Sunday, September 23, 2012

When Your Beliefs Fail You

Last week my friend sent me a text that said "my hopes and dreams are shattered." She had just found out her test score that, in one second, stumped her long held career goal in life. Living vicariously through my friend's successes in life, I was really devastated by this news as I rooting for her to do well. 

You see, about a month prior to taking this test I introduced my friend to The Secret and she absolutely loved it. The Secret is the documentary-turned-book by Rhonda Bryne that teaches on the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. My friend was pumped! Yeah, she studied (it's debatable -- did she study enough? Did she not? How much is enough?) yet I would say most of her hope was riding on what the Secret taught -- that positive thoughts manifest positive outcomes. 

She took this in wholeheartedly. She kept the perfect score on her mind. She noticed coincidences that hinted she would do well. She confidently spoke about which schools she would apply to. Where she would live, etc. And then reality set in. Her test score came back and I got that heartbreaking text. Of course my first reaction was "Oh, shit! Did I do this? Maybe this whole positive thinking is bullshit! Why did I tell her to watch it? Why do I like reading about this stuff so much?!" 

A part of me felt guilty for the role I may have played. Did she study less because she felt that being positive was all she needed? Did she rush her exam date? Then back to thinking "God, why did I have to be the one to show her this stuff!"

I wanted to know where it went wrong and why her beliefs had failed her. Here is what I had come up with: 

a. The Law of Attraction is a lie. Maybe it just doesn't work. That being positive or negative doesn't affect any outcomes in our life. That what's gonna happen is going to happen regardless of what we think. 

b. That subconsciously she wasn't truly positive. Maybe at a subconscious level there was still doubt that she would not do well therefore overriding all her positivity. 

c. That the Law of Attraction works but great effort is still required. It's possible that the Law works but the bigger our desire, the greater real-life effort we have to put in to achieve it. 

d. There is a Law even greater than the Law of Attraction. Maybe there's an all knowing universe at play that has even bigger plans for us but our small minds can't fathom it so we view life events as merely "failure" or "success."

e. That if she was going to put hope in anything, it should be to God. My little sister said this. She explained that perhaps the flaw in the Law of Attraction is that it teaches you to put so much faith in yourself that you neglect the need for God.  

f. The Law of Attraction is real. Maybe the Law still works and this incident doesn't change anything. Every day people throughout every religion and culture hope for miracles and yet when another uneventful day passes, they continue to believe. 

I started thinking this does not have to change my belief in the Law of Attraction just as simply as having an unanswered prayer does not change my belief in God. Many things in life don't have clear cut answers and this may just be another example. 


  1. I think that by praying, God allows me to succeed.
    When I think positively, it's God answering my prayers.

    Great post!

    1. "When I think positively, it's God answering my prayers." ...I never thought about that. I like it though

  2. Very well written. I think in such situations, the positive feeling that you will do well and evaluating the reality (which in this case can be examining the complexity of the upcoming exam, evaluating your time budget untill the time of the exam, and reviewing the sources and the tools that you have/need in order to truly prepare for this exam) must meet halfway. Relying on too much positiveness and good feeling is like overdosing on pain killers in order to comfort your toothache, while in reality you are just escaping the fact that you need treatment.

    You have done all you could. It is your friend who maybe should have met the two elements I have described above, halfway.

    Finally and above all, committing it into the hands of the Lord or all, Jesus Christ, while doing your absolute best, is the only way. What we consider as "unanswered prayers", are prayers with the answer of "no" or "not now" or "not in this form". God does answer each and every true prayer. God bless and thank you again.


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