Friday, April 11, 2008

The Dangerous Law of Attraction

If you've seen the widespread movie The Secret, or you're a practitioner of magic(k), or you have really optimistic friends, you've probably heard about the law of attraction. What you think about, it says, is what you draw into your life.

This tends to work really well for your optimistic friends, who constantly brood over their fulfilling relationships, dwell on their prosperity, and languish in their joy. Not so easy if there's a festering, stinking black cloud worming its way into your soul, though.

This law certainly must work, because it doesn't discriminate. It rewards the positive thinker and punishes the pessimist. Suffering from depression makes this one a real kick in the jimmy, too, since thought=pain already; just realizing that your own negative thoughts could be drawing to you things that reinforce and justify themselves can make a person sink even deeper into the hole - why bother trying?

Break the Blame Cycle
Teaching depressed people about the law of attraction is a great idea - when they're not depressed. It may make them less likely to slip back in, if they can master the thoughts that keep them from the pit. But that's not how it works when the disease is making headway. If you're depressed and dwelling on how negative thoughts create a negative life, it's going to balloon out of control faster than you can imagine.

Don't stop and dwell on how the universe punishes you for suffering - put the brakes on that runaway train right now. Won't do you any good. If the law of attraction is keeping you down, first thing to do is ignore the law of attraction.

Here's what you get if you are depressed and think about the law of attraction:
  • Blaming the Universe for your problems
  • Blaming God for your problems
  • Blaming yourself for your problems
None of the blame solves anything, and it really doesn't matter why depression is happening anyway. There will be time to think about attracting things into your life when you have some positive thoughts. For now, you need to shove that idea out of your mind the way New Yorkers ignore a homeless person on the street.

Time Enough for Attraction Later
It should be clear that I consider depression to be a crafty opponent, one that's inside your head and whispering things to you that make you sink deeper into the pit. Everyone has to judge for themselves, but at the darkest hour I don't think you'll see a lot of success trying to think positive thoughts. There will be time to use the law of attraction later, once you're out of the current hole.

It should be possible, though, to change the subject of that conversation in your head. Don't think about (fill in the bad idea here) right now. Make up a shopping list or walk up and down the stairs ten times. Make a phone call or pet the cat. Anything to distract yourself from that one thought, just for now.

Small Steps
A big part of depression is being overwhelmed by the big picture. No big picture allowed here! Just stop thinking one negative thought by thinking about something neutral. There will be time for more another day. For now, setting aside that shovel with which you're digging that hole, just for a moment, should be enough.


Jennifer B Worthington said...

This is how I manage to work through my down-slide moments...

the many faces of Jennifer B. ;-)

It's good to know you're still 'out there' Terence.



Lee Ann said...

I just read this post and it really gave me a great "a-ha" moment in dealing with my current state of constant low-grade depression. Thank you. I hope you are still around.

Terence said...

I am. I'll take that as a hint from the Universe that I need to get updating again!

Lee Ann said...

Well, Terence, I just now remembered to check this again. Glad to know that you're still blogging and that I could be a tool of the Universe. :) Great to see the new posts!

Anonymous said...

I find the Law of Attraction helps lessen my depression, because I keep asking myself, "so, what do I want"? Then I focus on what I want. I want joy. I want to feel happy. I want a mate, etc. If trained properly, using the Law of Attraction helps bring a lot more positive thought into one's life.

Anonymous said...

This is a great article. I suffer from untreatable depression (most meds have not worked and have made me worse over time,) and I am working hard to think better thoughts. I like your idea of thinking neutral thoughts for a while. Another thing I am doing is giving myself positive affirmations in spite of the depression. I figured why should I let my depression get in the way of what I want to manifest? It certainly opened up the possibility for me to think beyond the depression and realize I deserve and can manifest good things in spite of it. It helps a little anyway.....still hard to take a hold of when you have no energy and feel sad.