Monday, August 13, 2012

I just watched "The Secret"

Do not believe anyone who tried to sell you on the idea that your thoughts create your reality. There is reality, and then there's our perception of reality, and the two are never the same.* Our thoughts can change how we see reality, but it doesn't change reality. The so-called "Law of Attraction" is a myth. Wanna know how we're not shaping reality? Stand on the shore and try to hold back the tide.

Moreover, you can always decide to turn your attitude around. Again, that can change our perception of reality, where we're more apt to notice good things, and shrug off or ignore the bad. But that doesn't keep the bad from happening! People still get sick (which is the majority of people, not the minority), accidents still happen (just ask the E.R.), and we still get things wrong. Wanting it really bad doesn't make it a reality. Just ask anyone who's won the Silver.

We're not powerless. We do have some control over what we notice. We can focus our thoughts to see the big picture, and not let the little things bother us. There are ways to bolster our emotional resilience, and learn how to bounce back from things faster. But "things" still happen. There are still mean and bad people in the world, willing to do others harm. We can't buy the snake oil that says the bad things happened to me because I was thinking bad thoughts. That's BULL$H!+, plain and simple. And it's guilt you neither deserve nor need!!! Go ahead and think what you like. It's not some boogeyman that's going to come up and bite you. You may have a "sixth sense" of things and have the thought before the event happens, but that's just noticing that this time, your thoughts lined up with how events turned out. Statistically, that's going to happen from time to time. It's completely normal. (Or you may actually be spooky. YMMV.)

If I'm having a bad day, a lot of times I can turn that around. Here are the steps.
  1. Take a deep breath

  2. Decide to start the day over. Everything bad that happened to you is now "yesterday."

  3. Imagine the feeling of having started your day, and it was wonderful.

  4. Moving forward from that imaginary place of having a good day.

  5. Allow the day to unfold in a more positive way, because of your new happy attitude. ("Problem? That's no problem... This is all manageable.")

It's not magic. It's psychology! It's what Twelve Step programs call an attitude of gratitude, and point you to page 417 (what used to be page 449), of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. But the story behind that was towards the end of his life, when his health was failing and chronic pain creeped in, Dr. Paul O had difficulty maintaining his attitude, and ended up bitter again. But I can't blame him! Unmanaged chronic pain is a devil, and losing your health is something to be mourned! We folk with chronic illness just have more time to get used to it. We learn early that loss of health is the natural state of things, and we learn to make peace with it.

But "The Secret"? Malarkey. Don't believe the hype, and don't punish yourself for things you're not doing. You're not manifesting badness into your life. That's just life. Bad things happen. Good things happen. Some things, that we at first think is bad, we can then become very grateful for, once new evidence emerges. "For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- Shakespeare (Hamlet) Free yourself from this idea that you make bad things happen to you. Forgive yourself. Take responsibility for your actions, and let the rest go. You didn't think this to happen to yourself. No one does.


* We actually cannot perceive reality as it is. For one, we don't have the proper nerve receptors in our eyes to be able to see the wavelength of light, called Ultra Violet. Bugs and birds can see that wavelength. We can't. We're all color-blind, in a sense. Our view of reality is very limited. It's enough for us to do wonderful things, but the fact remains: it's still limited. Reality, and our perception of reality, are two very different things; our perception of reality always falls short.

p.s. We do understand how electricity works. It's how we're able to build computers.


  1. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate this. I told someone about my dx today and she said, "Don't receive it. They told me I had MS and I didn't receive it and I was fine!" I just stood there dumbfounded. I hadn't wanted to tell her about it anyway but it was one of those awkward moments I wasn't prepared for. Thanks for reminding me of reality.

    1. No problem! I always relate anything like that to driving... If I "didn't receive" the car in front of me slamming on its brakes, I'd get into a car accident! Just because I don't approve of something doesn't change reality. Sure, diseases can go into remission, but it's not based on wishing. It's scary to run across these people...