Why does using the Law of Attraction often not work?
First, let me say that there are certain aspects of the self-help industry that drive me a little cray-cray. One of them is the emphasis on using the Law of Attraction to get what we think we want in life. Because apparently having a lot of stuff makes us happy, right?
Most of you know what the phrase ‘the Law of Attraction’ means at this point of your awakening journey. It became more of a well known spiritual catch phrase after a movie called The Secret (based on a book by the same name), yet the Law has been talked about in transformational circles for a lot longer than the movie or book.
What the movie did bring forth, in terms of our mainstream understanding, is that we are the attraction points for our lives. In other words, we are co-creators with the Universe, and not just victims of circumstance. Essentially, we are “at cause” and have everything to do with what shows up in our lives. This includes all of what life has to offer in its rainbow of offerings – the good, the great, the bad, and the downright ugly.
From a teaching point of view, what there is to get about the Law of Attraction is that everything (including ourselves) is made up of the same energy. That includes those things that we want to create in our lives. When we put that energy out into the world with our thoughts, especially when they are clear and focused thoughts, they actually send a force of energy attraction, a bit like a magnet.
In other words, like attracts like.
So, let’s break it down. Say I’m thinking about a certain amount of money I want. Because thoughts are actually energy as well, the thought about that amount of money I want has an attraction point to it. So, according to the basic understanding of the Law of Attraction, technically I just need to put that thought of wanting a certain amount of money out into the Universe, and that money will show up – because I’m putting the energy out there – and therefore it will come.
What I have found in my own daily practice, and in my work with my clients, is that there are principles behind why the Law of Attraction can work, and also principles behind why it fails. It’s not always fun when the Law doesn’t work, but it can be magical when we own that we are part of a Cosmic connection and the Law of Attraction is just part of our Divine journey.
So let’s look at Universal principles behind why the Law of Attraction can work, and why it can fail:
Principle 1: Feel How You Want to Feel First
First, ask yourself (honestly), why do you want what you think you want? Why do you want more money? Why do you want a partner, or a slamming body?
Take a moment and really look at that. Look at the reason underneath the ‘want’.
When you start looking at the reasons why you want something, what you often discover is that what you really want is for something to make you feel a certain way. Often, we are trying to move away from feeling bad (pain) and towards feeling good (pleasure). We think (and sometimes know from past experience) that that ‘thing’ we want, will make us feel better, make us feel good. Essentially, we are moving away from the pain of not having what we want to “imagining” the pleasure that having it will bring.
Bottom line is we want the things and the people that we want because we think that they will make us feel better than we currently do.
But here is the reality about wanting something and then getting it. Say I want a certain kind of car, and I’ve always dreamed about this certain kind of car. It’s become an ‘empty hole’ in my life because I don’t have it. I think about it, I talk to my friends about it, I research it and look at the pictures of it – and it becomes a big thing. Then one day I create it – I attract it. I gather the funds and I buy it and I drive it home and park it in the driveway. That car parked on the driveway makes me feel good, possibly even elated.
But how long does that last? Does it make me feel good forever? In my experience with clients and in my own life, that desired feeling we think the car will bring us goes away at some point, and we are then onto the next thing to “fill us” with that desired feeling.
Basically, how we feel from gathering ‘stuff’ tends not to last very long.
The real question is, wouldn’t it be amazing to not be waiting for the ‘thing’ to show up before we feel good? AND to feel amazing more consistently, and not just when we ‘get’ the stuff?
This is the first principle of where the Law of Attraction can fall short. The Law of Attraction often doesn’t work because we’re looking to make ourselves feel a certain way by filling ourselves with something, or someone, outside of ourselves, rather than feeling how we really want to be feeling first; feeling the joy we want to feel whether the stuff we want shows up or not!
I believe the Universe has our back and offers us an infinite field of possibilities. And as a Divine favor to us the Universe doesn’t bring us things that make us dependent on having the stuff on the outside to feel a certain way.
In my work with women, I have them look at why they want the ‘thing’ or results and then decide how they can make ourselves feel good without it having to be related to that ‘thing’ or that result.
What I am identifying here will bring you the freedom you really yearn for. REAL freedom to be at the epicenter of your experience, not waiting for anything or anybody to make you feel a certain way. You feel the way you choose to feel from the inside out.
Principle 2: Honoring The Polarity
The second principle is that everything exists in polarity. What I mean by that is that there’s always a positive AND a negative force that keeps the entire Universe together. Think about what keeps a cell together, a positive and negative force, right?
The Law of Attraction talks about being positive and thinking positively, but that’s not the nature of the Universe. By the very nature of “thinking positively”, you also bring forth a negative thought – that you are avoiding something negative.
We are human beings, and by the very nature of being human, you will experience pain and you will experience pleasure, and both can exist together. In fact, they are meant to exist together in the Universe as a perfect dance. We do not want to hang out in the pain too often or for too long, but we do need to do the deep work to sit with that pain long enough for it to pass, rather than try to make it go away with filling it with stuff.
The solution to this conundrum that I take my clients through is mastering “sitting in the stillness” long enough to go through anything that might feel negative or bad or even painful. It’s not about reacting to the emotion, but instead it’s about letting all your emotions move through you.
True power comes from mastering our ability to “sit in the stillness” while also expanding our capacity to have a rainbow of emotions move through us as part of our journeys.
Principle 3: Your Soul’s Alignment
The third principle why the Law of Attraction might fail is because it doesn’t factor in your Soul and its’ purpose.
I believe we all come called to this world with a higher meaning, a higher purpose. I call it a Divine Assignment. It’s our Soul’s journey to discover it and live it.
Your “little engine that could” identity may think you want that car, or that house, or that partner, but that might be coming from your ego. Your ego wants to fill itself, and can make you feel like you never have enough or never are enough.
But your Soul is truly here to contribute, serve and to deliver on a Divine Assignment. The Divine Assignment is the reason why you chose to be here, right now, in this lifetime and to experience all of the majesty and tragedy available in life. If the thing you think you want does not align with your Divine Assignment, then it may not show up. The Universe is on our side and doing us a favor by not having that which you think you want actually show up.
For me, the Law of Attraction always works when the thing I want is aligned to my Divine Assignment, from my Soul’s service. I see that it works exactly the same for my clients too.
So, what can we do to make the Law of Attraction more likely to work?
- Write a list of the big things you want.
- Then ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I want this in my life?
- How will having this make me feel?
- Tap into what you want to feel and start practicing feeling those feelings without having what you think you want. For example, if you think being in a relationship will bring you joy, then feel the joy first!
When you get to the state of feeling the feelings without the stuff, and feeling the joy you want to feel first, then you are filling yourself up already. At the same time, you’re not waiting for a thing or someone outside of yourself to make you feel a certain way.
What often happens when we practice feeling those feelings first is that that which we are truly aligned to, tends to show up! It shows up because we’re not trying to fill ourselves from the outside – in.
So the key message – It is in our Divine nature to be Aligned, to be whole and complete, while honoring the polarities in existence and fulfilling ourselves from the inside – out.
Fill yourself up first and master your ability to “sit in the stillness.” Let any and all emotions that show up move through you and teach you what they are meant to teach you along your path of awakening – a path of awakening that never ends!