You can have anything you want by tapping into a “law of attraction” in the Universe. This is the premise of the book, “The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne. She writes that the Universe will manifest your desire as long as you know exactly what you want.
Byrne contends that the beauty of the law of attraction is that you don’t actually have to work to achieve your desire–you just have to visualize it and act as though you already have it.
As I fanned myself through another hot flash this morning, I started thinking about the the things I might have attracted in my past had this premise worked for me.
Here are nine reasons that I’m glad that the law of attraction didn’t work for me:
- I would be married to a guy in prison. At the tender age of fourteen I fell in love with “The Fonz” of our church youth group. I wanted nothing more than to marry him and live in wedded bliss forever. His later trouble with the police would have meant perfecting the art of nail files in the birthday cake.
- I would be the oldest living high school student in the world. With all of my teenaged heart, I wanted to be the Peter Pan of Homer L. Ferguson High School. Right now, I would be hanging out with Deedee in the cafeteria, frightening the teenage boys with my 52 year-old face.
- I would own a three-wheeler. In my twenties I moved to Alabama and spent many weekends three-wheeling through the woods. My greatest desire was to have one of my own. I shopped for them, looked for deals, and made it my number one goal. I also flipped one and tore ligaments in my knee. Then the industry added a fourth-wheel and I moved on to a career and cars.
- I would be a successful attorney. In college, I wanted to be an attorney. Come to think of it, that might not have turned out so bad. Now I’m depressed.
- I would be slinging drinks at a bar. After college, I worked at Bennigan’s as a bartender. I had a blast, and was passionate about becoming the lead bartender. My preacher father was not thrilled with this choice, but I found it all very Coyote Ugly. Can you imagine me trying to jump up on the bar and dance at the age of 52? It might not be all coyote, but it would definitely be ugly.
- All movies would star Sylvester Stallone. Yes, I saw Rocky eighteen times. And that was not enough. I was absolutely, passionately in love with Sylvester Stallone. At one point I said, “I want every movie to feature him.” Can you imagine Sophie’s Choice starring Sylvester Stallone? Or The Notebook kissing scene with Rachel McAdams and Sylvester?
- I would have a pet tiger. I went through a phase in my twenties where I wanted to own a tiger. I thought they were beautiful and loved their big paws. This particular desire, if attained, would probably have shortened my life by a few years.
- I would be missing the best two things in my life. I was determined to be like Sally Field in Absence of Malice in which she is cast as a writer living in an apartment in New York City. I wanted that apartment, her wardrobe, and that life. Had “The Secret” provided that particular gift, I would be without my son and daughter. And despite the broken tailbone and reflux and wrecked boobs, they are the best novel I’ve ever written.
- I would be forever twenty-five. For some reason, I started feeling the aging process at this stage. I wanted to remain twenty-five forever. This would have meant eternal acne — wait, I have that. Okay, it would have meant thinking the most important thing in life is aerobics and looking good. I would have never discovered the magic of a life where discovering the self is just as exciting as finding a new friend. I would have never have appreciated the power of holding on to those you love, nor the fact that even when they leave this earth they are, somehow, still with you.
I love my life now, and I thank every mistake I’ve ever made that has gotten me here.
Life is always difficult, and life is always glorious. It’s a wonderful journey, and we are more brilliantly made than we can ever appreciate. That is the real secret.