It started with an eye roll. It usually does until I’m proved wrong. As I listened to Emily explaining the law of attraction to me, I felt the familiar surge of scepticism overcome me. Am I really supposed to believe that my thoughts have the power to attract this exact thing to happen to me? After I watched the Suicide Squad trailer, I spent a significant amount of time wishing I had a body like Margot Robbie, but here I am one year on, still resting a hand on to the sink when I weigh myself to knock off a few pounds. So, partly because I’m ever the cynic and partly because I know how much it annoys her when I disagree, I argued against the law which is held in such esteem by my dear friend/debating arch-nemesis.
I’m sure we can all think of situations where we know our thoughts alone will be powerless in attracting good or bad. That never stops me being shocked to my very core every single time I don’t win the National Lottery Jackpot, but it doesn’t seem to matter sometimes what kind of mood we’re in, events we could not have anticipated always seem to arise. Some situations where I’ve been surprised in the past despite optimistic thinking would include: failing most of my first year of A-Levels (although I did not revise once or listen at all for the whole year), not losing 4 stone of baby weight immediately after giving birth (because I ate a Cadbury’s Fudge as a second breakfast every day for the preceding nine months), thinking that three bottles of wine would not leave me passed out in a toilet on a night out after an hour and a half, needing root canal dental work (even though my sweet consumption is excessive), and burning my feet on the first day of a holiday so badly that I couldn’t wear shoes (no sun cream was applied). I even thought that my labour would be hard-work, but uncomplicated, because I’m not soft by any stretch of the imagination and I pride myself on my excellent immune system (which I soon found out has absolutely f-all to do with giving birth). Again, how wrong could I be? I won’t go into graphic detail, but let’s just say it’s not an experience I will be repeating in a hurry/ever. It does appear that more of the negative things are likely to strike even when you’re at your most cheery, although it can happen in reverse too.
One of my friends was telling me a while ago that she applied for a job she thought she had no chance of getting, but just filled out the application anyway so that her bosses could see she was interested in getting a promotion. Aged 24, she got an interview for a job that would mean she was in charge of a team of people and on a salary that most people expect to retire on. Despite the odds being against her, and without any expectation, she landed the job after a gruelling interview. Another very close friend of mine was left devastated when she was told she would never have children of her own, she had no chance and wasn’t even considered for IVF. Her dreams of starting a family were left in tatters and having lost all hope, she began to accept that she would never conceive. Fast-forward 13 years and she now has two beautiful children that she adores, she carried them herself and didn’t need any help in doing so. Well, she might’ve had a bit of help from her husband, but no doctors were involved in the making of the babies.
I would consider this overwhelming evidence that the law of attraction is an incorrect theory. However, I’ve met a few believers in my time. One was a highly irritating, know-it-all personal trainer who told me off when I’d started a ‘Fat Club’ at work. All members of the Fat Club were on board with the name, but this lad from Bolton with a dodgy fringe had read at least one book on positive thinking and really got the hump about it. Why was I being scolded like a naughty child? Because I should’ve been calling it the ‘Let’s Get Slim Club’ to attract the slim-ness towards me, rather than focusing on the fat-ness. I don’t know what you think, but to be perfectly honest, it didn’t have the same ring to it, and none of us had enough time at work to start calling it that. I laughed to myself not so long ago, as the same bloke once told me that he never, ever wanted children because ‘they ruin your life.’ Now I see his current Mrs has a bun in the oven, so it turns out that repelling children from his thoughts didn’t work as a form of contraception.
I’m probably at the stage now where I should start to present some evidence to suggest that the law of attraction is a legitimate theory. I consulted The Law of Attraction for Dummies to help me out, because being as uneducated as I am on the topic, I feel like I should at least make the effort to see the other perspective. This particular guide proved to be quite useful. The author, Sharon Janis, recommends that instead of focusing on the problems at hand, we should visualise what our life should look like. To be fair, this does fit with Fringe PT’s fat vs slim comments. Various people come to mind in this instance. My mum recently left her job, taking a massive risk to do something she had always been passionate about. On the 1st September, she was ecstatic that she didn’t have to hear the sound of the school bell again, and instead woke up to a grumble of pugs in her kitchen that were on their holidays whilst their owners were away. Maybe she hadn’t visualised a springer spaniel humping her leg for three days, but the gist of this story is that she knew she was going to be happier for the change, and she is. A friend I’ve known since school thought positively about her IVF treatment, although she was warned that it doesn’t always work first time. Months of injections and being prodded and poked turned out to be more than worth it, as she now has a smiley little girl who is now 18 months. She knew she was going to be a mum, and she is.
I often see quotes on social media about surrounding yourself with people who make your life better. They are almost always a passive aggressive post, childishly retweeted in an attempt to rile up ex-friends, but the sentiment is undoubtedly true. Have you ever met someone that’s sucked the life out of you in a conversation? These people are the human equivalent of the dementors in Harry Potter, they seem to feed on happiness, and when they’re gone, you breathe a sigh of relief and need a lie down because you are physically drained. These people do not make you think positive thoughts. They bring your mood down, you feel demotivated and exhausted even though you don’t really know why. Have you ever let go of a toxic relationship and then realised how much better off you were for it, because that person only brought you down? I’m sure everyone has. I look at the people in my life now and realise that they have an abundance of life, laughter and fun, and I always look forward to their company. It wasn’t always like that, there’s been some negative people around too, but they don’t last. Is that the law coming into play, or have I just been exceptionally fortunate to land such good friends and family?
Is the law of attraction a real thing? Well, I wouldn’t personally call it a law, it’s definitely not set in stone. Optimism is a wonderful thing, although it can leave you disappointed at times; sometimes heartbreakingly so. But it can’t be a negative thing to see yourself doing well, visualising what you want your life to look like, and I think happy thoughts- like happy people- are good for the soul. The people in our lives play a huge part in how content we feel, so look for the kind ones, the loyal ones, the funny ones, the understanding ones, the honest ones and the ones who wouldn’t post passive aggressive messages about you, even if you did fall out. As for your work life: would I advise giving your notice in on Monday morning and jetting off to Hollywood to fulfil a life-long dream of becoming an actor? No. I’m still a realist. Maybe start attending your local theatre group and see if you can get a role there first, don’t do anything rash. If you really hate your job, and you have Sunday night anxiety every week, you should plan to leave. We are at work for a significant amount of our lives (unless you are a Jeremy Kyle guest, in which case you probably wouldn’t have been able to read this up to this point anyway), so doesn’t it make sense to enjoy what you do? Think about the small steps of how you can get there. You could have your leg humped by a springer spaniel before you know it.