There’s a reality TV show currently running, featuring the same group of people, competing to make the most amount of profit from the sales of secondhand goods. One particular couple make uncomfortable viewing, as the woman persistently and publicly berates and belittles her partner, whilst he slumps and looks miserable. Very occasionally he rises up and puts his foot down with a firm hand, as they say, and she will retort, “Don’t tell me what to do – I am sick of you telling me what to do!”
Now, I am aware that this makes good TV, and that there has to be some degree of playing up for the camera, but it is obvious that the whole thing isn’t entirely a set-up… surely, no man would want the world to repeatedly witness his testicles being crushed in the mean little hands of his partner, and surely no woman would want to present herself to the world as a critical harridan? But they stay together, having the occasional warm moment, and some would say, “well, if it works for them, good luck to them”. To be honest, I don’t lose sleep over this warring couple, and I don’t really care what they do. It is just that they got me thinking about how easy it is for emotionally intimate relationships to become a dumping ground for all of our frustrations and disappointments… simply because we can.
I once watched a couple snapping and hissing their way around the supermarket, challenging each other at every turn. “Do you want this for tea, or not? I told you… we don’t need any of those! Just put it in the trolley, will you? Oh, for God’s sake…. do what you want, I don’t care!” I don’t know whether they’d argued on the way to the store, and were still fuming with each other, or whether this was the normal state of their relationship. But I started to notice how dismissive many couples can be… rude even… and I began to wonder how this comes about.
Okay, everyone rows (been there and done that!), but that is not what I am talking about here. I think that sometimes we have expectations of a partner that we wouldn’t have of others, and maybe this is at the bottom of it all. Obviously, in my line of work, I hear a lot of unhappy relationship stories, and I always say that ‘relationship’ is the biggest challenge any of us will ever face in life; learning to live with ourselves is tricky enough – learning to live with other people is even harder. But how many women do you know who are the epitome of friendship and kindness to their girlfriends, whilst talking about, and to, their partner as if they are something nasty on the sole of their shoe? And how many men, who are cheerful and funny to the outside world, behave like moody, uncompromising old gits behind closed doors? I definitely know a few of both!
Maybe it is because we can’t escape each other. It’s funny, how keen we can be to become part of a committed couple, only to start feeling a little trapped by life, as the years roll by. I sometimes think that ‘romantic’ relationships bring out the worst in us, as well as the best… but that the worst can develop a life force all of its own! It doesn’t mean that the couple who are constantly engaged in reactive tit-for-tat and power plays don’t want to be together… I think they just want life to be different. Yes, it is true that some relationships are so dysfunctional that they shouldn’t legally be allowed to continue, and yes, even the best relationships will go through periodic ups and downs. But what do we do if we recognise that the friendship we once had with our partner has jumped ship, and that criticism and impatience has become the norm?
Well, firstly, we have to ask ourselves if we genuinely want to be in this relationship? Are we hanging on for the sake of security, or fear of making it on our own, or because we can’t face the upheaval and conflict that would come about if we left? Or have we both just lost our way, yet actually don’t want to be without each other? If not being in the relationship is where we are at, then we have a whole new journey ahead of us, and the first painful step will have to be taken, sooner or later. But if staying is where we are at, then we need to reassess and update: relationships, like businesses, have to move with the times, have to shed skins, reinvent themselves, and produce new value. Obviously it takes two to tango, but the repair work is mostly always started by one half of the couple, with the other ultimately following suit (and if your response is, “why should I be the one to pick up the pieces…. what about him/her? – they’re more guilty than I am!” my reply would be, “tit-for-tat never produced anything worth having!”). And if we are going to be the one who takes the reins, we have to start with ourselves, and we can’t announce it… it has to be undercover work, in order for it to be effective!
Starting with ourselves is not about self-criticism, it is about honest awareness. And even if we give it our best shot, and the relationship still falls apart, at least we know for sure that we did all that we could, and that we ourselves have grown, as a human being. Although we are doing this for the sake of our relationship, we are also doing it for us. There will still be a life to live, whatever the outcome… with or without the relationship.
So, here is a selection of some of the things that muddy up the waters of a relationship (some will be relevant, some won’t be!):
Are we ourselves stuck in the past, caught up in the same beliefs, thoughts, and actions, day in and day out, year in and year out? Are we just busily heading towards old age and our deathbed, taking each day as it comes, using the need for ‘security’ as an excuse not to develop and grow? Does our partner appear to want more, yet we ourselves are putting up walls of resistance, trying to keep things the way we feel they should be?
Is it our partner who is doing all of the above, and we are resentfully complying, dreaming about all of the things we would ideally love to do, and the lost opportunities that will never present themselves again? Have we told ourselves that we have no choice, because there would be issues or arguments if we do try to expand our own horizons? And if so, is that actually, completely true… or are we at least partially using our partner as a scapegoat for our own fear and self-doubt?
Are we making mountains out of molehills? How compromising are we, really? Do we fume over small things because they irritate us, or because we don’t believe that they should be done that way? Are we fighting so many battles that the war cannot possibly be won?
