The law of attraction points to a spiritual principle that “like attracts like.” According to law of attraction experts, positive thoughts create a positive reality and negative thoughts create a negative life experience. So, by transforming our thoughts and the underlying belief systems, we can craft a reality that is full of joy, abundance, health, and all that is good.
I first came across the law of attraction by reading the book “Ask and it is Given,” by Esther and Jerry Hicks. The authors channel a spiritual entity known as Abraham in this manual for manifesting with the law of attraction. Abraham teaches that our emotional experience indicates our alignment with that which we want to attract into our life. The book includes a ranking of various emotional set points. Supposedly, as you train yourself to think more positively, you will naturally move from emotions like resentment, depression, and anger into emotions like joy, contentment, and happiness.
This principle is also addressed in the movie “The Secret.” I have worked with the different exercises and approaches that are included in the teachings about law of attraction. There is definitely a great deal of validity to the law. I have, for example, noticed that I can change my thoughts about a person in my life and my experience with that person will change as well. I have also used the law of attraction to help find a romantic relationship, increase health, and attract money.
But does the law of attraction work completely? Or are there limits to this spiritual principle?
The Inevitability of Death
Author Jerry Hicks died of cancer, for example. Couldn’t he have used the law of attraction to hold positive thoughts about his health and prevented his
death? If you followed the law of attraction purely, you might say that yes, he could have. But the fact is that we all die. Sure, there may be some eternal saints like Babaji who has lived out in the Himalayas for centuries, and Jesus did resurrect from the dead, but most of us are souls who have elected to live on a planet where death is inescapable. So, preventing death stands out as one potential limit to using the law.
Another challenge in using the law of attraction is that often times we hold limiting belief systems that prevent us from living our truth. When we begin to change our thought patterns in an attempt to improve our lives, the very situation we were trying to mend becomes disastrous. Just like a healing reaction to an herbal treatment, the universe calls on us to look at our behaviors that contributed to our life events and change them. The power of positive thought alone cannot help us. We must take responsibility and transform our behaviors to improve our life situation.
For example, I used the law of attraction to visualize more money coming into my life. I set the intention that I would have $10,000 in savings by December 2013 and that checks would roll in my mailbox regularly. Immediately after, my finances fell apart. I had high medical bills. It was getting more difficult to work. I was spending more than I was making. I had to stop and reassess my lifestyle and my money management skills. It seemed like the exact opposite of what I wanted was occurring. Ultimately, I made substantial changes to my finances, and I am now living rent free. This in itself has created the $10,000 savings that I visualized, but not in the way I expected. And I had to do things like build a budget and assess my income in order to create the structure for this to occur. In other words, I could not just think my way into more money without changing my actions.
And what about when the subconscious and unconscious beliefs are sabotaging our progress? In instances like this, we need deep soul retrieval, hypnosis, or other forms of healing to transform these beliefs. Again, positive thoughts are not the only answer, though perhaps simply by following the law of attraction, we are more likely to attract practitioners and teachings that can assist us in changing the underlying beliefs. Reiki Level II includes a symbol that allows you to access and heal detrimental beliefs.
Applying the law of attraction without using common sense might also hinder a person’s ability to leave an abusive relationship or a dangerous situation. I have not experienced this myself, but could imagine a woman trying to transform her thoughts about her partner who beats her instead of just leaving him. In a lot of ways, the law of attraction can put too much pressure on you to do everything yourself and can be misconstrued for you to expect that your mindset is most important. it might also encourage an individual to try to change everything internally without taking practical steps to create a solution that is completely in their power.
The positive mindset is generally more pleasing, and it is more fun to go through even challenging situations when you have encouraging, cheerful thoughts. Still, nobody has happy thoughts all the time, and the belief that our thoughts are so powerful might have a harmful influence on somebody who experiences so-called negative thoughts. There seems to be a certain degree of chance and uncertainty in the universe. The law of attraction might create a false sense of control over the big picture.
What do you think are limits to the law of attraction from your own experience?