Small Life, Slow Life: 88/100 {Is practicing the law of attraction a waste of time?}

Pam Grout, a really well-known law of attraction type author (she wrote E-Squared and E-Cubed), just lost her perfectly healthy twenty-five year-old daughter to an aneurysm. I read her blog post about it and found myself crying as I did, imagining what a cannon ball to the core it would feel like to lose my own daughter.

I learned this yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since.

How can you can be a bestselling author and have a crazy wonderful life, traveling anywhere you want and absolutely living your dream, and your most precious thing can be taken from you?

Is subscribing to the law of attraction a waste of time?

I can already here you clicking on the Comment box, and you’re going to say something like, No! Because if she hadn’t been practicing LOA, she would have had a really lame life not living her dream and she still would have lost her daughter.

I get that. I’ve just been in a weird place with LOA lately. Namely, I don’t know if I’m buying it anymore.

Now, if you would have asked me six years ago, when C and I were broken up and I was seeing his name, his car, and his favorite animal literally landing in front of me everywhere, I would have said, Absolutely, law of attraction and visualization are 100% real. At that point in time, when he came back to me, I really believed that I had attracted him back.

But now I think…maybe I didn’t attract him back. Maybe I gave up on him and attracted myself back. And maybe, once he saw that, and heard that I had moved on and was with someone else, that was what sparked him into action, not me sitting at my love altar in the northeast corner of my apartment.

I guess I’m in a space where I just really don’t know. I just don’t know. I have seen some miraculous things in my life, and also some really weird things that cannot be explained (my CD player in my high school bedroom skipping tracks backwards until it landed on my favorite song is something that still makes my hair stand on end whenever I think about it), but I just don’t know if LOA is the actual “secret” to life.

Wayne Dyer is another one who shook my faith a bit — this guy ate perfectly, exercised every day, lived in Hawaii and had a perfect life. Then he got leukemia. He very famously pronounced himself as “cured” and even worked with John of God to do “spiritual surgery” to cure him.

Yeah. He died. My friend Marianne and I talked about that one a long time. What a loss it was to lose him. How sure he was that he was well.

I recently finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Most people think it is a book about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. But they are wrong. It is a book about being suffocated by, and eventually learning to live inside of grief. The book moved me profoundly. And I think what is so important about Cheryl’s story is that, when hiking for three months in a row with a limited supply of water while wearing hiking boots that are a size too small, you can’t LOA out of what happens to you. A bull almost mauled her. She crossed paths with four rattlesnakes. A man likely intended to rape her before his friend found him. She ran out of water, and money. She was constantly hurting, her toenails falling off and her skin rubbed raw.

And always, always, always, she looked into the face of her pain. And it transformed her.

I have always believed on some level that really devastating things happen in life. This is what life is. Sometimes, the growth that comes after dealing with those things is really beautiful. And sometimes it isn’t. I once got into an argument with a friend who was embarking on a new relationship I didn’t think was a smart or emotionally safe idea. He said, “Well, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? You grow from every experience.”

I can still remember my emotional response to those words. I was fuming. I said, “No, you do not grow from every experience. Some experiences abuse you and shrink you and put you at risk. And something may not kill you physically, but it will emotionally. There are some people who spend their whole lives completely emotionally dead. I don’t agree with that at all.”

I get equally irritated with “Well, everything happens for a reason.” Does it?! Does a police officer shooting a security guard who had apprehended a gunman happen for a reason? Are these horrific fires in California happening for a reason? Do people abuse other people for a reason? Does child molestation and murder and corruption happen for a reason? No!

Bad things happen in this lifetime. You can’t argue with that. People are oppressed, our endless greed drives up the temperature which will create a crisis for our children, an awful man is in office, beautiful and perfect twenty-five year-old children drop dead of an aneurysm. Bad. Things. Happen. It’s part of playing the game here on Earth.

I wonder sometimes if LOA is an escapist route to this fact. Like, Oh, if I just control all my thinking and I never let myself feel bad and I look at my vision board every day and I say my affirmations, everything will be beautiful and I’ll never have to suffer.

For months now I’ve been wondering why Wayne Dyer had to die. And now I will always wonder about Pam Grout’s daughter. Did she attract the aneurysm to herself? Because I don’t think she did.

I don’t really have a way to wrap up any of these thoughts; they have just been on my mind. What does it mean to live a life on this planet? Do our thoughts actually influence outcomes, or by assuming that they do, are we the things that change, hence bringing about the desired outcome?

Or are we all on this rock just spinning endlessly, our lives no more meaningful than a speck of dust, and we ascribe purpose and reason and “secrets” to living so that we don’t have to bear our own pointlessness?

I just don’t know.

The only thing I know is that the one thing in this whole world that gives me purpose and hope and reason is sleeping beside me right now.

5 thoughts on “Small Life, Slow Life: 88/100 {Is practicing the law of attraction a waste of time?}

  1. I don’t think that trough LOA you can prevent horrible things happen to you. What I do believe is that trough LOA you become the best version of yourself – and that helps you to attract people in your life who love you ( like in your case) and it helps you achieving your goals ! It’s never a waste of time thinking and feeling positive thought and emotions, because you as a person become happier and more connected to yourself ! I think that’s what law of attraction is all about…. and how to deal better whit horrible things that unfortunately happen and we have no power to not making happen them ( sorry for my bad english)

    • I totally hear you and actually think you’re right. Whether it works or not, being a positive person leads to having a better life. Absolutely. I just think that some LOA preachers make it seem like LOA fixes everything, and we need to remember that we are still in these human bodies for a limited time and that bad things can happen!

  2. I’ve been considering these same things! When in doubt, I always look to Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (see excerpt below!). My opinion? The nature of humanity is to experience love and joy as well as loss and pain.. a necessary evil in which we will all take our turn in causing the pain or enduring it ourselves.

    LOA can be used as a tool for strengthening the spirit, but shouldn’t be relied upon as a prevention method nor blinder to the inevitability of loss. With big love comes big loss, sooner or later. Knowing that and using LOA to foster the happiest, healthiest life possible allows us to accept those moments with grace and hopefully move forward in the same fashion. Sounds pretty but damn is it HARD.

    …’Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.
    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.’

      • Oh goodness, the pleasure is mine! I have been visiting your post on how you got your ex back every day for over a month as I discover something new each time. Your words are truly poignant and deliver your message in a way most others cannot– the hallmark of a truly gifted writer! So THANK YOU. I appreciate it more than you know.

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