What is The Law of Attraction?
Thought leader and cherubic badass Mark Manson defines it thusly:
“Essentially, The Law of Attraction states that whatever consumes your thoughts is what you will eventually get in life. So, if you think of all the things you don’t want in your life, you’ll only get the things you don’t want. By contrast, if you only envision the things you do want in your life, then you will get everything you want in life.”
Hence, if you worry about dying alone in a gutter to be slung in a potter’s grave — then “The Universe” will respond in kind, and you will indeed be buried next to lepers and Charlie Sheen.
But, if you believe you’re already married to the Love Of Your Life and you’ll be buried together in nirvanic bliss when you’re both 100, “The Universe” will respond to these “Thought Vibrations” by eventually providing what you desire.
Four Ways Believing This Crapola Totally Screws You Up
1. Whenever something bad happens to you, you blame yourself.
Cancer? Your fault. Mugged in broad daylight? What were you thinking? Mudslides in Montecito? You must have manifested them.
This is what I call the “Punishing the Victim.”
If we hold our THOUGHT VIBRATIONS responsible for everything that happens to us, we’re basically screwed. Because we’ll blame ourselves for things that are truly beyond our control.
If we were already suffering from sadness and depression about the futility of our existence, “The Law of Attraction” will kick us when we’re down; making us ashamed of ourselves for “attracting misfortune” on top of already reeling from the misfortune itself.
Life can be hard. Shit can go sideways just because. There are times when we are legitimately victims and need love, support and self-compassion to heal.
2. “The Law of Attraction” Can Screw with You Because It Says You’ll Never Get What You Want If You Think Negative Thoughts.
Here’s the problem with we humans. As soon as we try to stop thinking Negative Thoughts, they just get more pernicious.
“I will not think I’m too damaged to be loved. I will not think I’m too damaged to be loved. Because if I think it, it will come true. And then it will be myfault it’s true, because I thought it.”
Psychological research shows that trying to suppress thoughts about something only makes those thoughts more likely to recur. In fact, the more you try to get rid of unwanted thoughts, the more these thoughts dominate your mental space.
It’s like if I tell you, “Never think about Failing-At-Love.” The first thing that likely pops into your mind is the myriad ways you can Fail-At-Love.
Thinking about the things you do not want can lead to more negative thinking and put you in a vicious cycle of negativity.
3. “The Law of Attraction” Can Screw with You Because You’re More Likely to Suppress or Deny “Negative” Emotions.
When we’re struggling to make “The Law of Attraction” our minion, we’re more likely to suppress or deny any so-called “negative” emotions we’re having.
Feelings like Anxiety, Sadness, Anger and Fear. This might make life more bearable in the short term, but will ultimately screw us in the end.
Psychotherapist Tori Rodriguez writes:
“New research shows that experiencing and accepting (negative) emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment. Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life’s ups and downs. Remember, one of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences.”
If we buy into “The Law of Attraction” we’ll be angry at ourselves for being angry, sad that we feel sad, anxious about feeling anxious and fearful when feel fear.
I say, Screw That Baloney! It’s completely appropriate to feel angry, sad, anxious and fearful at times in our lives. Negative emotions are integral to the experience of being human and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having them.
More importantly, negative emotions can motivate us to make positive changes in our lives; keep us from making bad decisions; and/or show us who we should or shouldn’t have in our lives.
Embracing and accepting our negative emotions helps us learn from them and let them go.
Accepting negative emotion also helps us KEEP IT REAL in a society drunk on social media bragging and delusional positivity. Which leads me to —
4. “The Law of Attraction” Can Screw You Up When You Indulge in What Mark Manson Calls, “Delusional Positivity.”
“The Secret (aka “The Law of Attraction” tome) actually requires that we never doubt ourselves, never consider negative repercussions, and never indulge in negative thoughts. This can be dangerous: ignoring red flag behaviors from a romantic partner, denying personal problems, avoiding necessary confrontations, failing to weigh the possibility of failure in decision making, and so on. While this sort of ‘delusionally positive’ thinking may make one feel better in some (or even many) situations, as a long-term life strategy, it is utterly disastrous.”
I’ll give you an example from my own life:
As you might know, I’ve had my share of toxic relationships (before I did the hard work necessary to attract a healthy relationship.) My last one was particularly painful.
I decided to ignore and suppress that pain because I was gonna get that man — who lied, cheated, stonewalled and gaslighted me — to marry me and give me children, come hell or high water.
Using “The Law of Attraction,” I decided to stay positive, which meant trusting and loving him, no matter what.
I ignored all the signs his lying and cheating were rampant. Choosing to see him as “innocent,” so I wouldn’t nag or be angry at him, which I believed was the cause of his bad behavior.
I shut out any negative thoughts about him, because I believed these were “bad energetic vibrations” and were keeping him from being the man he could be and me from the bliss of being married to him.
So, I rolled up my sleeves and strove to be even more positive, while completely denying reality.
“The Law of Attraction” and “delusional positivity” cost me a good four years of my life.
I needed to swap out my “delusional positivity” for therapy, twelve-step recovery, feeling my negative feelings so they could motivate me to change myself (not my ex) and keep it real!
So, when you find yourself tempted to rest on the laurels of your “positive” thinking; you might want to unearth the unpleasant emotions beneath that, to determine what course of ACTION you should take.
Praise for Shannon’s Book
“Such a great read for people wondering why they’re always choosing the wrong kind of romantic partners. Also great for professionals, offers relatable stories and uses language free of jargon to help clients make valid connections between their pasts and their present behaviors.
“I recommended it to both colleagues and friends. — Kathryn L. Green MS, NCC, LPC
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