As my life has begun turning a corner — on many fronts, but for this post, the career front–I’ve been contemplating the long string of failures along the way to this moment. The simplistic versions of the law of attraction or you create your reality ideas imply that if you just hold a vision and put some positive thinking into it you’ll draw to yourself or create what you want. My experience has been a little different and I’ve seen it go differently for lots of people.
When I first encountered the “create your own reality” idea in 1985 I was enthralled. Something opened for me for a while there and I actually had a number of experiences that proved it to be true. But then I hit a wall. It took a long time for me to realize that the wall was composed of all my conflicting beliefs and admonitions so at first I was stunned when I started ventures with great enthusiasm and positivity and watched them fail. For instance, I put together a stress management class that, at the time, was fairly leading edge in giving people lots of easy practices that they could do in a minute or a few to take the edge of f of stress. A spiffy brochure was created, massive mailings were undertaken and I booked lots of free lunchtime demos, all of which received standing ovations. But not ONE place offered a paying gig.
It went on that way for the next 20 years. I found minor things like proofreading and copy editing and managing a church along the way with tiny paychecks and no relation to what I wanted to do but every step I took toward any vocation that seemed to suit me and my skills and qualifications led to a thudding nothingness — I mean lots of money expended and not a single dollar of income from a single client, ever. My California friends watched this journey in disbelief that anyone could have undertakings that seemed like great choices fail so utterly time after time after time.
Having realized that the obstacle had to be me, I spent most of the 90’s and a good bit of the 2000’s journeying inward, mapping and releasing beliefs. I delved and delved and nothing ever seemed to make the shift. I suffered many crises of faith yet somehow found a way to look at the good that came from each failure and to pick myself up and try again, all the while continuing to deconstruct the belief systems that stood in the way. I’ve watched a number of people give up and decide that the law of attraction isn’t true or doesn’t work. It can be a long, dark night of the soul when you reach the place where your unconscious reasserts its beliefs against the conscious choices you’re trying to make. And that darkness is not helped by those who imply that if you’re not drawing the life you want you’re doing something wrong.
Around 2000 I could see that my ongoing health problems also stood in the way and the low energy associated with feeling so poorly also meant that my vibrational level didn’t come close to matching my vision for my life. I gave up pursuing big career goals and focused on getting my health and energy back. See earlier post for the energy practices I used as aids. Eventually my spiritual journey also led me to my ancestors and the very slowly dawning understanding that I carry some very deeply held beliefs about poverty and failure that have been passed down for generations in many lines of my family. In the convergent points where (1) my health has been getting better and (2) I’ve done a lot of working on healing the ancestral patterns, something turned around and things are going well.
I can also see that the path I’m moving along now combines lots of elements and things I learned from all those failed attempts–the failures and the searching and the deconstructing and the learning all wove themselves into a new pattern. Everything added up to form a whole that I couldn’t have foreseen while I was stumbling and falling and picking myself up again.
I wanted to share this story because I think a lot of people hit those blocks where nothing seems to work and I want to encourage you to keep getting back up and trying again. Find what you believe that stands in the way. Have faith. Sometimes the universe leads you along some by-ways that feel like detours or wrong way turns but turn out to have been just where you needed to go.
This is for Jenny Matlock’s AlphabeThursday, which is T this week.