Does anyone remember when the book “The Secret” came out in 2006? I recall reading it and thinking “yes, yes, yes” to Rhonda Byrne’s beliefs about the law of attraction and how our thoughts can directly change our lives. Basically, everyone has the ability to create their own reality and “thoughts can become things”.
About a week after reading the book my initial enthusiasm waned and I thought “no, no, no”. There is something really appealing and true about this outlook, but also something felt a bit wrong, overstated, off.
I still can’t succinctly wrap my thoughts–ha ha, that may be the problem!–around this topic, but let’s give it a try. Please add your own impressions in the comments so we can explore this together.
I believe our thinking mind can be a powerful tool. Think about how tools help create reality. A chainsaw creates logs. A drill bores holes. A hammer pounds. The mind creates (or some people might claim it channels) thoughts into useful maps of reality.
Positive thinking and affirmations can help create our reality maps. Our attitude can become our compass. We’re always taking in information and utilizing it to inform our next action. If we’re viewing the world through the lens of–say, it’s all going to hell in a handbasket–we’re then looking at everything that happens watching for the next hell to happen.
If we’re viewing the world through the lens of everything is working out as it should then our confirmation bias searches for evidence to support this.
This is where I feel positive thinking shines. If we basically eschew a positive attitude toward this living, breathing, vibrating life–our bias keeps presenting truths that match. No matter what the world says (we’re all gonna die from this pandemic, this president will be the death of us, the next few months will be hell) our internal compass can return again and again to it’s OK, we’ll get through this, the sun will come out tomorrow. (Sing, Annie, sing– I mean Claire. Sing, Claire, sing!)
However, there’s a fine line between the Vitamin of Positive Thinking and the band aid of positive thinking. A vitamin supports and nurtures our system. A bandaid denies reality and glosses it with candy-coated denial. Do you sense this difference, too?
The bandaid of positive thinking believes that it’s a mind-only world. That thoughts are the end-all. And I don’t believe that at all. Our human psyches contain deep unconscious buried emotions. Body constrictions. Legacy and ancestral burdens. Intersections where the personal and universal meet. We’re complex creatures, not mind-only creatures. We’ve souls and spirits and bodies with possible lessons to learn on this planet. We’re in cahoots with the Holy who operates above and below the level of Mr. and Mrs. Mind.
The intent of manifestation also begs examination. I have experienced many incidents of manifestation during my life. Most of these occurred during days and months of deep spiritual connection. Once, back in the early 1990’s, while moment-to-moment connected to the Great Spirit, I remember thinking, “Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a chair to sit next to this campfire?” Within a few hours an old camp chair tumbled out of someone’s pickup truck right in front of our driveway.
So many manifestations occurred that I decided to play around with it. When my son played basketball in high school I tried to manifest some baskets for him during challenging games. What do you think happened? Nada. Nothing. If anything this appeared to backfire.
No, said the Holy. No, no, no, Kathy, you’re not getting it.
Manifesting from the ego’s desires for comfort or personal gain never felt good. It felt suspect. It felt like a tool for strengthening ego’s grip. A vise grip around the heart that maybe temporarily felt good, but left residues of distress and wrongness.
Yet when we’re in connection with the Holy and can sense the direction the Holy wants to go–manifestation happens effortlessly. It flows out of the heart of the Holy like baptismal water or communion or the sacred pipe of the Lakota.
So what is “The Secret” in my book? The only secret–and it’s not a secret–is to connect with the Higher Self, God, the Great Spirit, Jesus, whatever you call it–and then allow IT to manifest through your body and mind and thoughts.
Take your Vitamin D of positive thoughts, surely, but do not neglect tending to all the grief, sadness, anger, despair and confusion that ripples or hurricanes through your system. Meet them gently and tenderly with compassion. Hello, dear upset one, I see you, I will not paste false platitudes on top of your pain, but let us sit together and hold hands as long as you need. (And yet sometimes the upset one WANTS platitudes and affirmations, so this is not a condemnation or judgment about platitudes either.)
Sending you loving positive thoughts right now–embracing all of you–exactly as you are right now with warts and wrinkles and tears and laughter. Love, Kathy
Day 28 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.