, uber-stimulations, and 24/7 distractions, I believe that presence is the most valuable present of all.
Expcerpted from the Newsletter,
Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW is the author of