Since before I learned of the law of attraction, I used it. Growing up in poverty and not wanting to succumb to fatalistic attitudes, I focused on gratitude. Before I went to bed each night I thought about all that I had to be grateful for, regardless of circumstance, and I visualized what I wanted to happen with my life, as opposed to what I didn’t want to happen with my life.
This is something I recommend to my clients. Gratitude is a valuable thing. Studies show that gratitude creates happiness, not the other way around, and the law of attraction works with those positive feelings to bring more good things to reality…if you focus on the good, that is. Never focus on the bad.
So what is this law of attraction? Watch the video below to learn more.
Yesterday I went to my ex-husband’s house to pick up my children. His mother answered the door. I have committed to a detachment from her considering the events that developed when we were completing the divorce. In short, she accused me of being money hungry when I have never asked for anything. She clearly doesn’t know me. After 12 years, she still doesn’t know me. She was present for our son’s birth…but, she didn’t know me. Part of me thinks she chooses to not think of me as a worthwhile person because my belief systems challenge those of her own, but in truth, it doesn’t matter. I chose detachment and will no longer engage with her. When she opened the door, all I said was “hi” but didn’t feign complete adoration of her. She took it as me “being hateful” and proceeded to attack me with words and insinuations in the presence of my children.
Good job, super Catholic grandma. How many hail Mary’s are you going to need to do tonight to let go of your guilt for this one and ensure your place in heaven?
Chaos. She is sure chaos.
So what did I do?
I sat down and engaged with my ex. We talked about relevant topics and I gave her short clear answers when she asked me questions. She stood over me glaring like an angry bear that was hungry for confrontation. I did
n’t budge. I took deep breaths and kept my cool. Was I shook? Yes. But I didn’t let it control my behavior. We cannot always control how we feel; we can always control how we respond.
What I did was pull myself outside of the situation and viewed it as third person. I committed to not letting emotions overtake me because all those are are chemicals in the brain that are responding to fight or flight. I did neither. We have evolved past that. I stood my ground and did what needed to be done within the moment, then gathered my children and gave a warm goodbye to my ex and wished him well.
Admittedly, there was a little passive aggressiveness in how I responded, but no one is perfect. What I was not going to do was be a fake person and pretend that I have concerns and want to engage with a volatile personality.
In our relationships we can choose to engage or detach. If someone is abusive with you, it is usually best to detach. Don’t give them fuel. Let them fire up on their own, and burn out on their own, so all they have for later is self-reflection.
Yesterday I went to the DAV and found a formal dress from David’s Bridal, new with tags still attached. It was $139, but the DAV sticker said .75….and they were having a 50% off sale. I was overjoyed. Did I need the dress? No. In fact, the dress didn’t even fit anyone in my household, though I had hopes that at some time it might because….well, it’s nice to have just a random formal sitting around to be able to wear if the occasion hits. But seriously. Why did I buy it? What was it about the NWTs sticker that made it so valuable to me? I have no intention of selling it online, so it wasn’t for monetary gain. It was more about the illusion of status. As if owning an expensive dress gives me status or makes me worthy of something that I was unworthy of the moment before it fell under my ownership.
This little scenario got me thinking, and as I was driving to lunch from work I noticed the same thing I notice almost every day. On a main street sat a homeless black man. He is an interesting character. Most days I see him walking in a wrap around garb, with long dreads and an intense face. He looks almost spiritual in attire and I often wonder if he has chosen this path to separate himself from the disease of consumerism that seems to have most of us wrapped around its fingers. But I don’t know, so I digress.
This man, who has seemingly nothing, is no better than I or the lawyer, judge, or postman that might walk by him on the same street -it’s downtown, so this scenario is not uncommon. So I ask myself, why? What is it about this external focus that has most of us (seriously, like almost ALL of us) so tied up? And how does some object have the power to adjust my own thinking of myself? This is where the danger is. I know this. When we tie ourselves into things, money, status, and power over others…we fall short of what is real. We lose sight of what is actually real and important. When we have ‘things’ and we compare those ‘things’ to the things other people have, we are essentially comparing ourselves to other people. And what is funny about all this is it isn’t that we judge ourselves through our own eyes, we judge through theirs! We base our judgments of ourselves with how others see us. When we do this, we are saying their opinion matters more. And isn’t our opinion more important than any object? Isn’t the value we have in ourselves more important than that which others place on us, when essentially, they are doing the same thing. So, if I am here an I am judging myself on how another person sees me, and that other person is judging themselves on how they think I see them…isn’t it a bit ridiculous?
Long story short, I have already gone through this. For the most part, I see this thing for what it is and move past it. I try to live my life in integrity and find my own value within myself. But every once in a while, I have a little reminder….like when I go to the DAV to buy unnecessary ‘things’ for 50% off. We are all guilty. May we all work towards being better and learning to love ourselves as we are. When we do this, we will also love others for who they are, rather than who they are in reflection of ourselves.