Are we entering into power plays, again and again? He hangs wet towels over the tops of doors, no matter how many times you have explained that you don’t like it. She doesn’t scrape the food from the plates before putting them in the dishwasher, no matter how many times you have asked her to do so. Do these things then become about a lack of love and respect, rather than just bad habits?
Do we have expectations of our partner that he/she just can’t live up to, even though they ‘should’? Maybe they have some kind of mental block, where a particular situation is concerned; maybe they’re thick; maybe they are childishly digging their heels in, as a form of protest against other hurts or criticisms. How much does it all really matter, in the grand scheme of things?
Do we say “I have tried talking to them again and again about this, and they just won’t communicate”? Are we sure that our approach is the most appropriate one, or are we going in with the same-old-same-old, every single time? Are we speaking their language… have we even figured out what it is? If we know for sure that if we say this, in that way, then he/she will react defensively, or clear off, are we recognising that we might as well be peeing into the wind? Are we talking at them, or with them? Are we trying to discuss too much, all in one go? Are we actually criticising them, rather than trying to have a a genuine two-way conversation? And is what we want to discuss of utmost importance, or just an old, often ragged-around issue?
Do we immediately become defensive when our partner tries to communicate with us, throwing up a wall of resistance?
When did we last tell our partner we are proud of them, or compliment them? It may be that they never do either of those things for us, but the change has to start somewhere, and with something small.
When arguing, do we say “you always do that, you continuously do or say the other?”… when we know that it isn’t true. They sometimes do, but not every second of every day! Does our partner do that to us… and if so, do we react with a tit-for-tat retort?
Do we drag up the past, every time we are upset with our partner, reminding them of how badly they have behaved, or how they have failed us? If our partner regularly does this to us, despite our best efforts to be a solid and loving mate, it may be that this is as good as it gets, and we need to rethink the bigger plan. This is a major stumbling block, and left to gather momentum, will eventually strangle even the most well-intentioned relationship.
Do we make quality time for our partner, or are we too busy with work, children and friends? Have we become like a pair of old socks, one in the washing machine, the other in the dryer?
CAN we honestly, truthfully see ourselves growing old with our partner, and feel good about it, despite the ups and downs… or does the thought of it make us feel like a deflated balloon, more often than it doesn’t?
And the final question has to be: is your relationship in need of a touch of kindness… and are you willing to be the one who starts the new ball rolling, accepting that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that change might take more than a few days or weeks to come about?
Oh… and one last thing: the reason I said earlier that it has to be undercover work, is because no-one likes to think that they are part of an experiment, and few would respond well! However, over time, most of us will respond positively to ongoing, loving kindness! I have seen miracles come about, in the darkest of places, simply because of the presence of a little bit of light…
“If this is really how ‘it’ works, if the loa just responds, but ‘life’ does care, then why doesn’t ‘life’ let us all start at the same place on the board?? It’s such a mean ‘system’ if you really think about it. To give everyone the same ‘tool’ to work with, yet give many people ‘disadvantages’ to start with at birth. One starts with loving parents in a democratic western country, the other starts in war with no-one who gives a damn. I used to believe that there was some kind of divine justice in the universe. That if you do good, eventually good things will come to you. Maybe not from the ones you’ve been good to, but that somehow true others it would come back to you. But the older I get the more I realize that that’s not the case, and that how you describe how God and his loa works is probably more accurate. And that somehow makes me sad, cause that would mean that no matter how hard you work, or are good for others: if you happen to not ‘get’ how this little back-door-loophole called loa works, then you’re in for one shit-ride, and God just says Bad luck!
If someone does their best, really tries to make the best of it, shouldn’t that have to be enough? Isn’t that more ‘fair’?
But then, I’m probably one of the people that just doesn’t ‘get’ it…
I intended to respond, but needed to think about what I wanted to say, and then busy life took over, allowing it to disappear from my radar… until recently, when I received a question from one of my regular customers:
“Hey, if you happen to get a moment, could you give me a quick how-to for the LOA? I’ve been enjoying your blog posts on the subject.
I just feel like I’ve known about it since The Secret, but like most people it’s hit or miss with me.
An example: if my dream is to build a successful business, do I pretend that I’m already there and try to clean up any of the “it’ll never happen” feelings that come up along the way?”
I absolutely understand where the author of the first comment is coming from, as it is all stuff I myself have battled with, over the years. An ex colleague once asked me why I grieve for people I don’t know, and I was baffled: why didn’t she grieve for people she didn’t know? We don’t all view life through the same eyes, and so what we see, and how we respond to it, is unique to us… and it will always be influenced by where we are currently at, in our own lives. I was loathe to even want enough just to survive, never mind thrive, because somewhere on the planet a desperate mother was watching her child die in her arms, due to lack of food or clean water. My struggle couldn’t even begin to compare with hers, I reasoned, and the fact that I couldn’t pay my rent, or buy my own children new shoes when they needed them, didn’t seem unreasonable to me. It has taken me a very long time to heal that erroneous belief… and in the meantime I developed pretty serious financial problems. No matter how hard I worked, I never managed to get ahead, and customers would often book in and then not show up, or cancel at the last minute, leaving me up s**t creek without a paddle.
