May 15

Law of Attraction Minus the Smug


I’ve had the Law of Attraction philosophy notably come to my attention a few times in the last week. While I absolutely see some validity to the notion, I find it grossly oversimplified as it’s most often advocated.

In other words, my personal interpretation of the Law of Attraction is not entirely mainstream.

There’s a shocker for you, huh? Har!

“Think perfect, happy, magic thoughts.” If you don’t have a happy, magic life, then you’re obviously to blame, right?

Bah! When I first started playing around with the Law of Attraction, the whole mindset me feel like such a loser. It’s a vicious circle! You come seeking a way to make your life better, but the drive itself to make your life better leaves you feeling bad because it’s YOUR FAULT things suck now, which means you feel even worse and cannot make your life better.

I do believe in the Hermetic Law, “As above, so below” and it’s corollary, “As below, so above.” That’s my starting point.

What we see in everyday life is to a considerable extent a reflection of our emotional life and vice-versa. When you start interpreting life events metaphorically, you will find countless parallels between your physical, real-world life and energetic state. This is not unlike how Tarot works, or dream interpretation, or magic, or talking to spirit animals. Whatever. I see my own life as one big, fat metaphor. It works for me because it holds true with my observations.

But I do NOT believe that if  your neighbor is an asshole or your bank account is low or you have illness, it somehow means your spirit is assholish or poor or sick! I don’t believe we should blame people for personal struggles–even though sometimes people are their own worst liability. Frequently, in fact. But rather than apportion blame, I prefer to focus on making things better where we can, or finding a more comfortable perspective where we cannot.

Now, if every relationship you have is a train wreck, or you are chronically broke, or somehow see the same problems over and over, of course you should consider the common denominator–i.e. yourself–and see what you can do about that. But I’m also willing to consider other options.

It’s my belief  we come to the physical plane for an endless variety of reasons, hoping to master an endless variety of lessons or serve others who are doing the same. Of all of the potential lifetime classes, the “Everything is Perfect all the Time” class with optional lab work in “Rich, Attractive and Youthful, Advanced” isn’t the only one open to the spiritually sound.

We are here not only to create perfection as some Law of Attraction devotees may assert, but also to grow!

If you want to grow deep compassion, you’ll probably have to endure pain.

If you want to learn serious generosity, you’ll likely somehow experience poverty.

If you want to become a healer, you’ll have to face your own wounds.

It goes on and on, just like that. Those who want flexibility must overcome obstructions. Those who want courage will get served threats. Those who wish for patience will be faced with frustrations. How could it be anything but? A piece of fur is pleasant to touch, but it won’t smooth out rough wood. You need the harshness of sandpaper for finishing wood. Muscles grow when they are exercised. This is the yang to the yin, how life works. It’s perfectly balanced. We develop those skills and abilities that we reach for and practice. We grow out of both desire and need. We grow through living! That growth, to me, IS the creative process of life, the beauty and wonder.

And I don’t need any Hippy-Dippy neo-do-gooders telling me that whatever pain I’ve got is due not thinking pretty enough thoughts. Often such suggestions are causally thrown out as a way to minimize the speaker’s discomfort–too often served with a side of smug.

Truth is, NONE of us have untangled the whole thread of the fabric of reality. We’re lucky to catch glimpses of it, understand small parts of the weave. The path for some is working to understand it just a little better. But I’ve yet to meet anybody who has the market cornered on truth, although plenty may think so. But “plenty” could stand to get the Hell over themselves, if you ask me.

I will encourage people to raise expectations of good, increase their vibration and improve the quality of the energy they put out. I do see like drawing like–along with, sometimes, complimentary. I know if you constantly focus upon and expect pain, then pain becomes–at least to a significant extent–your reality. I know that gratitude and joy draw more of what you are grateful and joyful for, into your life. I’ve seen these concepts at work, so I’m not trying to throw out the baby with the bathwater here. There is something to it.

But there is definitely an asterisk. I’m married to a mega Virgo. Worrying is his superpower. If the Law of Attraction worked without any asterisks, I can tell you right now, I’d be dead of some bizarre accident. Hell, we’d all be dead of some sort of global calamity. He could name off a dozen or more scenarios for the Earth’s demise. I could (and do) encourage him to worry less, but that’s like encouraging him not to breath so much. It is who he is and while it causes him grief, I am not about to suggest he is WRONG for being himself.

Nor will I suggest you are wrong for being who you are, however flawed, however wounded or pained that may be. You work with the raw materials of your life, and make the most you can of them. No reason to feel like crap doing so.

Do you subscribe to some version of the Law of Attraction yourself? 

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Hermetic Law, Law of Attraction, LOA

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  1. I made a vision board because I have a hard time thinking positive thoughts! Trying for affirmations, Fleetwood Mac “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” as a new theme song. Just telling myself to get positive now dangit, but not easy!

  2. I have some belief in the Law of Attraction, but with lots of asterisks. I think the #1 is that you can’t override someone else’s free will. A lot of the things I’ve seen about the Law of Attraction seem to ignore that – “manifest whatever you want!” – well, how will that affect other people? Are you stomping on their free will?

    #2 is that I believe that we are here for a purpose (or more), and we can’t override that. I think we have a lot of flexibility in how we fulfill our purpose(s), but overall it’s another non-negotiable. I think Law of Attraction stuff ignores that too.

    That being said, I think the Law of Attraction can be a powerful tool in helping one’s self attend to those purposes in a much more efficient manner.

    Anecdote: I have a chronic medical condition. Someone once told me I could basically Law of Attraction myself out of it. I didn’t respond, but I didn’t like that. It took me a lot to come to terms with what I have, and it was a valuable lesson. I’m not going to spend that much energy, and more to magic it away when it is likely something I’m supposed to have in this life, and I could use that energy in many more useful ways.

    Wow, I’m wordy tonight.

  3. Excellent article Dixie. We would all be perfect if we could think the right thoughts all the time and the new age smug blame game really does get to me. My heavy Taurus/Virgo always whispers in my brain “if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.”

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