Also published on Medium.
The “Law of Attraction” is a concept I have a hard time believing in. It’s one of those mystical, psuedo-scientific, woo-woo hippie concepts I just can’t seem to give credit to.
Books like “The Secret” and “The Law of Attraction” and names like Abraham Hicks pop up all over the internet and have a cult-like following, despite having little to no scientific evidence to back it up.
If you’re not familiar with it, people who believe in the “Law of attraction” believe that you manifest what you think. That you can manifest any of your wildest dreams and desires (or worst fears and horrible misfortune)…just by thinking about it and visualizing it.
They believe that everything you have in your life is a representation of what you have attracted into it…both good and bad. If you have a beautiful life filled with abundance, it’s because you manifested it by thinking positively. Conversely if you have negativity and suffering in your life…it’s because you have attracted it into your life by thinking negatively.
*Note – To followers of this law I’m probably over-generalizing and over simplifying, but this is how I would explain it in a nutshell without going into the underlying techniques practiced.
For me it falls into the category of energy healing and magical crystals – despite the anecdotal evidence of numerous people, I still want to scream “BULLSHIT” from the top of the mountain.
Having said that, I like to demystify concepts like these. To break it down into the understandable. To remove the mystical spirituality and see if there are any core principles lying underneath that make sense and can be applied into one’s own life.
After reading about and studying this law over the last few months via books like “The Law of Attraction”, “The Master Key System” and Jesse Elder, I will say that I do believe that when you throw away the mystical magical components, there is a lot of practicality that makes sense. It’s a technique that DOES WORK…but not for the reasons that they claim.
So here is my personal understanding of the law of attraction and how I would explain it to someone else, based on how I used it in my own life and the results I’ve seen.
Let’s start off with the example of manifesting love and a healthy relationship.
Let’s say that you had a traumatic experience in your life in relation to love. Maybe you were sexually abused, or cheated on, or someone broke your heart.
When you think back on those memories, there will be a lot of painful emotion that pops up. You might cry or feel physical pain, start shaking, etc.
Because of this previous experience around love, when you approach loving relationships, you will probably have your guard up. You have been hurt in the past and want to protect yourself from getting hurt again.
You are closed off. You don’t want to be vulnerable (open), so you don’t allow that person in (or you are resistant/slow to let them in).
The problem with this however, is that it is rooted in fear. You are afraid of being hurt, and thus need to protect yourself.
Fear closes you off. Makes you retreat. Prevents you from taking action.
It repels love like an opposite magnetic force. Repels others away from you.
Because you’re still living in fear, you are repelling love from your life. Not allowing it in.
Therefore, you can’t manifest love in your life until you have let go of that fear and the emotions associated with it. The more you hold onto the pain of that previous experience, the more you repel love and prevent yourself from “manifesting” it.
So what can you do to fix this?
Sit with those emotions. Look back on them, feel them, and allow that emotion to flow.
Over time, the intensity of those feelings will subside. They won’t be as overwhelming.
When you get to this point, try to think about how that experience was GOOD for. you. How it made you a better person. How it helped you to identify WHAT YOU WANT out of a relationship in life.
Eventually you can begin to FEEL gratitude and appreciation for that previously negative experience. You can begin to associate positive feelings with it. You can begin to feel the love.
As you do this, you open yourself back up to love. Your fear is no longer holding you back. You’re ready to be vulnerable (open) again because your previous pain is no longer rooted in fear. Instead, it has been transformed into love and appreciation and gratitude.
Thus, when you look for new relationships, you’re no longer stuck in your old patterns. Instead of being closed off because of fear, you’re now open again. You can now “manifest” a great loving relationship because you’re no longer clinging to your previous pain.
You’re now open to love, because you know what you want.
This is an important part – Coming from the perspective of “what I want” vs. “What I don’t”
When you’re rooted in fear, you come from a place of “what I don’t”
“I don’t want to be hurt again”
“I don’t want someone who is abusive”
“I don’t want someone who takes me for granted”
Fear. Fear. Fear.
When you are rooted in love, you come from a place of “what I want”
“I want someone who loves and appreciates me”
“I want someone who inspires me.”
“I want someone who makes me feel good about myself.”
Love. Love. Love 🙂
When you think in terms of what you want…you get it! But when you think in terms of what you DON’T want, you also get it! Therefore it’s important to think in terms of what you want, rather than what you don’t.
This applies to so many other areas of our lives as well.
“I don’t want to be broke” vs. “I want to be rich!”
“I don’t want to be around negativity”vs. “I want to be around people who inspire me”
“I don’t want to die” vs “I want to LIVE!”
Think in terms of what you want, and then go take action to turn those wants into reality.
Oprah has two quotes that are very relevant to this discussion.
First – “There are only two emotions in life, fear and love.”
Fear and love are at the core of the law of attraction. When we operate from a place of fear we are resistant, closed off, confrontational, etc. We don’t allow the things we want into our life because we resist and question it. Because we’re more afraid of what can go wrong than what can go right.
However when we operate from a place of love we’re open, receptive, accepting, willing to ALLOW things to happen because we trust that they are moving in the right direction.
The key is to notice where our past traumas are holing us back and keeping us rooted in fear, and flip that to appreciation and gratitude so that we can feel the love, and feel the openness and receptivity to allow good things to flow into our lives.
Second – “When love doesn’t come wrapped in our personal fantasy, we fail to recognize it.”
A great person might come into your life but because they don’t fit the mold of what you think you want, you reject them. A great job opportunity might come your way but because the timing isn’t right or some small factor is off, you reject it.
Building on my examples above, I believe that we do this when we are still rooted in the pain of our previous experiences, which has us act from a place of fear.
When the pain of your previous experiences closes you off to seeing future possibilities, you fail to create the life you want for yourself.
By sitting with our painful experiences from the past, we can change how we feel about them, and then start to associate positive feelings with them instead.
When this happens, our eyes are open once again. We start looking for love in the unlikely places. We’re receptive to it once again, and allow ourselves to allow it into our lives – no matter what wrapping paper it comes in.
The law of attraction is as simple as that – open yourself to the magic of possibility. Don’t allow your previous traumas to hold you back and close you off to future opportunities.
There is nothing mystical about this. It goes back to my story on “you get what you are looking for”. When you’re looking for and open to something because you’re not held back by fear, it has a funny way of falling into your lap. You suddenly begin to see opportunities for it everywhere. These opportunities are then effortless to obtain. Suddenly you’re “manifesting” everything you want because you realize it’s been there the whole time, you just never noticed it in the first place!
Think about why most people never quit the job that they hate, and in doing so never change their financial lives. They are afraid of being jobless or running out of money or what people might think of them INSTEAD OF saying that they want to live a happy life where they do what they love on their own terms.
Thus, they are closed off to the opportunities that lie right in front of them, but they just can’t see because they haven’t let go of their fear. If they made their decision based on what they want, they would see opportunities for it in every direction.
Lastly, the most important piece of all of this is ACTION. You can sit with your feelings, change them, and visualize a better future for yourself all that you want…it means nothing unless you take action.
These exercises help us to change our feelings and uncover what we want in life. To operate from a place of love rather than fear.
But all of the “manifestation” is predicated upon action. Dreaming and visualization without doing is just dreaming. You have to take these realizations and put them into effect. You have to make decisions and take actions in order to create the life you want for yourself.
This is my understanding of the LOA, and I genuinely do believe that this does work (pending you’re not born below the poverty line in a third world country). There’s nothing magical or spiritual about it – it’s all about small changes to your mindset and deliberate action.
The way you think about something influences your feelings, which in turn will affect how you take actions, which will determine your results. If you want different results in life, change the way you think so that you can have positive feelings associated with the topic and take action from a place of feeling good. The more you can master this sequence of events, the more you are a living embodiment of the law of attraction.
Everything in life comes down to understanding our own mind and our own feelings. The LOA is no different. It’s not mystical, it’s a framework of changing the way that you think and feel so that you can become open to new possibilities and the abundance the world has to offer!
Now get out there and go manifest the life of your dreams!!! 🙂