Have you ever purchased a self-help book in the hopes of gaining some insight about yourself and the people in your life? If you have, then you are on the positive side of life! Your pursuit of answers beyond yourself shows that you are open to new ideas and open to change.
Those who never consider anyone else or who never look beyond their own limited knowledge of life, unfortunately, don’t see their own culpability in the how they behave. You know these people in your own life – they run the gamet from self-centered to sociopaths to narcissists to simply being ignorant in the world.
You may have heard of one of the best-selling self-help pop-culture books to come out of the last decade: “The Secret”.
The premise of The Secret is the Law of Attraction – it promotes the idea that we attract what we “want” or desire in our lives. I agree that positive visions inspire (and produce) positive outcomes in life, but I’ve struggled with the notion that we attract every person and experience into our lives through our thoughts – it just doesn’t make sense. I believe that we are magnets for all sorts of energy – some positive and some negative and it is what we do with this energy that influences our future.
I never fully embraced all of The Secret – and I believe it inspires delusional thinking of sorts: such as, when bad things happen to good people, the followers of The Secret purport that these good people manifested the bad things to happen… and that is just plain wrong. (In fact, some followers support the premise that all the people who die in a plane crash manifested it to happen and that they were all vibrating at exactly the same frequency of energy at the same time). I say B.S. and I just don’t believe it!
I think that The Secret is really no secret at all – it has a good premise (positive thinking = positive results) but it is overly simplistic (and dangerous) in how it represents life. In fact, one of the main speakers featured in the movie version of The Secret – James Ray – was actually found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide in the deaths of three of his self-help followers in June 2011. (See the full London Guardian story here: At the Temple of James Arthur Ray). Hmmmm, did he manifest a jail term and deaths, as his presence in The Secret might support? I think not – I believe that life transpires in spite of our best intentions at times. We can control aspects of our life, but we live in an interconnected world with others!
On my delightful (and still somewhat uncomfortable) journey of my own secrets to life and happiness over the past 5 years, I’ve come to realize that
There is no “Secret” to Life!
Here is what I know to be true about (my) life:
- I believe that the universe is energy and we are all part of the cosmic energy force, however, some people have more negative energy than positive, and thus we need some people who are more positive than negative to balance it all out;
- There is no reciprocity in people. Some people are givers, some are takers, some are bullies, some are abusers, some are generous, and there is no guarantee that the people you “attract” into your life will be necessarily good or wholesome;
- Just because you are a good friend does NOT mean that people will be a good friend to you;
- One never needs to tolerate abusive behavior from others;
- We meet all sorts of people in our lives – it is up to us to CHOOSE those we want to keep and those we wish to discard;
- Just because something negative happens does not mean we “MANIFESTED IT” to be;
- Love does not mean giving up one’s identity for another;
- Love should not be painful;
- People are unpredictable – no matter how long you might “know” them, you can never predict behavior;
- Many people do not know themselves but are happy to project on others;
- Expectations lead to disappointment – but a lack of expectations can result in some good surprises;
- No one can ever “should do” something -“Should” inflicts judgment and criticism on another’s choices;
- A kind word can heal a broken heart;
- Everything is temporary (good, bad, fun, sorrow) – change is the natural state;
- Chaos is a relative term;
- Friends are the family we choose for ourselves – just because you were born with siblings does not make them “kin”;
- I am the best judge of what is best for me – not someone else;
- My intuition works far better than I give it credit;
- My perceptions are as valid and correct as anyone else’s;
- An opinion or advice is just a viewpoint of another – and it is my God-given right to ignore them all;
- Acquaintances come and go — often they are disguised as friends;
- I will never again be with anyone who is demeaning to others;
- I deserve true, unconditional love;
- Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me – but I may simply be kind and you took advantage;
- Friends follow through;
- Friends don’t abuse friends;
- Life is like an ocean full of waves – sometimes things build up to great swells of positive or negative – but eventually things will calm down;
- Envisioning your future can help your dreams come true;
- Be careful who you share your dreams with – those without dreams will take yours away;
- Never make anyone a priority for whom you are only an option (a favorite!);
- Friends (and family) who are there only when you support THEM are not true friends;
- Be careful what you wish you – you just might get it!
I do not believe for a minute the incredulous lies of a Landmark Forum salesperson who purported that he had a friend whose travel plans were “never interrupted because he manifests it so” – all I can say is that the guy obviously never travels on commercial aircraft or lives in the real world.
The only secret to life is that there is no secret. Life is what life is – and the best we can do to bring about a positive future is to envision it, embrace the journey, be happy with who we are, and enjoy the ride as best we can!
Have a great week!