I didn’t realize how much I stretched the truth when I was an avid Law of Attraction follower, until this past weekend when I reviewed some of my old correspondence. Reading my own LOA-fueled words was a strange experience. I am thoroughly grateful my mind isn’t permeated with that dogma anymore.
In one case, I told my Aber friends that my body changed. I had proof to back it up: I noticed this, then my boyfriend noticed that, and this is what my body has felt like, and these are the changes I am seeing. It’s really happening!
People joined me in celebrating the success. Some people told me I had inspired them to try the same thing! You can always count on other Law of Attraction fans to excite each other into more belief and hype, and raise each other’s expectations. I told them the only thing that I had used to manifest this change was vibration and alignment. It’s all true! It happens just like they say! We can do anything!
Telling It Like You Want It
Looking back now (without forcing myself to tell the story I like best, as per Law of Attraction dogma), I find myself thinking, “huh!?” That was not the plain truth of the situation. Yet my enthusiasm was genuine, and I never consciously exaggerated. Instead, I was taught to look for signs and interpret them through a filter.
It’s called “telling it like you want it,” and most everyone who studies popular Law of Attraction teachings is taught to do this.
I believed in a world where I controlled each outcome through the power of belief. As a result, I looked for what I wanted and mistakenly attributed every event in my life to the truth of The Teachings.
A Faith-Based Ideology
Law of Attraction is a faith-based ideology. Followers need to foster faith and resolve all doubts in their hearts in order to
be raptured when the saviour comes, be spared from hellfire, harness the power that creates worlds and manifest a life without limits. Followers have to stay internally reassured, lest they energetically repel their desires.
A Law of Attraction follower may adopt the following rules in the name of being a deliberate creator:
- The only thing that matters is that I feel good.
- Reality is totally subjective. We are all experiencing completely personal realities that are nothing but the sum total of our beliefs. Therefore I choose to look for and believe only that which I want to experience.
- The truth is whatever I believe it is.
- If I don’t have what I want, it’s because I am focused on lack rather than belief (faith).
There are some enthusiastic and compelling stories attesting to the power of Law of Attraction teachings. But first of all, Law of Attraction is largely based in success and personal development principles that can empower people, but with an added magical spin. And second, can you trust people who, as an integral part of their ideology, must condition themselves into seeing only positive signs and confirmation? People who believe reality is whatever they say it is?
Seeing Reality Clearly
I have noticed that the success stories that go around in Law of Attraction circles (where people reinforce their beliefs together) tend to fall into these categories:
- Things happening on the mental/emotional plane. Feelings, thoughts. Internal shifts that are the regular result of self-examination and personal development.
“I shifted my vibration and woke up feeling wonderful and positive.” “I got goosebumps listening to music.” “I had a breakthrough about why I’ve been blocking my ideal relationship, and I’m thinking about love in a new way.”
- Selected experiences interpreted as being related to a bigger manifestation.
“I’m vibe-ing love! I saw happy couples everywhere, then I had a great interaction with the cute clerk at the store! It’s all unfolding!”
- Manifestations that aren’t actually the magical successes that people present them as. “I’m super wealthy! Because I feel abundant when I look around at my life.” “I experienced time travel! In a dream.” “I manifested clear skin! After working with a dermatologist for months.”
- Normal resolutions and progress. Problems getting solved. People defining goals and then achieving them. Life just being occasionally extraordinary or fortunate as it tends to be. But told through an LOA lens.
“I’ve been focusing on everything I appreciate about my ex, and now I’ve attracted her back and we’re trying to work things out.” “I stayed in the vibration of appreciation and my cat started to get better.” “I defined my new job and then attracted it.” “I got a great deal from my internet provider, thanks to my alignment.”
- Impressive-sounding proclamations without details that tell what really happened, how, or why.
“My teeth straightened themselves.” “I make 5 times the amount of money I used to.”
- And sometimes they are just exaggerations, because the individual is determined to see it the way they want it. That is the work, after all.
“My body is changing! This stuff really works!” “I have everything I want and I manifest things instantly! People are literally amazed!”
I’m not saying there aren’t larger forces that operate in our lives. I’m not saying that people can’t build exceptional lives or that focus and mindset don’t matter.
But when you are taught to use magical thinking to harness a fictional cause-and-effect relationship (mood + belief = Everything?) what is the actual outcome? The outcome is striving for perfect faith, policing thought and emotion, telling yourself whatever feels best to believe, and endlessly receiving “mixed manifestations” that must never be evaluated in a way that could undermine The Faith.
Bonus screenshot from an Abraham-Hicks Facebook group. This illustrates the misguided, “tell it like you want it” approach that law of attraction devotees are taught: