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Last Updated on June 18, 2020

The Law Of Attraction: The Part No One Wants To Talk About

The Law Of Attraction: The Part No One Wants To Talk About

Law of Attraction:

“The belief that positive thoughts are magnets for positive life experiences and negative thoughts are magnets for negative life experiences.” – Urban Dictionary

I understand the theory of the Law of Attraction. It makes sense. Until, of course, I think about the multitudes of children that have less than ideal, at best, and horrendous and terrifying, at worst, childhood experiences. Did their thoughts draw the negative experiences they had? Experiences that often start in infancy? Did mine?

Are we born with different energy vibrations?

With those questions in mind, I was led to presume we are born into this world with different energy vibrations, thereby attracting differing experiences. So why are we born with different vibrational energies? Is it possible that our vibrational energy at birth is based on the growth we experienced in our past life and how we left this world at that time?

Now, that is some heavy duty stuff. It also assumes I believe that we come here more than once. Although I have thoughts and opinions about that, we are going to stay focused right here and right now, since that is the reality with which we have to work.

Should we focus on what we have or on what we don’t have?

I am no expert on Universal Laws or specifically, the Law of Attraction. I am, however, becoming an expert on my own life experience. Years ago, before the law of attraction was even on my radar or was everywhere in the media, I was well into adulthood. My thoughts were not on healing and positivity. I did know I wanted to feel better, despite thinking that was not possible for me.

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My thoughts were an out of control freight train, powering through my mind, searching for answers to questions, still unarticulated. My negativity run amok. I was angry, hurt, confused and discontent.

I remember thinking I “should” be grateful and thankful for all the good I have in my life. At some level, I think I was, but I was also angry and was much more focused on what was lacking, which flies in the face of the law of attraction.

Yet, if we are not aware of what is lacking, how can we know what we want? Identifying what is lacking is a necessary step towards the manifestation of what we do want.

Sometimes it feels like, we’ll never be happy

When someone suggested I express gratitude for what was happening in my life, I was pretty sure they had no idea what I was feeling, as I gave them a resentful sneer. I could not express gratitude. I would not express gratitude for the misery I carried in my heart. I was angry enough at everything and everyone to withhold any gratitude I might have actually been feeling. Just out of spite. Yup, that was me.

There came a point, when I could be nothing other than what I was in that moment. I couldn’t fake anything. I could not see far enough ahead to see myself feeling happy, nor could I imagine what it looked like, let alone that it might be available to me.

I am assuming that most people who are hurting, physically or emotionally, long to feel better. Self-defeating behaviors that appear to the onlooker to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, might be the only way they know how to feel better in that particular moment.

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Sometimes we choose the wrong things to comfort us instead of being mindful

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have lost that “last ten pounds”. So, if I want to lose that ten pounds and keep it off, then why am I eating a pint of ice cream? At any point I could have stopped this defeatist behavior.

Why not at the store when I was examining the flavors available? How about when I took it from my cart and laid it on the belt at checkout? Why not when I was taking it out of my freezer and not scooping an appropriate portion into a bowl? How about when I was a quarter or even half way through the pint and could have put the lid on and placed it back into the freezer?

Well, because it was my comfort, my best friend. I did not care about any article on the “Ten Things To Do To Avoid Overeating” or counting to ten to let the impulse pass or most especially, “sitting with my feelings” instead. Hell, that is why I wanted the ice cream! Nope, hands down, I chose the ice cream. If it was mind over matter, matter won every time.

Listen to yourself, you already know what you want

If I was reading about and attempting to manifest what I wanted in my life, through the law of attraction, I would certainly have felt like a complete failure. Which I was already feeling. And isn’t that exactly the problem? I wanted to snap out on those positive, happy-go-lucky people, who did not seem to experience life the way I did. I was envious of of them. They irritated me.

So with all this negativity, how then did I find myself on a trajectory of healing, wholeness and good things, in spite of myself?! Is it possible that the often unspoken and unacknowledged desire to feel better or be happy, sets the law of attraction into motion, despite despair and negativity? I give that a resounding, “YES”.

I believe that way down deep, despite the negativity that crowds out positive thoughts, caused by the “I’m not enough” syndrome, most people know what they want. I believe most of us want the same things. We want to be understood, accepted and loved. We want to feel valued and have purpose. We want to matter. We so want to matter. And we do. The problem is, most don’t know it.

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How to get what you desire

In that tucked away space, where the sun has yet to shine, the Law of Attraction is percolating away, inviting its manifestation. So what is the part of the Law of Attraction that no one talks about? It is what has to happen between identifying my desire and getting it.

It is necessary to move away from old energy patterns, to make way for the new. And that means facing myself. That means grappling with those old and often deep seated beliefs that are no longer useful. That means feeling unresolved emotions.

If you have spent any time looking at the multitudes of books and articles related to the Law of Attraction and how to get what you want, then you already know that a big part of that process is believing you already have it. Feeling as though it is already true.

Check your deepest beliefs

When I was where I was, when I wasn’t where I am now, I could not make it feel true. It was a process of two steps forward and three steps back. I had to first acknowledge I didn’t believe I deserved to be happy or have the good things in life. That baby step led to the next and the next and there now sits a chasm between where I was and where I now am.

If I don’t believe I deserve to have the healthy body I want, then I won’t. That’s the Law of Attraction, right? So I have to ask myself, why don’t I believe I deserve that? If I do think I deserve it and still can’t manifest it, then I have to again ask, why?

What is the deep seated belief I unknowingly hold, that needs to be coaxed to the surface, lovingly held and gently released? I have found this question to be useful again and again and again. As I acknowledge and heal one part, it opens the door and invites another to show up for the same attention. And it is a never ending process of manifesting in my life more and more of what I want.

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When I stand still, I see the horizon out ahead. When I grow, I move forward and the horizon moves forward as well. I then see things I couldn’t see or understand from my previous viewpoint. If you are asking for a healthy relationship, then won’t the universe need to address the parts of you that draws unhealthy. Don’t you have to be healthy before you can have healthy? Otherwise isn’t it doomed to fail?

Take account of where you are right now

Another definition for the Law of Attraction is: “You get what you are, not what you want.” So each time we heal some part of ourselves, our vibrational energy increases and more positive will come into your life. What you want will show up, unexpectedly bearing gifts, for your life.

It won’t come in one fell swoop. You will be unable to maintain it, because you aren’t yet ready for it. Trust that the universe has your back, all the time, in every way, always working things out for your good. If you can see the prize, then see it. If you can feel what it will be like to have the prize, then by all means do so.

But if you can’t, then it is okay to be right where you are right now, in your pain. When the pain starts to clear, so will your mind. Know it is enough to want to be able to see what is up ahead, even if you can’t. Failure does not exist in the Law of Attraction. You are not in a race with anyone else. Social media only looks like everyone’s life is better than yours!

Take the baby step of acknowledging right where you are. Right here. Right now. No need to pretend.

And one day you will be saying, “Hey, all you positive, happy-go-lucky people, power to you! Maybe you were born at a higher frequency than me and had a head start. But hey, watch out, because this is a whole new life and I am right on your tail!”

Featured photo credit: Paul Green via unsplash.com

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Sandra Cooper

Psychotherapist

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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