The Law of Attraction: everybody has at least heard something about it on the internet. This theory has been around for a while now, but I feel like the hype surrounding it is now bigger than ever. I used to be a firm believer in the law of attraction. Although I still believe in the law of attraction to some extent, I discovered some downsides to this theory as well. I did some reading recently that really changed my perspective when it comes to this way of thinking. I realized that law of attraction is an overrated theory, with a strong Western perspective, and a unhealthy & unrealistic view on life. Want to know why I changed my mind and what caused it? Definitely keep reading and watch my latest video down below!
I definitely recommend you watching this video first before formulating your own opinion on this topic. I explain everything in detail there, but I will also talk a bit about it here. If you enjoyed this video, don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel as well.
1. WHAT IS LAW OF ATTRACTION?
So before I'm going to explain to you why I think law of attraction is overrated, I'm first briefly going to talk about what law of attraction actually is. The Law of Attraction is actually part of a bigger philosophical movement, called the New Thought movement. This is a movement that origined in the 19th century in the United States. The main idea of the New Thought (also Higher Thought) movement is that "like energy attracting like energy". This means that positive thinking attracts positive energy, and that negative thinking attracts negative energy. This is their most common notion that most people are familiar with. However, they also believe that infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere and that its spirit is the totality of all real things. They argue that true human selfhood is divine, and that its divine thought is a force for good. They also believe that sickness originates in the mind, and that "right thinking" has a healing effect.
In short, this means that if we would live our lives by the law of attraction, we should all strive to think positive, ban all negative thoughts out of our lives, and that if we encounter any negativity it is due to our own negative thinking.
"What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become."
"Life has ups, yes, but a lot of downs too. It's in those hard moments we really get to know ourselves and our values, we experience growth and become stronger. Life isn't only positive, it shouldn't be depicted that way and we shouldn't even strive to that."
2. THE IMPORTANCE OF NEGATIVITY
This made me wonder: what is so wrong with negativity? Is negativity really as bad and as unwanted as we think it is? Should we really avoid all types of negative thinking, always and forever? Law of attraction portrays this notion that our lives should only be positive, and that anything related to negativity is bad. But life isn't like that. Life has ups, yes, but a lot of downs too. And especially those down moments are usually the ones that formed us to the human beings we are now. It's in those hard moments we really get to know ourselves and our values, we experience growth and become stronger. Life isn't only positive, it shouldn't be depicted that way and we shouldn't even strive to that. There is a lot of value in negativity, and law of attraction just completely ignores that.
Using law of attraction can also make you feel anxious for thinking 'negative thoughts'. You will create this fear of thinking negatively, because you don't want to attract bad things into your life. Especially when something awful happened to you, you will feel like you have to 'avoid' thinking about it and just try to ignore the fact that it ever happened. It will also make you feel like you are 'responsible' for this bad event in your life, even if you didn't have anything to do with it; your negative thoughts made it happen. This will counteract the process of self-reflection and healing, because you are forced to ignore that side of your life. So, that's why opening up yourself to negativity, being okay with being not okay and giving yourself time to reflect on yourself is very important. And in my opinion law of attraction completely neglects this.
3. TAOISM AS THE ANSWER
To explain my view even further, I like to use Lao Tse's famous Tao Te Ching. He was an ancient Chinese philosopher and the founder of the philosophical Taoism. In the book Tao Te Ching, Lao Tse explains the Tao as the ultimate source and ideal of all existence. Tao is an extremely hard word to translate, but it's usually defined as 'the way' or a some sort of 'force of nature'. Lao Tse thought that Tao is the path that we need to follow during our lives. When he describes Tao, it's actually quite interesting: he doesn't describe it as one path, but as the one and the other. Tao is not an unity, but two different sides: good and bad, positive and negative, etc. If we would only focus on one side, for example the positive, 'law of attraction' side, we would ignore the other side of our Tao, which in this case is the more negative side. Still, it is just as part of our Tao as the other 'good' side.
Another point that I want to discuss is the fact that law of attraction makes this clear distinction between positive and negative. Something is either good or bad. And while the notion of the Tao has also this idea of the one and the other, it is not presented as a very distinct line. Good and bad are actually fluent. The best way to visualize this is by yin and yang: if you look at the yin and the yang, you see a white part (which symbolizes the positive side) and the black part (which symbolizes the negative side). However, even in the white, positive part, there is a dot of blackness, of negativeness to be found. Same counts for the black, negative side, where there is also a white, positive dot to be found. So, the Tao claims that there isn't a strict distinction between the positive and the negative, which completly against the vision presented in law of attraction.
When we follow our Tao, we could reach Te. Te means the manifested Tao. If we follow our path, we gain a certain power or good, because we are following the path that we need to follow. When this happens, we gain total harmony. And that's exactly what we need to strive for, instead of a completely positive life as the law of attraction proclaims. It's okay to be not okay, because being not okay is just as big of a part in our lives as being fine. It's unhealthy and unrealistic to be only thinking positively. Our path contains two sides and we should pursue both of them, not force ourselves to ignore half of it. Only by accepting the good and the bad, we will gain a life filled with harmony. And that's why, in my opinion, law of attraction is overrated.
I hope you enjoyed reading this philosophical article on my blog. Honestly, I was planning on only giving you a brief written description of everything I said in the video, but this turned out to be even more detailed and accurate than my video, haha! I would love to know your thoughts on this topic as well, so don't be shy and leave them in the comments down below!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LAW OF ATTRACTION?