Eventually, I realised that I was of more use to the world when I wasn’t coming from a poverty mindset. The poor don’t need other poor people sympathising with them… they need practical help, financial aid, and education on how they can not only support themselves, but thrive, in the long-term. My resistance to abundance had nothing to do with them, anyway; it was more to do with my own feelings of low self-worth, and the belief that I didn’t deserve anything other than scraping by. The problem is, I inflicted that upon my children, because they had to do without, too many times. They were never hungry, and they received Christmas and birthday presents (sometimes second hand), but the phrase “we can’t afford it” was like a mantra in our home. To this day, I cannot stand those words!
And I also came to realise that I really should live my life in honour of those who have less than I do. I was born where I was born, in a part of the world that afforded me some degree of opportunity. I was born with the mind that I have. I was born with my own unique set of skills. I may have chosen that before I was born (as some believe), but I certainly have no conscious memory of doing so. So… if this is the life I was either given, or chose, or evolved into, surely I should be grateful for it, and give it my best shot? I wasted too many years trying to be lesser than I really am, focusing on the world’s lack, misery, hardship, and injustice. And as a result, I contributed far too much negative energy to the collective consciousness… it was definitely a lose-lose situation!
On the subject of collective consciousness, I began to understand the potentially devastating impact of joint mentality on society. Whole nations/cultures can adopt belief systems that are destructive and unjust, inflicting suffering on the weaker or minority members, leaving the rest of the world to pick up the pieces. Every single problem that exists on planet Earth, other than natural disaster, is down to some form of unreasonable human behaviour. Human beings are still being persecuted by other human beings, made homeless, maimed, and murdered, every second of every day.
However, the good news is is that the human race is the new kid on the block, on a planet that is 4.5 billion years old, in a universe that is 13.8 billion years old… and we are making progress. We all just happen to be at different stages of awareness, and tolerance, and acceptance. And we will differ in our beliefs about the role that God plays in all of this, and are unlikely to completely agree with one another (though we could choose to agree to disagree!). I personally feel that we exist in a dimension of free will, and that it is up to the individual to think for him/herself, and to choose whether to fall in, unquestioningly, with the mass consciousness, or to challenge it. And even amongst the most troubled of nations, shining stars have risen, and will continue to rise… intelligent, unique, brave individuals who will challenge the status quo, and who will fight for better conditions.
In terms of the law of attraction, it is really about cause and effect. A nation can work together in a positive, productive way, and miracles will occur. A nation can continue to hate, discriminate, and battle, and the result will be misery. And sadly, innocent people will be caught up in this… but even then, some degree of choice always exists, even if the choices are hugely limited and difficult, compared to those of other people experiencing more favourable circumstances. I cannot explain why one soul manifests, as a human being, in a reasonably advanced part of the world, whilst another is born into hostility, danger, and poverty. I don’t have an answer, except to say that the sacrificial lambs clearly give the rest of us an opportunity to develop genuine empathy, a sense of responsibility for others, and a way of experiencing real gratitude for the life we are living.
And no, visualising, whilst trying to clear up old blocks, is not enough to bring about a successful business! Okay, it definitely helps… we have to begin with an idea, a vision, something that starts to take shape and form in our mind… but definite, consistent action is absolutely imperative, before it can begin to translate into physical reality. Even those who have visualised a lottery win will have had to take the physical action of buying a ticket! And I can visualise myself as a writer until the cows come home, but the books won’t write, publish, and market themselves! The stories are created in my mind and heart, but that is where they will stay, unless I allow them to become ‘real’, through specific, definite action. It all depends upon what it is we intend to attract: something small can come about more easily than something major. I wanted a microwave oven, without buying one, but it took months to show up (I probably didn’t want it strongly enough)! A friend texted me one day, telling me that she had one for me (almost new!), that a relative no longer needed. However, she was only aware that I wanted one because I told her I did! If I hadn’t, she wouldn’t have thought to save it for me. I was, and still am, incredibly grateful for the gift… I am just explaining that action was involved in the manifestation of the thing I wanted! I have had other experiences in which amazing things have come about, just when I needed them most, without any obvious relevant action being taken… but I class those as little miracles – which may or may not have anything to do with the law of attraction!
To sum up (in a completely inadequate way… this subject is far too huge to be effectively covered in one blog!), the law of attraction is in action every second of every day, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. If we have an ongoing bad attitude, it will, ultimately, come back to bite us… not as a punishment, but as a natural consequence. And though that may not always be witnessed by the ones we have wronged, it doesn’t mean our slate is ‘clean’. And when we find ourselves running into one brick wall after another, trying and trying to achieve a particular goal, if we keep going, periodically regrouping and reassessing, we will bemaking a clear statement of intention that will ultimately be responded to, by the all-seeing, creative force of life… or, as we know it better, the law of attraction. It is a form of intelligence that recognises and responds to the workings of our inner world, our actual beliefs, our motivation, and our intentions. If we are feeling resentful, believing that ‘bad’ people are getting all of the lucky breaks, then that becomes the message we are putting out there… resentment, tied up with feelings of futility and powerlessness.
