Some dear friends are weighing in on the merits of the concept of the Law of Attraction. While I’ve not seen the movie, nor read the book, I get the concept that we must visualize what we want in order to recognize and appreciate it when it shows up. But somehow that can’t be enough… we have to actually DO something usually if we expect a new reality to manifest.
So here are my further musings on the subject….
My white, straight, middle class son is struggling with the idea that he has never had to work very hard to get his needs met. He goes to an innovative school that is proving there is a different way to teach, but it is the only way he knows. He takes the fact that his parents love him unconditionally as a given. He has never even witnessed genuine bullying. So he has this sense of not having struggled that in some way must devalue the gifts he has. But he fails to notice that the way he ATTENDS to these gifts is what makes the difference, and should give himself some credit. He is steeped in American culture and absolutely could behave like a spoiled, self entitled whiner, but he doesn’t. He has this pervading sense of “enough” — with time, money, things — that I envy and would like to learn to have.
This month, I’ve been steeping myself in Buddhist teachings, and here are a few discoveries I have made as they relate to his struggle with it being “too easy”.
First, he is an old soul, and he must have had his share of suffering because he has always had empathy and compassion beyond what is developmentally appropriate. I knew this the day we met, and that was more than a decade before I began to get even the slightest sense of spirituality for myself (I spent most of my life in my head).
Second, we never pretended it was our job as parents to “make” him into anything; we follow their bliss. While we’ve never gotten this perfect, I feel it has helped my son avoid some of those extra layers so many other humans I know seem to need to shed in order to find themselves.
Because, third, I believe we each are part of a collective whole and it is incumbent on each of us to determine for ourselves who and what we are, and then go do it. The greatest humans in history failed miserably at doing what society told them to do, instead they were guided by some inner voice to change society for the better. For one person, it may be to simply do no harm, for another to farm, for another to hold and transmit traditions, for another to invent new ways of thinking. The greatest harms in the world– murder, war, environmental decimation, subjugation of others– these acts can only be driven by individuals who are many many layers away from understanding their spiritual path and role in the collective whole.
Last summer I went to a festival that purported to support sacred world interdependence, and the skeptic in me wondered how a bunch of hippies drumming around a fire could in any way change the world. Well, for me, it was just the kind of experience *I* needed to get out of my head, into my spirit, and at least beginning that path towards finding my peace. And don’t all the cliche’s say that change starts within? And for that entire weekend, my time, energy and money was NOT spent consuming, destroying, or manipulating, so the benefit was to me and to society. How can this multiply out? If half of the seven billion of us practice a “First, do no harm” way of living, it would radically change the world.
And finally, this from my therapist, and I think the crux of the law of attraction concepts. When you are awake and aware, bringing yourself and your thoughts and your actions more into alignment with your true self, it IS EASY. That’s the point. When you are “in the flow,” you will still face challenges, but that work feels meaningful and you see it’s value. If you are struggling to fit in where you don’t, to actualize a version of yourself that comes from anywhere but your deepest self, well then every day feels like pushing a rock up a hill.
So, my conclusion to the question of “Does the Law of Attraction” work is, like so many other things, “It depends.” It depends on whether you believe. It depends on whether you are actively working to know yourself and therefore, it depends on whether you are asking for the right stuff (the stuff that is part of your mission here not the superficial crap you think will make you feel whole). It depends on whether you are not actively allowing your own B.S./environment/story to interfere with opportunities when they do appear.