In my teaching, in the talks I give, and in my travels, I meet lots of people who have discovered the Law of Attraction. It’s fascinating and fun to hear about the rapid changes people have created.
These same people also talk about how they occasionally get stuck, face doubts and old patterns, and have bad days. So, I started pondering and writing down the most common misconceptions our snarky egos have about the Law of Attraction. I’ll be featuring one a day this week…
#1 – Turning the Law of Attraction into the Law of Blame
When I first heard about the Law of Attraction, I was just getting started in my music career. I was broke, living in a hovel, recovering from an eating disorder, and let’s be honest…I was a bit of a drama queen. My first thought went something like this: “So, now you’re telling me this is my fault?” Then, I spent the rest of the year feeling awful about creating my awful life.
After working with hundreds of people at my retreats and e-Seminars I know that I’m not alone in this initial reaction – which is nothing more than translating a liberating concept (personal responsibility) into a damaging concept (personal blame).
Thinking Others are Being Blamed
Other people make that same distorted translation – only they turn it outward, suggesting that the Law of Attraction is pointing the finger of blame in tragic situations.
I call this the “What about Hitler?” syndrome.
The “What about Hitler?” syndrome is cleverly designed to cut off any further discussion on the topic. It occurs when someone hears the idea of attraction, and immediately cites the worst possible world events, outraged that anyone could believe that anyone would “attract” a Hitler. End of conversation.
Fair questions, of course. But typically, the questioner isn’t asking from a place of openness or depth. The question is posed from a place of outrage or self-righteousness.
Attraction is Not Blame
If you use the Law of Attraction as a personal growth tool, it can be challenging at first. Ultimately the challenge pays off when you begin to see connections between your thoughts, jealousy, complaining, and lack of clarity and the outcomes you’ve created. It can be painful, too. But anyone who is willing to look deeply at what they’ve created in their lives and shift old patterns will inevitably see results – both inside and outside.
As for tragic events, my philosophy is this: I work with the Law of Attraction because it expands me, awakens me, and helps me succeed. While I use it in how I teach and how I approach creativity, I can’t force other people or situations to abide by it. I don’t pretend to understand why certain situations happen, but I know for certain that I can’t help anyone at all by remaining outraged, or by playing small because I feel sorry for them. Ditto for getting hooked by the drama or the horror. Ghandi advised that we be the change we wish to see in the world. Though I don’t always succeed, I challenge myself to do this in every situation, while having compassion for the situations I don’t understand.
Deflecting the Truth
Whether you use the Law of Attraction to beat yourself up on a regular basis, or you dismiss the whole idea by citing horrifying world events, I encourage you to recognize that blame of any kind serves a convenient purpose: Deflection.
Someone who spends lots of time and energy feeling bad for how unconscious she has been is holding on to her belief that she is a victim. Only now, she is a victim of herself and her own stupidity or unconsciousness or whatever. This further deflects her place of power and prevents her from having to think about the work she can do right now. She gets to stay stuck. Any release or clarity that could potentially arise is not reached because she is now deflecting the real growth. She is now getting caught up in her own shame and feelings of worthlessness, rather than uncovering her authentic desires and needs. We often use deflection when we’re right at the edge of discovering a greater truth about ourselves.
I just finished leading another Great Big Dreams e-Seminar – a six-week home-study course I designed to get participants clear about their life direction and motivate them into taking massive action to create that life.
One of the participants in this e-Seminar started to blame herself for her past unconscious choices. Instead of beating herself up, she chose to be brave and go through the grief she felt. She allowed herself the time and space to cry – knowing that this was the true emotion that wanted to arise. She recognized that blaming herself for letting her life fall apart wasn’t going to help her. But allowing grief helped her move on with greater ease. All the while, she continued to do the work of getting clear and taking action.
When we blame ourselves, we’re using old patterns to block our growth or our expansion into a different mindset. While most of us can’t just *decide* to not feel guilt or blame, we can begin to ask ourselves what emotions we are trying to block by getting lost in our blame and guilt. What are you deflecting? What are you avoiding facing in your life or in your beliefs?
The same is true for outrage. Outrage usually comes out of self-righteousness. In my experience, there’s no better block to your own awakening than self-righteousness. And there’s no better way to deflect deep growth and awakening by putting up a wall of outrage. No one can get past it. Not even you. That’s pretty convenient. But ultimately, it’s you that misses out on the growth and evolution that comes from exploring your own beliefs.
When I could finally let go of the idea of fault or blame, I began to ask myself more empowering questions in all sorts of situations. “How did I create this?” “What were my thoughts?” “What are my beliefs?” “What would I prefer to create or to believe?” “How can I start to move toward that ideal?” I challenged myself – and still do – to work with self-acceptance and self-forgiveness while moving towards better mindsets. The results have been amazing. And blame has become just a tiresome old boring pattern that gets very little attention.