The Biggest Fear of the Law of Attraction
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Contrast.
Shannon’s experimentation with the Law of Attraction is yielding some amazing results. Very cool for a mom to watch. But her biggest concern thus far has been whether her desire to bring certain good things into her life might mean bringing something bad into others’ lives.
Personally, I blame “The Monkey’s Paw.” The short story by W.W. Jacobs made quite an impression on me as a high school student. In the story, a man and his wife make three wishes on a talisman. The first, for money, is granted through the death of their son in a horrific accident. The second is to wish him back to life, and then when his crushed body is about to knock on their door, a third wish sends him back to the grave.
How many times have I heard new followers of the Law of Attraction wish for wealth but immediately express the fear that they’ll receive it through someone else’s death or misfortune, as if that’s the only way it can come to them? And does that fear pull ill effects to them?
As long as there have been stories of wishes coming
true, there have been stories of wishes going terribly wrong, with disastrous results. How often have we heard, “Be careful what you wish for”? I guess a story about asking for and receiving wonderful things just doesn’t have the dramatic tension that makes for good fiction.
But for Shannon, who has always heard my Wiccan ethical yardstick of “Harm none” backed up by my Christian upbringing of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” this was a real concern. For others, as well. Once she got to a place where she’d resolved her inner conflict—or at least made a lot of progress—things started happening.
A woman who is among the most spiritual people I know—I say spiritual because she’s not Christian, not Wiccan, and I really don’t know what her belief system is and it really doesn’t matter—caveats everything with “for the Highest Good.” She calls to her what she needs, attracts it to her, always with the caveat that it will be for the highest good and that her wishes will be fulfilled in such a way that will lift up others.
A rather bitter man—whose story I don’t know and don’t really want to know—told me that of the people he’s seen practice the Law of Attraction over a long period of time, they’ve all become corrupt and greedy. I myself have seen quite the opposite. I know several who have practiced for as long as I’ve known them—some for
15 years—with wonderful results. One woman in particular used to irritate the life out of me with her constant upbeat, Pollyanna attitude. Someone would ask each person in the group to talk about what was going on in our lives and there’d be lots of whining, tragedy, depression, health issues, job failures, upsets. In general, people used it as an opportunity to vent when they had nowhere else to unload. Not her. She would be the lone person to speak glowingly about her good health (she’s quite a bit my senior), stable marriage and very active sex life, wide circle of friends, fulfilling spirituality, and exciting career (she’s been a millionaire many times over since I met her). She is still the same way and one of the most generous people I’ve known. Life is really good for this woman and she doesn’t spend the goodness expecting the other shoe to drop.
That’s because she comes from a place of abundance, and that may sound simple, but it’s a hard concept to grasp when you’re raised in scarcity. I often have believed that for me to have what I want, someone else must do without or have less. If a book of mine sells well, then someone’s putting out money that might be better used for groceries. If I get a coveted book contract, then someone without a day job, someone who depends solely on royalties, might not be able to support herself. If a man I like is dating me, then some clingy woman out there is lacking one less prospect and she really needs a man, not me. Sound ridiculous? Well, yeah. You can really take it to extremes or simply say that you don’t want your prosperity to be at the direct or indirect expense of others. That’s scarcity.
Scarcity goes back to self-worth issues. Better for me to be the one doing without, not having what I want out of life, than for someone else, anyone else, to have less of an opportunity at the same things. It’s that feeling that anyone else deserves the good stuff more than I do instead of realizing that there’s plenty of the good stuff to go around. Scarcity also goes back to self-sacrifice, which has its place, I suppose, but why to the point of martyrdom? Yes, I know you have to strike a balance and not be a 100% taker in the give-and-take of life, but isn’t martyrdom often the same thing as fixing it for other people?
Early in my writing career, I had a New York editor I didn’t know very well and who had four or five of my manuscripts sitting unread on her desk, ones her predecessor had planned to buy. I had an opportunity to sit with her at a banquet for four hours and get to know her on a more personal level, but I gave up my seat to an unpublished author. Why? Two big-name authors had criticized the unpubbed author in an email loop and one accidentally (maybe?) replied back to the whole group, including the unpubbed, with the scathing criticism included. The unpubbed was devastated and figured she’d never be published. I knew that I, already published, could sit next to my editor and cement our relationship or I could give that opportunity to a woman considering quitting writing.
So the unpubbed sat next to my editor for four hours and…hated her instantly. She went on to get published at several other major houses and the last she spoke was to tell me how much she despised my editor and how much I should, too.
For me, I’d thought in terms of scarcity, that by sitting next to my editor and working on our professional relationship, I could probably sell her more books, get more contracts, make more money, transition to a full-time writing career. But that would prevent someone else from sitting next to her, talking up their books, getting contracts, making money. Only so much to go around! Instead, there were plenty of opportunities elsewhere for the person who did sit next to her. In hindsight, that was my one shot to get to know that editor better and I blew it because I was concerned that my good fortune might detract from someone else’s. I gave away my opportunity instead of going after my dream.
Why do we automatically temper our dreams with the expectation that only bad can come with the good? Somehow I don’t think that the Universe or God or quantum physics or whatever is out there rubbing malicious hands together to come up with some dastardly way of fulfilling our wishes just to teach us that we’ll never get the good stuff out of life, bwah-ahahahahahahahahaha!
Maybe it sounds ridiculous, but it’s the biggest fear of the Law of Attraction.