Practically everyone’s read The Secret, right? In case you haven’t, it’s a book (and DVD), that was heavily publicised by Oprah five or six years ago. It worked on the premise that whatever you imagine and can articulate for your life, you will get. If you think and want for positive things, positive things will come into your life. Similarly, those who dwell on the negative will attract only negative things into their lives. You get the picture.
While I quite like the thinking around this, I do believe it’s a flawed concept. In one sense it’s setting up people for failure with the notion that whatever they want they can have (Buddha said words to the effect of: “to be human is to suffer. The cause of suffering is desire.”). Let me tell you right here and right now: I want to be Mrs Tom Hardy, but it ain’t happening, no matter how much positivity I send out into the universe. And it ain’t happening because it’s not my destiny (I could be wrong here, but I sincerely doubt it).
And that’s the flaw in the system as far as I can make out. You will get what you ask for, provided it’s your destiny.
Contrary what the media shoves down our throats, not all of us are supposed to live big lives. Not all of us will be famous singers, movie stars, artists, writers, sportspeople, academics or intellectuals. Most of us will be lucky to be half-decent parents, or workmates, and struggle with day-to-day activities like fitting in enough exercise and eating right. Some of us will struggle with greater trials and tribulations like addiction, or illness, or intense pain and depression. If everyone got what they wanted, we would all be rich and thin and gorgeous and happy and healthy. Clearly, this is not the case.
What we do get, though, are hints about where we should go and what our destiny is. These hints are what we typically think of as closed doors. The closed doors point us in the direction we need to be. Where we need to go. That job you didn’t get that you thought was perfect for you? Arrow pointing you in the right direction. The relationship that you put all that time and effort in to, but which ended in heartache? Arrow pointing you in the direction you need to go. Didn’t get a place at uni? Arrow pointing you in another direction.
And the weird thing about this is, from my experience anyway, that as soon as you acknowledge the closed door as a step in the right direction, things start falling into place. I know this isn’t as sexy as getting everything you want whenever you ask for it, but it does make this puzzling journey called Life much more interesting.