I finally began to understand that, if I want to make a difference, to achieve the goals I have set for myself, to create something of worth in this life, I have to consistently come from a powerful, determined mindset… no matter what has happened in the past, and no matter how many times I have to go back to the drawing board to start again. And I can promise you that it has been incredibly hard more times than it has been easy… but that it does get easier to accept, if we keep going. Some things will come easy, some will seem to require blood, sweat, and tears. We have to stand in the life we popped into, good, bad, or indifferent, and do the absolute best we are able to, given the resources available to us, and work our way up from that point. We have to be strong enough to reach down to the soul below us, pulling them up with all of our might, whilst making the best use of ourselves. To quote God, from Neale Donald Walsch’s ‘Conversations With God: ‘Betrayal of yourself, in order not to betray another, is betrayal nonetheless’. If we don’t give ourselves every possible chance to thrive, to learn, to grow and shine, how on earth can we do that for another?
Clare loved to sew, but somehow never got around to doing much of it… because there was always something more ‘important’ to do.
Janice longed to paint, and often talked about how much she used to enjoy whiling away a couple of hours, brush in hand… until ‘real’ life got in the way.
Mike had the knack of digging out saleable items at car boot and yard sales, and second hand shops, but it was just a bit of a hobby… nothing to take seriously.
Moira loved to clean; she could whip through a grubby, disorganised house in record time, leaving everything gleaming and inviting… and she would often pitch in to help the lazy, or the overwhelmed – absolutely free of charge.
Every single human being on this planet has a gift, something that absorbs them, something that produces a sense of satisfaction. However, society has programmed us to believe that our gifts are valueless, and that we shouldn’t waste time on anything that doesn’t automatically add to our financial security. Oh, we believe that some people have a real gift, the kind that will make them a fortune… people who are not like us, and who don’t have our restrictions and problems… the chosen few. And so we deprive ourselves of the joy, of the sense of achievement, that comes from embracing and appreciating our own unique skills and talents. If it isn’t huge, if it doesn’t make us rich, if we aren’t immediately the best, then what’s the point? We think that we’re being smart and realistic, by just putting one foot in front of the other, and investing all of our time and energy into everyday security… and survival.
You may consider yourself to be the most average, lowly, ordinary human being on the planet… and that will absolutely not be true. You ARE good at something in particular; there IS something that produces a feeling of pleasure and enthusiasm within you; you DO have something precious and worthwhile about you. And if you say, “well, the trouble is, I don’t have any confidence”, I would say, “of course you don’t – you have to do that thing again and again until you become confident!” And also, you have to be willing to commit a consistent amount of time and energy to your gift, even if it is only a couple of hours a week…. week in, week out, month in, month out. Eventually you will hit your stride, and you will be open to expansion and improvement… you will want to strive to take it to the next level. You might also say, “but I am afraid to fail”, and I would respond with,”so what’s so precious and fragile about you that you can’t mess up, or have to go back to the drawing board every now and then?” When we say we are afraid of failure, we usually mean that we don’t want to be judged, or laughed at, or seen as too full of ourselves. We also mean that we are afraid of what we will have to do or change, in order to make room for our gift, in our everyday life. And we are afraid that we aren’t as good as we’d ideally like to be. But what if we were right, and all of this actually came to pass? Would the world come to an end? Would we be asked to permanently remove ourselves, and our nearest and dearest, from planet Earth? No. Nothing would happen… except that we could choose to close off from the thing that is special to us, in favour of just doing what needs to be done… in the ‘real’ world.
You may be someone’s child, sibling, parent, partner, or friend. But you are still you, an individual soul, a shard of the great creative force of life… and I wish for you that you could feel the essence of yourself, like silk or sand, pouring through your fingers. And many may not believe in your hopes and dreams (because they are far too clever to allow themselves to become caught up in anything other than the ‘real’ world), but you don’t have to listen to them, even if you love them. Creative people have to create, and can often make a bit of money along the way, with a bit of insight and self-belief. And creativity isn’t just about painting or writing… it is about energy, ideas, and vision. You might come up with an organisational system that is so much more productive than the old one; you might put together a little recipe book for the struggling cook, or those on a tight budget; you might be great at motivating others, or calming angry people down; you might have a voice that is soothing, and would be ideal for audio books; you might have the capacity to take pieces of old, unloved furniture, transforming them into attractive and desirable items; you might know just how to update discarded, second hand clothes, giving them a new, gorgeous lease of life… or one of a billion other wonderful possibilities.
Life should be about forward movement, and the journey is actually more important than the destination (although without a destination, the journey is likely to be a bit scattered!). This sounds like an old cliche, I know, but think about it… isn’t Christmas Eve more exciting than Christmas Day, and isn’t New Year’s Eve more vibrant than New Year’s Day? It is all about the anticipation, the build up… the effort! Don’t sell yourself short, ever, be itthrough your thoughts, beliefs, or behaviour; don’t believe that your happiness is completely dependent upon outside circumstances, and other people’s opinions or beliefs about you. You CAN continue to become an even more expanded version of your unique self, and those who come after you can follow in your footsteps… and the doubters and the critics can go screw themselves up!
