The law of attraction is a popular concept these days, with celebrity endorsements and all kinds of seminars that are built upon using the principle of the law of attraction to make your life more fulfilling in whatever capacity you feel you are lacking. But is the philosophy shared true, and is it helpful?
I wrote a post a little while ago about the importance of critical thinking in the intuitive arts, and how there are many half-truths being peddled that end up doing more harm than good. The law of attraction in its popular form is one of those half-truth pieces of poo. I feel it deserves its own post.
So, here’s the deal. It’s said that if you want something and set the intention that you will have it, and visualize and work hard and make sure to think positively all the time, you will get that thing you want.
When I was really little there was this stuffed animal raffle at an away basketball game that my sister was in. I wanted this stuffed lion so bad. I visualized having it, I thought positively about it the whole game, I got my mom to enter me into the raffle, and waited as patiently as a little girl can for the raffle winners to be announced. Someone else won.
Did I do something wrong? No.
You can work hard for something, believe in it, visualize it, and still not obtain it. This is experientially true. The purpose of this post isn’t to rationalize the reason you don’t get what you want, so I won’t go into that, but it’s important to remember that we do not always get what we want regardless of what any guru or celebrity says and regardless of how badly we want it.
The law of attraction (popularly) states that if you focus on positive thinking, positive things will happen to you, and if you focus on negative thinking, negative things will happen to you. I’m about to be very blunt, so brace yourselves. Did a crack baby not think positively enough in the womb? Did an abused child invite the abuser into their life with his or her thoughts? Did Jewish people invite the holocaust with negative thinking? Of course not. In this context you can see how this philosophy is victim blaming and atrocious.
Or conversely, how would a proponent of this butchered principle explain the good things that happen to chronically pessimistic people, or depressed people, or anxious people?
The blame cycle of the law of attraction exists to make sure that you don’t question the principle. If you don’t get what you want, you obviously weren’t thinking positively enough so it’s your fault and may be you should buy this book or take this seminar to get better at working the principle or just shut up already.
In reality, the law of attraction is just nefarious pseudo-spirituality and pseudo-metaphysics.
So here’s the thing. There are people working their own wills in this world. That’s why the the holocaust happened, crack babies happen, abuse happens, a depressed person gets a bouquet of flowers just because, etc. because there are people enacting their wills and affecting the lives of others (for good or bad).
Here’s the other thing. For you to actually manifest anything in your life, you have to be in alignment with your true self and working from there in conjunction with your higher power. God (or whatever you call it personally) has to give the go-ahead and open the doors for you. “A thousand unseen helping hands” will get you where you want to go if you’re in alignment with your true purpose. So meditation, visualization, etc. are fantastic practices to get you in touch with your actual true self and higher power.
Being in touch with your true self requires honesty to face your doubts and fears and worries instead of denying them with white-knuckled positive thinking. The person acknowledging the doubt they feel is closer to manifestation than the person repressing it.