A popular topic I’ve found myself reading up on time and time again is the law of attraction. What exactly is the law of attraction? It is the simple belief that we create our reality through our thoughts. On a subconscious level, visualizations and a host of other practices have the power to literally draw circumstances we desire into existence. It’s a complicated concept to grasp, but I personally know this to be true. This rule explains most of the things I have achieved and paradoxically most of my adversities. I am a firm believer that in most circumstances, we are directly responsible for the conditions in our life. Whether that be the result of our conscious behaviours, or aspects of ourselves that are a little more buried. Although I am an advocate for this mindset, I believe there are a few major misconceptions about this law that mainstream portrayals regularly neglect to reflect upon.
My first objection is that the the law of attraction is centered around what we are gaining. It is typically based upon a complete fixation on what we are receiving alone, and is only taken into consideration when we want something. The thought that manifestation is all about what we are getting at any given time is entirely backwards. One of the most insightful phrases I have heard recently is that “you don’t get in life what you want, but you get a reflection of who you are being”. This statement resonates with me on many levels, and coincidentally explains a lot of my experiences. It may be counter-intuitive to focus on what we are projecting, but this is the true method behind the art of manifesting our hopes and dreams. Whatever we focus on giving off outwardly is what will be reflected back at us. Learning to be happy with our current situation is critical in manifesting more goodness. Positive thoughts cause us to notice positive opportunities, while projecting negativity will result in us only recognizing and thus attracting situations we do not want. This concept applies on a very deep and widespread level. For example, being devious and untrustworthy will only manifest more of the same. Perhaps we will realize and assume that others are capable of acting just as we are, then causing us to sabotage our relationships through fears and undesirable behaviours. This phenomenon occurs in an identical way on the positive side of the spectrum; as we share our time and help others, they will want to return the favour and our relationships will grow. The principle is simple but often overlooked: focus on what we project outward far before focusing on what we will receive.
The second consideration I often see overlooked is the basis of the law of attraction upon true action. Many critics claim the law is pseudoscience because they personally are not seeing any immediate and noteworthy results. They typically create vision boards and reflect daily, and are puzzled when the world does not throw their dreams at them without cause. Aside from the fact that this overly critical mindset inherently repels our desires, the belief that the law of attraction is some mystical phenomenon that magically creates situations from thin air is absolutely wrong. The law of attraction is about awareness of what we are looking for in combination with doing. From this place of understanding our desires and the individual we must be to have them, manifesting is based entirely on the process of taking action. Action and action alone is what will create the circumstances we desire. Nobody who is truly happy or accomplished achieved this from sitting around waiting for the universe to happen to them, they created that reality. The purpose of reflection is to understand what it is that we want, so we can take necessary steps and subconsciously follow the path toward it. The law of attraction is not just an easy way out.
“Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions” – Albert Einstein
The last and likely most significant aspect of the law of attraction that I believe is misunderstood is the notion of “letting go” or “detaching”. Although in theory this seems easy to understand, I personally find that it is the most difficult part of the law to master and apply in real life. The misunderstanding here is likely caused by the very definitions of the terms used to explain it. Detachment is often viewed as a critical part of the law of attraction. It is explained as the practice of letting go of circumstances in order to draw the possibility closer to our reality. In my mind, a certain aspect of this is inherently the same as simply being complacent. How can we expect to receive what we want if we are entirely detached from the outcome? In actuality, this is not the process this explanation is meant to describe. If you read a little deeper, the notion of detachment does not mean we are to become passive observers of our own existence, avoiding any form of pursuit. It simply means that while we are taking that conscious action that is so necessary, we are detached from the innate human impulse to control how exactly it is that the desired scenario plays out. We are not detaching from our appetite for what we desire, but we are letting go of our pre-picked frameworks for exactly how is it that we expect those things to unfold. This is how we allow circumstances to happen naturally. In the real world we do not get to decide how, why, or in what form our desires will be presented to us. Letting go is not about allowing the docile forces of nature dictate our reality. It is about being okay with how things play out despite the fact that they may not be occurring in a way we have absolute control over. We are not detaching from the results, but detaching from how it is that those results take form. “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”(Carl Jung) is a statement with so much truth behind it. Trying to control reality is a form of resistance that eventually repels goodnesses away.
I can understand why it is that the law of attraction is routinely perceived to be some form of phony wizardry. On a spiritual level it seems a little farfetched, but in actuality it is a very rational philosophy. My main critique of modern spirituality as a whole is that it often takes the power away from us as individuals, placing labels and outcomes on situations that are yet to transpire. In simple terms, the law of attraction is the art of mind mastery, and has a lot less to do with magic than it does about awareness. Thoughts are powerful, but action is critical. The key here is to remain open to the prospect that there is an entire realm of possibility residing inside the subconscious world of the human mind. We are connected to our outcomes in a very powerful way.