Questions about the pop-culture phenomenon known as “The Law of Attraction” aka “The Secret.” Sometimes, I think “success” and “failure” have nothing to do with our beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and are simply a matter of dumb luck! What matters is what we do with the life that we have been given.
Being Faced with a Challenge
This weekend, I had the great opportunity to attend a yoga workshop and Kirtan event with teacher, musician and Kirtan facilitator, Wade Imre Morissette. Before we began the Kirtan, Wade invited us to choose an intention for our prayer. The first word that popped into my mind was abundance. But as I sat with that word, it was quickly replaced with worthiness. Worthiness….the one word I have perhaps wanted most to really embrace and believe in my life. I really want to believe I am worthy of all the things I want in my life: Worthy of a fulfilling and prosperous career. Worthy of a deep and abiding love. Worthy of loving friendships, good health, happiness, etc. etc. etc. And I wondered, is this why I have not achieved the financial success that I desire in my business (it is already overwhelmingly fulfilling!)? Do I not believe I am worthy of financial success? This is what the “Law of Attraction” would tell me. “If you are not prosperous, in the job you want and love, in a relationship that is loving, fulfilling, uplifting, mutually supportive, etc. etc. etc. it is because YOUR THOUGHTS ARE WRONG. Well, if the “Law of Attraction says so….” So, I offered up my prayer, “Please God, help me to feel worthy so that I may receive the financial abundance that I need to fulfill my dreams of helping others through my abundance.” Then……I heard someone slam their foot upon the heavenly brakes and the squealing of tires that could only mean 30 pounds of tread just got left behind on Heaven’s highway.
What if The Law of Attraction is NOT?
Wait a minute…….I heard the thoughts gathering in my head. I know all kinds of people who have a boatload of money. Some who worked very hard for it. Some whose spouse worked very hard for it. Some who seemed to accumulate it by accident. Do all these people believe that they are worthy? HECK NO!!!! In fact many of these people are plagued by self-doubt, self-loathing, self-deprecation. So, if these people who are so much better off financially than I am and struggle even more with worthiness than I do….WHAT GIVES????? According to “The Law of Attraction,” belief and thought equals attainment. If you believe you deserve it, if you believe you are worthy, then you will get it. AND…..if you don’t have it, it is because you believed or thought wrongly. YOU are the creator and the source of your manifestation (or lack thereof). At the end of the day, good or bad…..IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT! To put it bluntly….I think that’s CRAP!
Sometimes, I just think that sh….t happens. Some people are rich. Some are poor. Some have fulfilling careers. Some do not. Some find loving partnership easily. Some search and search and never find it. And, I find it really hard to believe that all those that DO NOT have what they want professionally, financially and personally do not have it because their thoughts or beliefs are wrong. If that were the case, then none of us would really have what we want because no one thinks all good things all day every day and most of us grew up in some sort of dysfunction that colors our beliefs and perceptions – sometimes negatively. Not to mention, we are all born into the world with a unique lens through which we see, perceive and experience our human experience. Not to get all Trent Reznor (one of my favorite nihilists) on you….but at the end of the day, perhaps a lot of it is just DUMB LUCK.
The Real Secret
So, if life is just a matter of chaotic, unordered, unpredictable events and bad things happen to good people, regardless of how they think or believe, now what? WELCOME TO THE HUMAN CONDITION! And……it doesn’t have to be “Life sucks and then you die.” Are bad things going to happen to us? Are the things we think we want sometimes elusive? Will there be suffering and loss. YOU BET. AND…..we don’t have to allow it to destroy us! This is the real secret that all the greatest spiritual teachers came to remind us. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, The Buddha, Yogananda, Babaji, Amma, the Dalia Lama, all come with the same message. “The Human condition is the human condition. And….suffering is optional.” And……they have all left us tools with which we can SURVIVE, endure, transcend, make it through the stuff that life sometimes hands us: sacred writings, words of wisdom, spiritual practices and rituals, etc. etc. etc. Thanks to those who have gone before us, we have EVERYTHING we need to survive and maybe even ENJOY the human experience. (Imagine that!) Thanks to these teachers, we can stop worrying so much about how our thoughts or beliefs are dictating the condition of our lives, let go of the guilt over how it must somehow be our fault and focus on the tools that lead us to the peace and love of God. And this peace and love of God is there for EVERYONE regardless of what we have, believe or think.
Authentic Freedom Ministries