I recently received an email from one of my regular customers, and in it she mentioned an internet site on which people are currently tearing me to shreds, and verbally attacking anyone who defends me. I have been completely unaware of this site’s existence, and I have absolutely no interest in looking into it further, now. Her intentions were positive, however; she just thought I should know, and I appreciated it… mainly because it gave me the opportunity to recognise how far I have come!
There was a time when the knowledge that yet another bunch of people, hiding behind user names, are publicly trashing me, would have dragged me down to the dark depths of self-loathing and despair. But not now. I was pleasantly surprised to experience nothing more than mild interest, as I read her words. She commented that she couldn’t understand how adults could behave so badly, but we all know that they can, and often do, especially when amongst their own kind, or safely hidden behind a phone or computer. And I say ‘another bunch’ because this is not the first time this situation has occurred, and it won’t be the last!
But, you know, there are positives that come from being the target of online haters, and here are 5 that I can think of:
1) You have made an impact out there, in the world. You have touched a few raw nerves, and as a result, people are talking, debating and arguing… which will lead to a number of folk actually changing their viewpoint, in a positive way. They will start to realise that the haters, whilst entitled to their opinions, are not the kind of individuals they actually want to associate or communicate with, and will disconnect from them, seeking something more healthy and productive.
2) You are likely to gain new followers or customers – yes, really! Some people become so intrigued when they see that one individual has the capacity to incite such rage and fury in others, that they just have to check it out for themselves! And of course, the brave defenders lend a helping hand here, presenting a positive viewpoint. They say all publicity is good publicity, and that just might be true. Some years ago I was ‘attacked’ on Facebook by a woman I don’t think I had ever met or read for, and the fallout was crazy. There were those who gleefully joined in, adding their own reasons for wanting to see me crushed asunder, there were others who furiously rose up on my behalf, and some who didn’t know me from Adam, but defended me anyway. And arguments started, with accusations and insults flying left, right, and centre… in the end, I think the original point was forgotten, as mud was slung and FB ‘friendships’ ended. As a result of that one vitriolic rant, I received 40 friend requests, and an impressive amount of new business!
3) You’re running with the ‘big boys’ now. I was watching Mean Tweets recently, and I was blown away by how vicious and personally rude people can be, but also kind of heartened by the fact that even the hugely successful and much admired are consistently on the receiving end of spiteful and contemptuous outpourings. If it’s good enough for Samuel L Jackson, it’s good enough for me! And actually, indifference hurts more than being hated, in an odd kind of way. Not having many visitors to my website, or only a handful of people reading one of my blogs, or not enough recent reviews on Amazon causes me to slump, thinking “what’s the point?”, until I nip it sharply in the bud! If I had to choose, I might possibly take the haters over the indifferent…
4) It provides an opportunity for you to grow. Criticism can help you to assess where you, yourself, feel you are at, and whether or not you are satisfied with your own delivery and performance. I have genuinely worked tirelessly on myself throughout the years, and yes, I have had to take a few things on the chin. However, I do feel that I have improved, and I am now largely happy with the way in which I approach my work, and how I conduct myself. And also, the haters not only help you to become a better version of yourself, they also teach you to recognise the difference between constructive and destructive criticism!
5) It gives you an opportunity to develop a thicker skin, and a thicker skin is an absolute must, if you are going to put anything of yourself out there in the world – especially on the internet. It doesn’t matter whether you sell products or a service, or make YouTube videos, or write blogs… you will be up for public scrutiny, and someone somewhere will hate something about you! Look at the comments below any YouTube video, and try coming away from the experience without feeling as if you have just been through some weird hall of mirrors! There will be positive, enthusiastic comments, of course – but there will also be those that are horribly insulting, in a very personal way! It is what it is, but I can tell you from experience that a thicker skin definitely makes life a lot easier – and the toughening-up process goes on!
So… please, don’t be afraid to face the world, if YOU have something to offer, or something you want to share! I was terrified of putting out YouTube videos for years, until it clicked with me that I had already been on the haters’ radar many times, without the sky falling in. And do you know what happened, when I did release a few video’s? Bugger all. I wasn’t interesting enough to attract the attention of more than a handful of gratefully received subscribers, but I learned a few things, and it was fun doing them. And I really hope the day will come when I begin to receive occasional 1 star reviews on my little books on Amazon, and not just 4 and 5 stars… because that will mean that I am starting to develop a presence, and that I am getting somewhere!
Just hearing the term ‘law of attraction’ is enough to make most of us groan, having had it thrust down our throats and held over our heads, for years now. There was a time when it was the new big thing, the latest get-rich-quick-trick, THE answer to all of our frustrated hopes and desires… but only if we could figure out how to do it right. And asthe initial excitement of ‘The Secret’ died down, I came across hundreds of disappointed, disheartened individuals who were still skint, still struggling, still yearning, despite endless hours of visualisation and repeated affirmations. I heard, ‘It’s all just rubbish’, and ‘What am I doing wrong?’, and ‘How long does this actually take to work?’, again and again. And I have to be honest: I was one of those people, spouting that stuff!
