The bible says; ‘’ask and you shall be given’’. Esoteric teaching speaks of the universal law of attraction, sometimes used – cruelly – by others to say we are experiencing everything that comes our way because we willed it to be so. In reality I believe the forces of nature and the love of God work on a far subtler frequency.
Shit happens. It happens arbitrarily and it happens to the nicest of people. When life offers us turmoil and challenges it is easy to think we are being punished, or that somehow we’ve not learned the lessons we are supposed to learn. Conversely, we do seem to learn best when life is not sailing along happily and without ever a stir on the waters. So while I don’t be believe we bring adversity upon us in the direct linear way that a superficial reading of the law of attraction might lead us to believe, I do think we influence the path we take through these dark woods through the quality of our thinking.
What if we imagine that the angelic beings that are here to translate our wishes and intentions into actions and deeds can’t distinguish between so called ‘’good’’ thoughts or ‘’bad’’ thoughts.
What if they just have one task; you think, we deliver!!
Our minds are a huge trap when it comes to emotional and psychological overload. Faced with life situations that we can neither control nor influence, we use our minds to grab back some illusion of control by trying to think our way through the bewilderment of our feelings. Or to an explanation for what has happened. Or to the resources we might need to allow us to get through. By imagining every nightmare scenario and the ways in which we might avoid them or combat them we think we are getting a handle on the future. But not only is this is a fallacy it also sends some pretty dark thoughts out into the world.
We control nothing!
The first thing we need to do is to fully embrace the fact that we are, in fact, utterly helpless and not in control of either our own or others’ lives. We can decide what to eat for breakfast, we can even decide what schools to send our children, which partners to marry, but we can never, ever be in control of the outcome of our decisions. We can try and imagine different scenarios, but we cannot ever control the outcome. And even if it makes us feel better because we think we did some kind of internal due diligence, the price we pay in terms of our neurological health and potential angel-misguiding intentions, is high. And what’s more, all this mental activity deafens us to the true voice inside that already knows what is best and is able to recognise, moment by moment, (and not twenty moments ahead), what correct action can be taken. Our thoughts take place in the past and the future. Never in the present. And yet, it is only ever in the present moment where true clarity and truth can be found.
And once you can begin to embrace the fact that no matter how much thought you put into a situation, you will never control the outcome, then you also realise you might as well be thinking positive thoughts rather than negative ones. Because, if nothing else, it will stop your central nervous system from constantly activating the fight flight mechanism and thus driving you to do even more thinking to make the anxiety disappear. Scans have shown that when we think negative thoughts our cells literally contract, and when we think hopeful, trusting thoughts our cells expand.
As a reward for this act of mental discipline comes the growing ability to trust that whatever the outcome, you will be given the resources to deal with it. Now, in this moment, letting the next and the next take care of themselves. Sometimes it is not until people have totally exhausted themselves that the mind literally collapses and surrenders to the moment. But wouldn’t it be nice to not quite let it come to that?
Working with surrender
In fact, perhaps the only prayer that now makes sense to me is ‘’God grant me the strength to deal with everything on my path, joy as well as pain, and to recognise its powerfully transforming potential.’’ The power of the universe, of God, or the Goddess, or Source, or whatever you feel comfortable calling that part of you that is part of the Beyond of reality, is here to hold us through the worst of our fears, our pain and to celebrate with us the moments of joy. They are not here to make it go away, to stop it from happening, but like a good mother or father to comfort us and make us feel safe so that we can stand strong as we’re buffeted by the winds of change.
Cruel applications of the Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is so hard to get our minds around – hah! – because it threatens to lead us into very linear thinking. Thus it can become a deeply irrational, illogical, and wounding philosophy where we lose all empathy and compassion for others (and for ourselves) because, ‘’well, they must have attracted it’’, whatever the ‘’it’’ is; cancer, economic ruin, war. And yet, we also recognise its truth. We see people around us who always expect the worst of other people and only seem to meet with people who are abusive and unkind. Or the person who buys every burglar alarm known to mankind only to have their purse stolen on the train. Energy follows thought. It’s why Assagioli used ‘’power words’’ to help him change vulnerable aspects in his own and his clients’ nature. Fake it until you make it is a popularised form of this deep universal law.
So yes, I believe our thought-forms have far greater power than we understand. And if we were to count up the fear based thoughts we have in one day, and set then off against the trusting, surrendering, accepting thoughts, then I can just feel the weight of all that negative thought energy hauling me down into the abyss. And then just imagine that these thoughts might have the power to materialise the world around us? Then surely, as a thought experiment if nothing else, we would truly want to clean up our mental act?
The first pay-off is physical. And this is something we know scientifically to be true, so our mind might be more open to embracing it as a first step to surrendering its fear and outcome controlling needs. The amygdala, the source of the adrenaline and cortisone rushes that follow traumatic events, real, but also imagined (!), can finally relax and allow the calming neurotransmitters such as serotonin to bring the system back in balance. Deep breathing and reminding yourself that ‘’here and now I am safe’’ helps this process. It takes us out of our mind, deep into our belly, into our emotions, into that part where we can be still, and be in the moment.
As an interim measure, if your brain really needs a little more time to pretend it can control outcomes through marathon thinking, then just think positive outcomes. And if that makes you think you are jinxing the future… well then you’ve just proven to yourself that somewhere, somehow, you do believe your thoughts have more power than your rational mind would like you to believe.
So we can choose to walk around with cringing, fear based cells, that may or may not be attracting our worst nightmares, or we can choose not to jump on these negative, fallible outcome controlling trains of thoughts, let them pass the platform, sigh, and say ‘what will be will be’. And know that in the stillness of your thoughtless mind you will begin to hear the moment by moment clarity, wisdom and truth that will perfectly guide your actions, whatever happens.