Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Is the Law of Attraction Crap?

10 Comments

Okay, maybe that is a bit terse, but after so many months of sharing thoughts on trying to live in the present moment, being positive, getting clear, and all that “woo-woo” stuff, I feel like kicking it all in the pants. And admit it; haven’t you wondered or wanted to do the same thing?

To borrow some worn out words “It is hard work.”

But I didn’t think it was supposed to be “hard work.” I thought it was supposed to be effortless. Aren’t I just supposed to “show up” and let the universe take care of the rest?

Can you tell I’m feeling a bit frustrated?

Actually I do believe that the law of attraction, or aligning yourself with the universe, or opening yourself to the universe or however you wish to describe it, does work. Problem is, it seems to be rather inconsistent. Or maybe I’m just not always “in the moment.”

My current feeling brings to mind an article I read in the March 2008 issue of Shambhala Sun by Brad Warner titled “That’s Not Very Buddhist of You.” In a nutshell, Warner, a Buddhist, discusses the issue of being told that you are doing something that others perceive as “not being very Buddhist.” That when when we don’t live up to someone’s idealized version or image, look out.

And that may be my problem with the Law of Attraction. I have, at times, held this idealized image of what it means to follow the Law of Attraction. That by being positive and upbeat and spreading the good karma and setting intentions and getting clear, I should get whatever I bloody well want.

Ouch!

Warner states “it is of no importance at all to try to live up to some media stereotype of a supposedly ‘typical Buddhist.’ In fact, that’s one of the most self-destructive activities you can engage in. Buddhism must always be grounded in reality.”

And so it is with the Law of Attraction. The reality of the Law of Attraction is that it happens in its own perfect time. It isn’t something you can force, push, or hurry along. When the time is right, it will happen.

The admittedly frustrating part is setting those intentions, being open to intuition, to the universe, getting clear, and nothing. So you keep on doing what you’re doing and waiting a little longer and, nope, not yet.

The universe sure is a big ol’ tease.

Some say that while you’re setting your intentions and getting clear and being open, the universe is aligning behind the scenes. Small things are happening. Perhaps you’re not paying attention to the small things because you’re waiting for the big wham-o. And when the big wham-o doesn’t smack you in the face, you think what is big deal with this?

Yet, if you look back, reassess your day, your week, the past month, you become aware of all the small things that did take place. The universe really did align and it did bring you to where you are today.

As Warner stated in his article “Our intuition never actually fails us, even though we often think that it does. We only fail to hear it over the noise we generate in our heads. We all have this intuition. But we’ve learned how to shout it down with our thoughts and emotions to the extent that it’s sometimes impossible to hear that small, still voice.”

I have sometimes felt that the Law of Attraction has failed me when in reality I have not paid enough attention to the small signs and trusted my intuition. When the negative voice or ego is on a roll, getting “uppity” you might say, I have to shift my thoughts and return to that place of stillness. After all, compassion begins with being compassionate with yourself.

Warner ends his article saying “Our practice will never make us perfect, when perfection is merely an image created by thought. Real perfection is just to keep on practicing.”

And so it is with the Law of Attraction. It is a daily practice to set intentions, to get clear, to be open. Some days I fail and and I have to get clear again. And some days I realize I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

Note: Christine Kane wrote a series earlier this year on the 6 Snarkiest Misconceptions about the Law of Attraction. I’m going to read these posts again. You’ll find misconception #1 here. Links to consecutive posts are at the top.

10 thoughts on “Is the Law of Attraction Crap?

  1. I think there are two aspects to Karma, one is that it’s effects are very, very, very long term, and the karma we receive may well be from the goodwill of others, and two is that while the elements rage around us we can create our own bubble of peace and goodwill (? and hope that if there are enough of us the pool will become universal).

    It is awe inspiring when we receive the benefit of someone else’s goodwill.

    A small example, while shopping the other day, I was third in line at the cash register, the person second in line, looked at my basket and asked me if one of the items was expensive, I told her the price. She gave me a 40% of coupon, which she could have used on her own purchases but decided I would get more benefit. Wow, why me, why then, why……

    It’s also called “living with grace”, how often doesn’t the accident happen, you look up for a second and see a beautiful moment in nature, the plane is on time, there are two tickets left at the box office…. you touch someone with a word or deed, and never know the beneficial effect you created…

    it does balance all the other moments when life throws garbage at you.

  2. I hear ya, Amy ! I have always found it very difficult to live in the moment and to align myself with the universe…And those times when I do achieve it are quickly interruped by so-called ‘real life’- the garbage disposal breaks down (this actually happened to me 2 months ago!), the new electric bill arrives and is 21% higher than the last one, my cat gets injured and has to go to the vet…The stillness is easily obscured, but the noise seems to push it’s way to the front with minimal effort…Serenity is hard work…Sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it?