But, despite the knowledge that I was dragging myself forward one millimetre at a time, rather than the miles I was hoping for, I still believed that the concept was sound, and made perfect sense. I experienced periodic little miracles in my life that defied rational, logical explanation… occurrences that bailed me out just when I really needed it the most, but with the least hope of reprieve. Or that’s is how it appeared to me, anyway. Looking back, I recognise that I was making headway; I had made an unconscious deal with the great force of life that it would save me when I was most desperate. Somehow, I allowed that, whilst not allowing anything more than that. I could be saved, but not nurtured or ‘spoiled’. Survival was something I could accept. Thriving easily was not.
I have been on this journey for sooo long, but finally I am seeing things in ways I couldn’t see them, even a year ago. I understood stuff intellectually, and I could talk about it… but I was still struggling to feel it. I started to recognise the difference between what I knew in my head, and what I could honestly, truly feel, comfortably, in my inner world – in my ‘heart brain’ (which I imagine is in the centre of my chest, because that is where I feel the most!). I have spoken with thousands of individuals who have bitterly sworn that they are doing everything right, that they are doing all the required work… that they have no problem whatsoever accepting opportunity, abundance, money… but yet it continues to evade them. They are convinced that the law of attraction works for others, but not for them. And sadly, I realised that I couldn’t help them. The big things in life can never be taught – they can only be learned. We can educate ourselves, we can take direction, and we can pick up tips and hints… but how we perceive and absorb it, and how we utilise it, is always down to us, in our own individual way.
However, I CAN say that if we truly understand that desire for something alone is not enough, and that step by step action HAS to be present, for as long as it takes, then we will experience results! We will be seeing that the law of attraction works through us, and with us, not to us. We can tell our mind over and over that we are attracting a million pounds, but because it only works with facts, with what it already knows and understands, it is likely to say, “F**k off! You have been struggling to pay your bills for years… scraping by, hanging on by the skin of your teeth! We can do this stuff with our eyes closed – let’s not go rocking any boats, trying to change things, now. Anyway, you wouldn’t even know HOW to handle a million pounds, believe me… I know you, remember!” I think that many of us have probably viewed the law of attraction as an alternative to real, persistent action, backed up by a developing sense of connection with what it is we genuinely, truly intend to achieve. And the word ‘intend’ is key here; intention has power behind it… hope does not, and neither does desire, if they are standing alone.
Additionally, a dose of reality is required…
I have been asked, on a number of occasions, if an ex partner can be compelled to return, via the use of the law of attraction. And in every case there has been heartache, dysfunction, and unresolved conflict. The law of attraction is not a magic wand, I am afraid. It operates productively through high energy, not misery, resentment and fear. That is a fact that I, myself, have really had to make peace with – that I have to operate from a healthier, clearer mindset, first and foremost. And then I have to be willing to be clear about what I am setting out to achieve, applying real intention, coupled with consistent, persistent steps… and a degree of realistic expectation! I can visualise myself as a winning Formula 1 driver until the sun implodes and planet Earth turns to dust, but it is never going to happen, and for very specific reasons! Even where the law of attraction is concerned, a little common sense goes a long way!
We also need to actually resonate with whatever it is we are saying we want to receive and achieve. I have been training myself to think bigger and richer… to break down the deep-seated divides that exist within my mind. For example, I make sure I no longer negatively judge lottery winners, as in “Huh, look at her! She clearly hasn’t even heard of the law of attraction, and yet she’s won millions! She doesn’t even take care of herself, or keep herself fit. WHY God? Can’t you HEAR me??”. Sounds bloody dreadful, doesn’t it, but I have to be honest… I have had those kind thoughts in the past! Ridiculous. The bottom line is, some people just don’t have the money blocks that I have had. It isn’t their fault, and my blocks are not their problem. And recently I made myself read ‘posh’ home and garden type magazines, without tutting every other second at outrageous prices, whilst secretly feeling lesser than the kind of people who can easily afford to buy that stuff. I wanted to be able to enjoy it without judgement, and to a small degree I did. However, I suddenly recognised that a good portion of my discomfort comes from the fact that I don’t really value soft furnishings and such like. They don’t float my boat or ring my bell. The idea of spending £3,000 on an occasional table meant absolutely nothing to me… I couldn’t ‘feel’ it. But I COULD feel aligned to the idea spending the same amount of money on a motorbike, or a trip to a Grand Prix. And whilst at a Grand Prix, I wouldn’t have any desire to be dressed up to the nines, hobnobbing with the celebs… I’d be as near as possible to the pit lanes, drinking in the scent of fuel and burning rubber! Our goals have to be absolutely meaningful to us, and we have to keep working on ourselves until we genuinely feel worthy of them. And we need to be able to recognise the difference between what our inner self really feels and believes, and what our outer self says, remembering to seek out ways of consistently and positively aligning them. The physical/metaphysical Universe is one tough cookie, and operates along very definite lines. It cuts itself no slack, and as we are a part of it, born out of it, it cuts us no slack either. I reckon its motto is: Pee or get off the pot!
