Ask, believe, and receive. That’s the rationale behind the Law of Attraction. Rhonda Byrne’s book and movie The Secret taught the about the Law of Attraction, with the idea that like attracts like.
The idea that you manifest everything that comes into your life, whether positive or negative, is a big part of the Law of Attraction. But is it true? And what can it do for your life?
The concept behind the Law of Attraction
Well, there are some things that seem timeless and true in The Secret. If you open yourself up to accepting good things, you may indeed receive them. If you act like you are not worth anything, you may be treated that way. After all, if you don’t love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you?
And it is true that if you are a negative person, others may not want to be around you, let alone want to help you. On the other hand, if you are a positive person, you will attract more friends, and more willing to help you. Think about it: if you see somebody needing assistance, are you more likely to help someone who seems kind and friendly, or someone who comes across as scowling and scary?
In addition, having a positive attitude, as well as an attitude of gratitude, could help you manifest more good things in your life. One reason for that is that you are more likely to notice those good things in your life if you are grateful for them. Having a nice home and a loving family are things that can easily be taken for granted by those not focused on having gratitude in your heart.
And keeping a focus on something you want can help make it happen. If you are focused on losing weight, or shedding your debt, and you think about it every day, that effort you make to focus on thoughts thoughts can help carry over to the rest of your life. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar, or spending money, without thinking about it, you will be more conscious about your decisions and want to make them happen.
The Law of Attraction also has a problematic side
Unfortunately, there are also drawbacks to this concept of the Law of Attraction. What happens if you lose your job, or get sick, or get sued? Did you manifest those things?
That’s where the Law of Attraction gets problematic. Because the implications – that people with cancer, or famine victims, or those who lost their jobs, or those who were prisoners of war, or were victims of genocide – somehow manifested those tragedies is very troubling. Who wants to think that a child with cancer brought it on herself due to negative thoughts? Or that a victim of attempted murder somehow caused his attack?
That’s where the rubber meets the road when it comes to the Law of Attraction. It comes across as blaming the victim.
Then there’s the idea that you can heal everything in your life, including cancer, by thinking about it. While positive thoughts can get you through illness, it will not in and of itself cure disease. And suggesting that it will is very dangerous.
What you can learn from the Law of Attraction
In summary, there is an element of truth to the idea that you can attract and manifest good ideas in your life. But that doesn’t mean that every bad thing that happens to you is your fault.
Sure, keep yourself open to good things, focus on your goals, and have an attitude of gratitude. But also keep in mind that life happens, and bad things can still happen to the best of people.
I really like this article Susan and your take on the Law of Attraction. When I was first introduced to The Secret, I’ll admit, it did open up my mind to a whole new world of possibilities. However, I did have a lingering question and I wondered if the bad things in my life were my fault. I agree that the concept of The Secret as far as the thinking positive to stay focused on good things did work for me and has helped me through a lot of hard times. But I could never believe that some of the some of horrible things that happen to people were brought on to them just because that had a negative thought or two.
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The blowback from Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” comes as no surprise. Many people interpret the idea behind the Law of Attraction as a way to hit the lottery or bring anything one asks for into one’s life.
The Law of Attraction is a law as is the law of gravity. Does anyone decide to “believe” in the law of gravity? Just try to disprove it by jumping off of a building! To say that we don’t believe in the Law of Attraction because of Rhonda Byrne is like saying we don’t believe in Christianity because of the antics of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker. Or that we don’t believe in Catholicism because priests are molesting children.
The Law of Attraction is about energy. Manifesting is relative. If one applies energy in the direction of a new job then the loss of the current job may start the process. As for manifesting illness there is a growing feeling, even by some in the medical community, that cancer is an illness of resentment. More and more we’re seeing that there is no disease, but rather “dis-ease”. Cut out the tumor and chances are the cancer comes back. Learn how to deal with your issues (lower energies) and you stand a better chance against sickness. Conventional medicine and treatment is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. And how many of us have heard of someone saying that their cancer or blindness was the best thing that ever happened to them? We pity them for something (manifested?) that gave them a positive result they never would have realized in their healthy state.
There is no such thing as a victim in Universal Law. If cells are in tune with these laws of physics they are healthy cells. If they waver from this harmony then they run the risk of problems. The laws tell us that we manifest what we vibrate- the word “fault” really doesn’t come into play.
The Law of Attraction is NOT about positive thinking. A better explanation of this is where Rhonda Byrne could have done readers/viewers a service. There is no positive attraction without equal energy being generated. All the affirmations and happy talk in the world won’t get you where you want to go if the underlying energy is not there. Teachers of the LOA will tell you that if you “believe” in the Law of Attraction you’re right. If you don’t, you’re still right. In other words it works if you work it. As a result, many of Ms. Byrne’s readers are saying they merely read the book and nothing happened in their lives.
To say that reading The Secret gives you a grasp of the Law of Attraction is akin to saying Chef Boyardee is an experience of a genuine Italian meal.
I don’t write these lines in order to evangelize. I’m merely pointing out the considerable misunderstanding surrounding Universal Law. Better to begin the understanding of these laws by exploring an area such as Quantum Physics.
Thanks very much for the chance to reply.
Thanks for both of your comments, Gio and Ti. Appreciate your insights!
The previous comment by Gio really hits the nail on the head! Saying that there is an element of truth to the law of attraction is akin to saying that gravity is OK so long as you don’t get too weighed down by it! Lol!
Regardless of whether you believe bad things happen to the best of people, you can ALWAYS choose your response to those bad things and, by intentionally choosing your response, you can create a better tomorrow for yourself.
As far as who is “at fault” in cases like cancer, you might like to review the following blog. It is NOT intended as medical advice, but is offered up as food for thought nonetheless:
The movie “The Secret” was a good introduction to the basics of the Law of Attraction but it downplayed the hard work that is needed to make things happen. Thinking or affirming things into being is not really how it works, but change is possible if the Law of Attraction is combined with action, focus and persistence. The messages of the “New Thought” teachers of the last 100 years are still relevant today. Go back to William Walker Atkinson’s book “Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World” for an explanation of how the Law of Attraction really works. Check out the new updated gender neutral edition at http://www.hudsonmohawkpress.com
Thanks for your opinions! Glad to get your feedback.