  3. I’ve been struggling with that very same question lately myself, Amy. Just like in meditation where you have to sit very still, breathe and not get caught up in your thoughts, I find it very challenging to not get caught up in all of the “drama” of my life and the lives of those around me. All of the self-help books I read/listen to and the webcasts I watch somehow make it appear natural and easy to live this way, the way of setting intentions for your life and living in the present moment. I find it darn hard work most of the time! Just do this and you will be happy. Just do that and you will be in balance. And my ego just loves it when these feelings start to come up, I know. I guess the bottom line is that we’re all human and go through cycles in our daily lives that are just like the cycles of the seasons. Sometimes we’re in full bloom with things and sometimes all of the growth is going on underground. I try to embrace whatever I’m going through or feeling (again, very hard!) because good or bad, light or dark, it’s all me. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to go back and read Christine’s post, too.

  4. Brenda,

    I love your wisdom on this subject. The words that came to mind were “what goes around comes around” or “that which you give so shall you receive.” Promoting good karma is indeed a great way to live.

    Dora,

    Yes, life does have a way of tossing challenges at us. One of my favorite quotes is “It isn’t the problem but how you react to it.” That in itself can be a learning experience and a challenge. But it is true; how we react to the problem impacts our ability to get handle it.

    Karen,

    I agree; those who are the “experts” make it seem so easy. But I also think that by admitting to the “hard work,” we acknowledge that we are not perfect and our ego has a hard time with that. We are better to admit that some days we “hit the wall,” go through the struggle, and come out better on the other side.

    -Amy

  5. Law of attraction? The word is out. There are many materials and work shops that would love to have your money to learn what is something that as human beings we all ready know. Nobody taught me to breath. We are given instincts at birth and from birth we are taught away from our instincts. We give much attention to others ambitions and experiences and forgive our own instincts. We are all creators and all must create. If you just get to know yourself and proceed with what makes you feel good and to not give attention to what makes you feel bad, then you will have law of attraction. I have never studied or been taught any formal religion. What I have learned from my experiences though seamily is taught by all religions and those who call themselves spirtual. Law of attraction to me is your basic intincts. To understand what you already know nobody can teach you that. j.k.

  6. Hi J.K.

    Thanks for your insight and for providing another perspective on the Law of Attraction.

    -Amy

  7. I think that “the law of attraction” stuff makes good marketing and website content but I have some problems with it. Firstly it would make the Universe a very unfair place, someone who had an easy life would continue having an even better and better life, regardless of their behavior, just becasue they think that way (OK i’ll admit the world does seem to work this way to an extent, but there really are far better more sophisticated explanations for this). People who have a hard life can only continue to have a harder life. But there are many cases of people going down hill despite growing up with roses and flowers, usually for being chronically selfish and it catching up to them.. Also the people who make it form the bottom generally do it with lots of horrible stuff in their minds and they do it anyway, sometimes quite humbly. How do wars ever end? How do really good stages of your life end? There are elements of Transactional analysis in this, which is genius, and explains explicitly how people follow their life scripts and injunctions etc. But good marketing always says do this easy thing and your life will be great, drink coke and get well, good times and sex.
    Also I think good deeds, selflessnes, humbleness eventually get rewarded, while selfishness and self grandification don’t. It just takes a loooonnggg loonngg time (the universe has more than all the time in the world to do watever it wants I spose)… Law of attraction seems to completely disregard this so thats a very bad thing.

  8. I enjoyed reading your post. Keep it up! Peace will find you.

  9. Yes, it is crap. It is one of the most specious concepts that has been shoved down our collective throats in the last 50 years.

    Humans will never control all of the environmental factors at play in their lives. Cancer, earthquakes, warfare…this “law” will not prevent any of it.

    The only thing that it has attracted is a disgusting sum of money into a few scheming pockets. Oprah supports it…so objective reality be damned!

    It’s time for people to take their blinkers off, and accept that many things in life are beyond their control. http://vladsprincipality.wordpress.com/

  10. I agree with J.K. I too have read such books and I always come back to ‘knowing’ deep down that my instincts are very strong and I trust them. Think good thoughts, think happy positive thoughts yes, but there is no invisible genie who makes your wishes come true.
    We are part of the universe and the thoughts we send out should be ones of gratitude for the life we have regardless of our bank balance. I personally believe in God, and weather i have 10p in the bank of £100 I always always have everything I need and I ‘know’ that’s down to God.

    You don’t always get what you want
    But you get what you need (If you ask him for it).

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