I was looking at the little collection of heart – shaped stones that I have gathered from the beach, whilst walking the dog. And I wondered “why hearts?” And I thought about my latest book, of which I am very proud, and which just so happens to be a contemporary love story… and I thought “how odd”, given that I don’t have a romantic bone in my body!
But suddenly, it clicked: I DO believe in romance… and my version is very much tied up with friendship. I mentioned the subject to my youngest daughter, who is 24, but she didn’t see it exactly the same way, and I realised that romance probably means different things to different people, at different stages in their lives. However, we both agreed that ‘forced’ romance, such as Valentine’s Day, is unappealing, and she laughingly told me that when she was employed as a waitress, she enjoyed working on Valentine’s Day because it was guaranteed that at least one couple would end up arguing! I said that was probably because of ‘disappointed expectation’, and that maybe those couples would have been better off spending the evening at home in their pyjamas, with a bottle of wine and a take – away (or apart, dependent upon the actual state of the relationship!).
I do believe that my work has played a big part in convincing me that I had become completely devoid of any romantic notions or feelings… along with my own life choices and experiences, of course. I spend a huge portion of my working life looking into other people’s love lives (or lack of), and a lot of it ain’t pretty. And I have seen how easily the desire, the expectation, and the demand for romance can lead to misery and disappointment… but IS that romance, or something else entirely?
I have concluded that, for me, the stereotypical version of romance is embarrassing. Sitting opposite a partner in an overly decorated restaurant on Valentine’s Day, trying to ‘feel it’ and behave accordingly, is really hard work, and causes me to feel like an idiot. I enjoy the company, and the food, but that’s all. By the end of the evening we are leaving, me clutching a long – stemmed red rose that was kindly supplied by the restaurant, too full to do anything other than drive home and collapse onto the couch or into bed. But that’s probably just us, a pair of past – it old farts.
However, I have noticed that a huge number of people, mostly young women, appear to confuse sexual tension with romance. If it’s all intense and highly charged, then it is romantic and exciting… and their expectations soar, like ecstatic birds finally freed from a cage… birds that often end up being brutally shot down.
I have also noticed that romance appears to be something that men are expected to do to or for women, and that they tend to either do it spectacularly well, or pathetically badly. Which is probably one of the reasons men, especially those who are self – conscious, shy away from obviously romantic acts wherever possible. It doesn’t always mean that they don’t care… it just means that they are terrified of getting it wrong, or looking stupid.
So, back to my little book (You Wear It Well, available on Amazon Kindle, plug, plug, plug). I fell in love with the characters as I was creating them (well, in truth, they created themselves), and when I knew that I was about to drop a bombshell on the two main characters, I cried, and couldn’t bring myself to write that bit, for several days. And I realised that that was because they genuinely LIKED each another. They didn’t just fancy one another, they delighted in discovering things, such as Stevie’s love of 70’s and 80’s rock, and that she collected old vinyls, which she played on her record player. And the fact that Nick used to be the lead singer in a rock band, something he still does occasionally. He told his mate that being with his ex was akin to being alternately burned and stung, whilst being with Stevie was like being immersed in warm honey. I was impressed. Coming from a 34 year old biker, that was a pretty romantic notion. Of course, her didn’t say that to Stevie… but to me, the fact that he was willing to share this little nugget with his mate, showed that he was ‘feeling it’, and was willing to risk being laughed at by a fellow biker dude. Now, THAT’S romantic!
Yesterday, I was in my office at my partner’s house, working through my list of email consultations. He quietly tapped on the door with a cup of tea and a hot water bottle, in case my feet were cold. The little dog next door, who is hyper – sensitive and hates being left alone, was howling and barking, and the noise became so difficult to ignore, I decided to go into the bedroom to work, and thought I was might as well get under the quilt (the perks of working from home!)… and he appeared again with a second hot water bottle, in case the first one was getting cold. And it struck me that these kinds of acts are MY version of romance. My daughter disagreed; she said that she thought that that was love, rather than romance, which brings me back to my earlier point of romance representing different things to different people, at different times in their lives. I do a lot for my partner, too. Practical and financial stuff, as well as emotional. We have worked incredibly hard on this relationship, over a period of 12 years, and there are still occasions on which I could cheerfully smother him in his sleep with a pillow (and vice versa, I imagine). He has bought me flowers in the past, which I appreciated, but that didn’t touch me anywhere near as much as him going out to warm the car up and clean the windscreen for me. Or him insisting on doing the jobs I hate, like cleaning the car. Or tidying out a bedroom, and organising it into an office for me. Or cooking my lunch, and supplying me with mugs of tea, whilst I am working. I was with my first ex husband for 11 years, and he gave me the one and only bunch of flowers he ever thought about buying, on the day after I left him. The flowers didn’t matter. The fact that he bought my Christmas present from the local shop, ON Christmas day (a few bags of sweets), and the fact that I did everything from the housework and cooking, and decorating our home, to turfing the garden, to clearing out the cellar and then dragging everything to the tip, ALONE, whilst he sat on his backside or went to the pub, negated the flowers. I wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, AND I became the mother in the relationship, and he became the child, which isn’t sexy (or as I like to say, isn’t rock and roll). A whole field full of flowers wouldn’t have had the power to fix what was a completely broken situation, never mind a single bunch.
