There’s been talk for a few years now of The Secret (TM!?!?), which involves Stating Your Intentions and Manifesting and the Theory of Attraction and How Like Attracts Like. (in physics! Science rules!)
Now, I am not here to tell you that this is a bunch of baloney. Far from it.
I think there is incredible power, magic even, in declaring what you want from the world. Writing open letters to the universe. Having a list of demands. All of those things are good and great. You can’t ask for the thing you need or want if you have not said what it is you need or want. And there is no psychic Oprah fairy godmother who can tell you what you want. Your body knows that and you have to ask it.
However, what I am here to re-inforce, is that the process of manifesting is a multi-step process.
First, use your magic powers and figure out what it is that you want. Sometimes you need to experiment, sometimes you think you know what you want and you change your mind halfway through, and usually it is an ongoing process. My only instructives for this are “try new things until you get it right” and “the only person who will actually know when it is right is you.”
I feel like this whole mystery of the universe/the secret thing gets brought up specifically around meeting appropriate life partners/boyfriends/somebody who will take me to the sock hop and tell me that I’m pretty. I know people want other things, oftentimes things that cost money, but most of the folks I know are preoccupied with some combination of “how do I make lots of money” “how do I find somebody who will love me even though I am weird” and the ever ephemeral “how do I go about being happy” which is a whole nuther case of animal crackers. I am specifically here for a deposition on how to go about meeting somebody who will love you in spite of the fact that you are a lovable but very weird cookie.
So! Now you know what you want! Perhaps you have written a letter and put it in the window to let the sun’s rays radiate and have used lots of action verbs and specific adjectives! Good for you!
So what now, huh? You know what you want, when is your sweet sweet honey going to come tootling around the block to come court you?
Well friend, I don’t know.
However! There are things you can do along the way. Things I, in fact, encourage you to do. These are not the equivalent of playing the state license plate game on an interminable road trip, these are in fact mile markers that will tell you where you are going. Because guess what, this road trip is your life and guess who’s driving. YOU.
So, first things first: what are you hoping for? What are you dreaming of? How do you want your life to be different?
What would you need to change for those things to happen?
Okay, so let’s think about the ways that your life right now is helping or not helping you make this thing happen.
Also, just to offer a caveat: this diatribe is not to bully anybody who has different goals than the ones I mentioned. Maybe you have other goals, like being a figure skater, or being really good at math, or overthrowing capitalism. Those are all totally fine goals. These instructives can apply, or not apply to you. Take what works for you.
Okay, so back to what’s working and not working.
So what’s not working? Is your drama factory in overproduction? Are you trying to live in a happy, cohesive collective household but never doing any of your dishes? How much are the things you say matching up with the things you do?
A smart therapist I know talks about the “feedback loop”.It’s part of a REALLY smart book about boundaries and how to have them, but the jist of “the feedback loop” (I think) is that: if you are trying to have or keep a boundary (about your time, about your relationships, about who can eat your leftover deli turkey that you maybe weren’t finished with), part of maintaining that boundary is communicating about it with your support system, and setting it up so that your social network assists you in maintaining your boundaries.
But what does “maintaining your boundaries” have to do with pursuing goals, eh?
Well, basically, the only way you get anything done is by setting boundaries, prioritizing, and letting other things fall by the wayside and maybe picking them up later. You decide to focus on the things that matter to you. You set boundaries around your time and emotional energy so that you have more to offer the things that matter to you. And many many people have strong feelings of “should” around their time and energy. What they should be doing. Who they should be talking to.
So take some time and get to know your “should”s. They will tell you a lot about the values you were raised with, and probably a lot about your specific insecurities. When you get to know them and aren’t just getting bossed around by them, you can make decisions about which “shoulds” you want to honor, and which you want to leave alone.
So now what? We have boundaries, we have a feedback loop, we have a working knowledge of our shoulds. Probably we are also finding that the method of trial-and-error is finding some things we like, some things we don’t, and a lot of gray area.
Another thing: logic doesn’t usually hurt you. But it is also not the only way of knowing things or determining what is true and right in your heartest of hearts. Like I said. Only you know that.