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Why the law of attraction serves us badly in this recession


The law of attraction is the belief that your thoughts manifest as your reality. Everything you have in your life has been attracted to you through your mind. Much has been written about this concept and it’s certainly no secret.

Virtually everyone in the U.S. believes in the law of attraction in some shape or form, though that form may be prayer (The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want) or positive sayings (Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better) or aspirational images (a photo of our dream house).

Our belief in this “law” may even be as simple as a practical observation that people prefer to interact with others who seem positive and that it is difficult to fake it convincingly for extended periods.

I believe life is meant to have challenges and some of these challenges are meant to be prolonged. Problems are intrinsic to life. Contracting a life-threatening disease or losing our job does not mean we have sent the wrong issue to the universe. And simply because we set an intention to recover fully or to get a new job by Tuesday does not mean we have failed in our relation to the universe if our intentions do not take shape on schedule.

I heartily dislike the law of attraction in its most extreme forms. While the belief that our thoughts control what happens to us is initially empowering, it soon evolves into self accusation and guilt if we cannot apply the law of attraction to solve our problems promptly.

Still unemployed? The law of attraction is always working, even if you aren’t. The universe has unlimited power to serve up what you attract and is not bound by such earthly illusions as economic cycles.

Hard data shows that something is happening out there in terms of the economy, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. And acknowledgement is a major problem in a world where thoughts are the sole determinant of reality.

This conundrum is clearly presenting a problem among the self-development experts. Every time they or (potential) followers recognize the recession, they also call it into being. So the more they call to us with a “solution,” the more they also call the problem into being. And if they don’t talk about the problem, they cannot move us to act.

Those of us steeped in the language of the law of attraction are prone to pick out the shortcomings of others as they call the recession into their lives.

We are also prone to beat up on ourselves if what we are manifesting is what we deserve in the most negative sense of the word, a concrete sign of where our thoughts are failing us.

Love is the answer

I hate it when people say love is the answer. The answer to what? Sorry, too facile a statement.

But in this context, it just may be true. It’s a lot more attractive than our becoming insufferable know-it-alls about what everyone else is attracting the worst to themselves.

To me, the solution is to be more supportive of each other, even to love one another more. The world would be a better place if we would quit blaming ourselves and others for the “realities” we have allegedly created and instead be more encouraging of both ourselves and others in grappling with the challenges life has placed on our paths.


Originally posted 5-1-09

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