A couple of years ago my husband and I went on a three month trip to SE Asia. It was a dream of mine….something I always wanted to do and something my husband was willing to do with me! He was willing to trudge through foreign countries where we couldn’t communicate, sleep in cramped trains while roaches scampered around on the floor, and spend many nights hovering over squat toilets suffering from food borne illnesses. He’s definitely a keeper!
That trip was equal parts amazingly fun and horrendously hard. We spent six weeks in India. Most of that time we were sick and even developed respiratory infections from all the dust in the air combined with fatigue and probably poor nutrition. We travelled by train, plane, bus, rickshaw, and motorbike with a couple of small backpacks. After India we travelled through Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. I went into the trip expecting the excitement and even expecting the hardships. But, one thing I didn’t expect was that the trip would change me in a very subtle but profound way. The trip had a huge impact.
The way I thought about things changed dramatically. And it didn’t happen right away. I knew that in many of these countries there was poverty and people had less than I did…a lot less. Being there, being confronted by the shear masses of people that live in poverty, really drove that point home. It made me see that I have an incredibly fortunate life. And I didn’t appreciate it. Not one bit.
Not only did I not appreciate what I had, but I was always on the lookout for more. I am a goal oriented person…which can be a good thing…I pick something I want and then I go out and make it happen. When things didn’t go my way I got upset. And once I got that thing that I had been striving for I moved onto the next. No appreciation, no gratitude, nothing. Just onto the next thing I wanted. It is something I still struggle with today.
But the trip made me stop and see this. Not only did it show me how much I have to be grateful for but it really illustrated the way I approach life. For example, if the weather was bad I would get upset because we couldn’t get to our destination or couldn’t do the things I had decided we had to do that day. Instead of being happy I was in a tropical paradise on an island in Thailand, I would sulk because things weren’t perfectly as I had imagined they would be. What kind of lunatic sulks on a paradise island?
I knew I needed to change this way of thinking. And so when we returned I started looking into ways to change the way I think and approach life. I read a lot of self-help blogs, books….I started meditating. And I stumbled upon The Secret. Now, I am not a proponent of The Secret itself. I think it is a bit of a shallow look at the law of attraction (LOA). But, it does have many positive aspects (like being grateful for what you have) and it did set me off on the road to learning more about LOA as well as other schools of thought. On the flip side, it teaches you to think that if you can just focus on something hard enough you will get it. And this is a set up for a lot of disappointment. Making a vision board and staring at it every day is not going to make those things magically appear.
I am not a die-hard law of attraction believer either, but I do think there is something to it. If you focus your thoughts and energies on something, you will naturally take some sort of action towards that thing and you will start to notice things that relate to it. Hence, you are getting closer to it. But, that still doesn’t mean you can manifest something just because you so desperately want it.
A closer investigation into the law of attraction led me to the Deliberate Receiving blog. This delves much deeper into the subject. The author claims that you can’t just get what you want from thinking alone….you and your thoughts have to be on the same “vibration” as that which you so desire. How do you get on the right “vibration”? Well, you get happy about what you have. You accept what is and learn to love yourself and your life exactly the way it is. Then the universe will provide what you want. When you think thoughts of not having you are focusing on lack…lack of that thing…and so the universe gives you more of that lack. If you focus on abundance, you get more of that. Like attracts like.
I don’t know that I buy into the whole “vibration” thing. Don’t get me wrong though, I actually really love this blog. It has a great message and really common sense tips on approaching problems. Much of the advice is very good. I’m just still not sure that you actually get that which you want…delivered straight from the universe. I’m not buying it because one thing just doesn’t make sense. If you really follow the LOA teachings, then you get happy and content with what you have. Which is great. And so why would you still want that thing that you so wanted before? Presumably, you wanted whatever it is you wanted because you thought it would bring you some sort of happiness. But, if that happiness is satisfied then why do you need the thing?
So, can LOA manifest pregnancy? The jury is still out. Deliberate Receiving claims you can and even has advice and instructions to follow. But, how is it possible to follow all the advice and focus on being pregnant in lieu of lack of pregnancy? I am reminded every single month that I am most definitely not pregnant. Sure, I can read about pregnancy and think about what to wear when I am pregnant…but that only seems to heighten the obvious lack of the pregnancy. I know because I’ve tried it. Each month I focus on these happy thoughts and during the tww that only serves to heighten the anticipation. And each month I am shot down over and over again. It’s an emotional roller coaster and certainly not a happy way to live. My “vibrations” are all over the place!
The more I explore LOA, the more I am convinced that it doesn’t really matter if you get what you want or not…you just have to be happy with what you have and it takes the want away. That’s it. That’s the secret.
I recently learned about The Work by Byron Katie. Katie says that the “only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want…. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don’t feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, and fearless.”
So, maybe I should just stop thinking and wanting so much. Maybe I should throw away the thermometer, the OPKs, and forget about the fertility clinic. Hah! Easier said than done. Too much want! It is scary to simply accept reality because it feels like I will then be too passive….like I will become complacent. It goes against everything I know and have learned. It feels like I will lose all desire for anything. It’s kind of like asking me to step through a door without knowing what is on the other side. The desire causes pain, yet I am too afraid of letting it go.
But, I kind of feel that this exactly what I need to do. Just let it go and whatever will be, will be. I can be happy either way, right?