So, you can see, the question ‘romance – what is it really about?’ doesn’t have a one – size – fits – all answer. It can mean anything to anyone. I remember, many years ago, on a Valentine’s day, watching a woman walk up my garden path with an enormous bunch of flowers in her arms, and my heart lifted. At the time I was married, with two small children, and we were more than skint… we were two steps away from destitution. I remember wondering how this was possible… WHERE did he get the money from, for such a beautiful bouquet. And I also remember thinking how out of character it was for him, too. I opened the door with a huge smile, and the woman said “I have tried to deliver these next door, but no – one is home. Can I leave them with you, until she gets back?” I said “absolutely, no problem”, when in reality I wanted to beat her over the head with the darned things, and then shove them where the sun don’t shine. I was soon to discover that the ‘lucky’ gal next door’s knight in shining armour was a married man, and that she spent many evenings in miserable loneliness. So much for romantic gestures.
Finally, I have to say that, like everything on this planet, romance can be used for the good or for the not – so – good. Romance can be a destructive force, in the wrong hands. The desire for it can come loaded with self – entitlement, idealistic thinking, and unreasonable expectation. It can be used to lure someone in, for our own selfish reasons…. oozing flattery and attention, in order to either get something we want from another person, or to feed our own ego until we get bored, moving swiftly on to the next target. I actually think that my daughter was right. What I described as romantic gestures, she called love. But isn’t THAT what romance is actually supposed to be about? And my answer to the question ‘why is romance important?’ would be “because it comes from a place of emotional intimacy… the very glue that binds two partners together – through the good times, the indifferent times, and the times when we look at each other and think ‘sleep with one eye open tonight – DARLING!”. Long live romance, I say!
A woman emailed me recently, pleading for a consultation, and pouring out a tale of woe about her love life. However, she didn’t want to pay for it UNTIL she’d had the results she desired, because, she complained, she had already spent thousands of dollars on ‘spell casters’… and still the man she was desperate to reunite with was blocking her at every turn. Her email was awash with all of the things she wanted from this man, and all of the ways in which she wanted him to behave. I felt sorry for her, because she was clearly in a huge amount of emotional pain, but there was absolutely no way to help her. What she wants is never, ever going to happen, no matter how much money she spends, and no matter how many spells are cast. And I will explain why.
She is operating from a completely repellent energy field, created by fearful and manipulative intention. Her motivation is incredibly unhealthy, and has nothing to do with love. She has fallen into a dark pit of need, which is being fed by the raw pain of rejection. She has no interest in the well – being or happiness of the man who is doing his best to avoid any form of contact with her, and the ongoing rejection is pushing her further and further down into miserable obsession. She is blocking the light from her own life, and preventing herself from attracting the very thing she desires with every ounce of her being… to be in a loving, healthy, supportive relationship with a man who values and adores her. She is chasing the wrong dream, wishing the wrong wish… it is not the man she wants, it is love. And she clearly has no love at all for herself, because her words and actions are outer evidence of a belief that the only way she can possibly be loved is to demand, force and manipulate it. ‘All I want is…’ and ‘I just want my wish to come true’ was repeated again and again throughout her email. Her mental, emotional and physical focus is so strongly on the fact that she wants wants wants, wishes wishes wishes, she is entrapping herself, and she will continue to go round and round in the same miserable loop until she breaks it… and consciously creates a healthier, more loving and positively attractive energy field. Right now she can’t see that, and is unlikely to be open to anything other than what she wants to hear, and anyone who gets too close to her is going to be in trouble.
The good news is that she doesn’t have to remain in this self – imposed emotional hellhole. The law of attraction doesn’t care whether she does or not, but life does care (or God, the Universe, whatever name you want to give it). It will keep poking her, pushing her, nudging her, towards awareness, towards ‘aha’ moments, towards realisation. Life wants her to have what it is that she actually, truly wants and desires, but she has to learn how to use the creative tool that is the law of attraction, in the most appropriate way for the life she wants to live. The law of attraction itself is indifferent; it doesn’t analyse and choose – it responds, and it takes us literally.
Her email reminded me to double check my own current relationship with the law of attraction, and I realised I was slipping a bit in one area of my life! I am now consciously addressing that by fine – tuning my attitude, and taking appropriate action. You see, we are always a work in progress, and ongoing tweaking is an absolute must! Well, it is if we want to have some say over how we feel, and the direction our life is taking. If we remember that the law of attraction is a creative delivery service that doesn’t question our order, we’re more likely to be careful about what we give it to work with! Is there anything about your own current attitude and approach that you suspect could do with tidying up a bit, in order to attract more productive results, and gain fresh momentum? Is there anything you are dithering about, knowing you need to make a decision and take action? Are you struggling with inertia, promising yourself that you’ll give yourself a push tomorrow, next week, next year? Are you blaming circumstance, running critical dialogue through your mind, over and over? CAN you think better, feel better, and consciously and consistently improve your communication with the law of attraction? Absolutely… so start right now, this second!#loa