By Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.
If you are reading this article you probably have heard about the Law of Attraction, which states that you can attract things into your life based on what you think about. When I first became aware of it, many years back, I felt intrigued, excited about the possibilities, and at the same time skeptical. I don’t know about you, but I am a natural skeptic. I know if I was a fish I surely would not be the one ready to bite into the best looking shrimp with a hook, no matter how tempting the “bait” seemed.
With this attitude, I began to test whether or not the Law of Attraction really works, starting with small things like getting something free every day or finding a good parking spot. At first I was surprised at the ease that some of those things materialized. However, I asked myself if it was just because I was more aware and looking for them. Hmm, I must move to bigger and better things, I thought.
So I decided to come up with the idea of opening up a photography company with the intention to make a certain amount of money in a short period of time that allow me to quit my job and pursue what I felt was my true purpose: entrepreneurship. To my surprise, in three days I received a great contract out of the blue and quit my job. However, I had one problem. I had to learn the ins and outs of photography and using professional lighting in just one week. I did what any insane person would do and spent many sleepless hours watching Youtube videos and practicing. At the end, everything fell into place.
Lesson 1. You have to make a commitment and put in effort. The universe did its part and opened the doors; however, unless I was willing to spend the hours learning what to do and actually doing it, I would have gotten nothing out of the opportunity.
At this time I was in attraction heaven, but then certain events in my life threw me for a loop. I had to come to the realization that maybe, just maybe, I also had attracted all the negative stuff too? During this process, I decided to pay for a raffle ticket to win a car. I thought if I won the car I would sell it and use the money to turn my situation around. As the raffle time approached, I felt a deep resistance. Part of me saw that it would be a great blessing. However, the other part of me believed that if I won the outcome would be telling me that I really was creating my life, both good and bad. Was I ready to hear that and to fully live in that reality? The answer was NO! Hence, I did not win the car, much to my relief, but the experience did teach me a valuable lesson.
Lesson 2. You cannot attract something when at your core you have resistance to it. Consider whether you have ever resisted something you believed you wanted because it would change what you are comfortable with, even if what you’re comfortable with is not what you want.
Many times we form attachments to things in life, even the things that hold us back. Ask yourself, what is your resistance? How would your life change? Are there possible negative things that you think may come from it (like having it change your relationship with someone)?
At this point, I fell back into my comfort zone and I started to unconsciously boycott the Law of Attraction. However, with time the intrigue drew me back to this magical world of possibilities.
With practice, I noticed that not all of my intentions where becoming a reality, so I worked on releasing the things that may be holding me back from receiving. I was doing everything right: I had the intention, visualized what I wanted, worked towards it, and even had the emotion behind it. So, why wasn’t what I wanted magically appearing?
During that time, I remember waking up in the middle of the night with a drive to work on something or to write something down. Instead I told myself, “WOW that is a great idea, however the bed is too comfortable—I’ll write it down in the morning.” In the morning the only thing I could remember was how to hit the snooze button as many times as possible. Then I had another realization.
Lesson 3. Learn to listen to your internal voice and environment. Follow your inspired action whenever possible. The ideas, opportunities, and insights can come at any time and in any way.
Carry around a notepad and write down moments of clarity and insight and make goals and commitments. Most importantly, follow through.
For example, I was working at a college, at the end of my contractual year, and intending to get my contract renewed. I enjoyed what I did, even though part of me had a vision of working and living on a tropical island. I did not get the contract, but was offered a position in Dominica, a beautiful tropical island, with a significantly higher salary. At first, it was a dream come true, but before I was to start I developed severe resistance, and the opportunity left as fast as it came. Why? I quickly realized that it may have brought me abundance and a unique life experience but not true wealth (happiness). I would be away from family for long periods of time, something I did not want.
I got what I thought I wanted but then realized that my intentions where not fully aligned.
This experience brought about a lot of uncertainty in my life regarding where I wanted to be, what I wanted, and even how I was going to pay my bills.
But then I learned to let go, and everything fell into place better than I could have imagined and in a way that was inconceivable to my limited reality.
Lesson 4. Sometimes what you think you want is not what is going to fulfill your Higher Self. Create clarity about what you truly want to feel and experience. It’s also okay to admit to yourself that what you thought you wanted was not truly what you wanted and then to let go and search for a new path.
At the same time, you have to come to acceptance that:
Even negative experiences can be necessary to take you down the most amazing paths.
I learned that I can set my intention, but I have to let it go and trust in my journey. I must remember it is not about the goal, it’s about the path.
Many of us experience the, “It may works for others but not for me” mentality. In the end, however, I concluded that the Law of Attraction works. Remember that our reality is influenced by our limited experience of what reality is. Be open to the creative mind and infinite possibilities. This means being able to let go of attachment to outcomes and trusting and enjoying the journey. It also means coming to the realization that no matter how much you intend it, you cannot change someone else. They have free will to set their own intentions.
Keep in mind that you can’t fully attract something “better” if you cannot find joy and peace where you are with what you have.
When you learn to truly appreciate the blessings that you currently have, you open yourself for other blessings. In hindsight, I should have allowed myself to win that car. If I did, I would have learned my lesson sooner: I AM a co-creator of all things good and bad in my life, and that I have a choice to change to a different path whenever I want to do it. Since accepting this, I have managed to break recurring negative patterns and learn the lessons they were designed to teach me. In the end, I took the bait hook, line, and sinker and realized that a higher aspect of myself was reeling me in.
Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed., Ph.D. (ABD) holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology. Joeel’s extensive career as a relationship coach includes certifications in P.R.E.P, a 30-year research-based program for couples, Nurturing Father’s curriculum, and Parenting 21st Century. Contact Joeel at firstname.lastname@example.org