The Law of Attraction: The Basics, Part One

You might have read a lot about the Law of Attraction recently (commonly referred to as LOA in shorthand), made popular by its newest informational incarnation, The Secret. But what is it, really, and is it just so much gobble-dy gook?

In fact, LOA has been around forever, as have its proponents. People through the years have simply talked about it without using the term "Law of Attraction," but same thing. Norman Vincent Peale did in his wildly popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, for example. But why is it so hard to figure out, and more importantly, how do you harness it?

Well, here's the thing. To "use" it properly, you first have to understand it. So here goes, in a nutshell.

First, most proponents of LOA do believe that you absolutely attract everything to you that happens to you, good and "bad" (although if you've seen even discussions on The Secret, even the so-called "experts" vary in their opinions on that to some extent, which I'll discuss later).

Now, wait. I can just see you going, "Hey! You're nuts if you think I want to be broke (or sick, etc.)!"  And yep, you're right. I'd be nuts to think you want anything bad to be happening to you. Here's where the confusion comes in, and here's where I can help clear it up. If you're attracting something to you, it doesn't mean you want it.

Let me say that again. If you're attracting something to you, it doesn't mean you want it. It simply means that you somehow have ingrained in you that it's what you expect. It's your reality.

Let's take money (or lack thereof) as an example. Let's say you struggle to pay your rent and basic bills every month, even though you're working really hard. Okay, let's assume for a minute that LOA is right on and that you're attracting this struggle to you.  Does that mean you want that to be happening? Of course not. But it probably does mean that somewhere, somehow, you have ingrained within you the message of "not enough" when it comes to money. Maybe your parents were (decent, hardworking, well-meaning) people who said, "Money doesn't grow on trees," or, "There's never enough to go around," etc. If you grew up with these or similar messages and you have them ingrained in you as your reality, then somehow, for you, money is supposed to be scarce and precious. So that's what you attract in your experiences. Money is indeed "scarce" and "precious," and you never have enough.

Now, just recognizing this fact goes a lot toward changing your "vibration," which you hear a lot about when someone's talking about LOA. Your vibration is just basically the "signal" you send out to the universe, and that signal attracts what it matches back to you. So if you're always worried about and struggling with money, guess what you attract? Yep, more worry and struggle with money.

So then, does this mean you can just say, "Well, la-dee-dah, I'll just quit worrying about money, then, and things will be fine!"? While many proponents of LOA would give a resounding "Yes!" to that answer, I would wager that for most of us, we need baby steps that will ultimately get us to that mindset. More on that in the next article.

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