Awesome Dudette asks: “How do you get in the right frame of mind for LOA to work when since birth (literally), life has continuously kicked you down the block, and around the block every year since? I really can’t even imagine what good feelings/energy/experiences would feel like, since that just hasn’t been my reality.
I believe LOA works, and have witnessed it in others’ lives; but I don’t have a personal well from which to draw. Help? Please?”
Dear Awesome Dudette,
Thanks so much for your awesome question. It’ll allow me to highlight one of the issues that so many people struggle with: How can you get to the Happy Shiny Puppy state when you feel like life has just kicked you in the proverbial nads?
Why the “usual” advice won’t work here
The standard advice in the LOA world will often be to just think better feeling thoughts. It’s a technique I’ll advise myself (it’s the basic idea behind the Vibrational Ladder), but there’s a caveat: You have to work with where you are. The mistake that most people make is to go right for the “positive sounding” words, instead of words that truly feel better.
Here’s one of those dirty little secrets: Better feeling words sometimes sound really, really ugly. If you’re truly in depression, for example, then the emotion that will take you out of that is anger, or even rage, and loads of it. When you’ve been dumped, you might actually feel better by thinking “I want to run that bastard over with my car!” But because this doesn’t sound all that spiritual, a lot of people won’t allow themselves to fantasize about squashing their ex with a steamroller, opting instead to affirm “I love myself; I am loved; I am enough; etc.”, only to get no freaking relief at all because they’re nowhere near the vibration of those words.
Acknowledge where you are
So, the first step in feeling better is to acknowledge where you currently are – how you currently feel. If you’re sad, that’s ok. If you’re depressed, angry, frustrated, feeling like you’d like to rip someone’s head off, that’s all good. Don’t judge where you are as not being “spiritual” enough. There’s no such thing. Everything is spiritual, because everything is made of spirit. Your emotions aren’t wrong, ever. They are valuable messengers, each and every one, and should be honored as such. If you can recognize their value, instead of judging and suppressing the negative ones, you’ll move through the turmoil a lot faster.
So, just admit to yourself how you truly feel. This might take a little bit of digging, so take your time and just sit with it for a bit. You might say, “I’m angry”. Ok, good. What about? If the answer is, “Because my boyfriend left me”, dig deeper. You’ll generally be angry because of something you think about yourself. You might be angry with your ex, but you’re actually feeling that way because it’s slapping you in the face with your belief that you’ll never be loved because you’re not good enough, for example. It’s possible that you’ll also have some beliefs about others (i.e. “All men are bastards”), but these will usually be secondary and have a lot less power. The really painful ones are the beliefs we hold about ourselves.
Reach for a BETTER feeling thought
Remember that BETTER does not equal positive. If you feel like you just want the world to end so your suffering will finally stop, you can’t reach for happy happy joy joy. You have to start wherever you are and move up incrementally from there. Finding that first thought is generally the hardest part. Once you get even a small amount of positive momentum going, the Law of Attraction will help you out by bringing you more and more thoughts that feel like relief.
But how do you know which thought to reach for? Well, a lot of this is done by trial and error, since it’s such a subjective process. No one can tell you which thoughts will work for you (unless they are reading your energy, but this requires 1 on 1 interaction). Books of affirmations can give you ideas, but they’re often aimed at people who are able to access “positive” sounding statements, not those who just want to stay in bed rather than face another day. I’m happy to give you as much guidance as I can, of course, just keep in mind that all techniques have to be tailored to the individual and the situation.
Be ok with the misery
Before you can reach for that better feeling thought, do your best to relax about how you’re feeling right now. If you’re judging yourself for not feeling good, you’re adding to the misery. Ok, so you feel like you hate the world. So what? How is feeling badly about that going to help? Do you think that beating up on yourself will actually cause you to spontaneously feel better? Don’t scoff; loads of people actually believe that. The idea that being a productive citizen of the world is just a matter of enough self-discipline, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, so to speak, isn’t entirely false, either. Because sure, if you beat yourself into submission, you can get shit done. But… and this is the big point, you won’t be happy. Being productive and actually feeling good are not the same thing. What’s more, using the “just force yourself to do it” approach, might get you some temporary movement and get other people off your back, but it will actually be detrimental in the long run.
The first step in feeling truly better and long term healing is to give yourself permission to feel bad. I don’t mean that you have to stop wanting to feel better (you can’t anyway, you could only pretend to do so). I mean, accept the fact that you’re temporarily miserable and just allow yourself to feel it. Your misery says nothing about you – it doesn’t make you weak or lazy or a bad person. You’re a human being going through an emotional experience that you were trained NOT to be able to deal with. Give yourself a break. So what if you’re sad? Be sad. Allow yourself to feel the emotion without judgment of the self. If you can do this, you’ll already start the ball rolling on feeling better. You see, as soon as you stop resisting what IS, you allow more energy to flow. And, since energy naturally rises unless it’s actively prevented from doing so, you WILL start to feel relief pretty much immediately. Disclaimer: Relief does not mean joy. It could easily feel like anger; but it will feel BETTER.
From I to YOU to I
The next step is to shift your focus off of yourself to others and cast a wider net. Abraham would refer to this stage as “going general”. If you’re currently blaming yourself, for example, start blaming others, instead. Remember that this is just a stage, not the end goal. You won’t be blaming others forever. Plus, since you’re doing this consciously, you don’t need to ever get stuck in any stage. So if you’ve been afraid to place your negative focus on others for fear of becoming a racist bastard or something, rest assured that’s not how that happens. Awareness, which is what you’re practicing here, is pretty much the opposite of prejudice. You can’t be prejudice AND be aware. Prejudice is what happens when you’re refusing to be aware of how you really feel. So, you know, you’re covered.
If you’re angry with yourself, be angry with someone else. You may want to start focusing on one or two people specifically. Feel the relief of that and keep on ranting (you can rant privately) about them until you’re no longer in danger of going back to self-directed anger or blame. Next, widen the focus to include society, or the Universe or God. You can even blame fate, even though it doesn’t exist. Whatever works. The idea is to blame a much larger, general entity, acknowledging that you are not alone, you are not the only victim. This may bring up a fresh wave of negative emotion, and that’s ok. You’re releasing your misery in layers. You may even want to reach out to some of the others who feel the way that you do. At this stage, misery really does love company. You can all rant together about the unfairness of the world. In any case, knowing that you are not alone, that you have not been singled out for torture by the Universe, that you are not somehow born under a dark star, should bring more relief.
The next stage will take you into more positive territory (which means you may need to leave some of those you commiserated behind). Stay general and start to look for evidence that not EVERYONE in the world is screwed, that some people are treated better (try to look for people you can identify with, don’t turn it into an US vs. THEM thing, that won’t help). For example, if you started off feeling depressed because you got dumped, you could turn that focus onto the guy who broke up with you, then onto men in general, and finally realize that not ALL men are bad. Some of them are quite nice. Hell, you even know a girl who’s going out with an amazing one. Huh. Go figure. If the girl you know is a supermodel though, keep looking for better “evidence”. If you can’t identify with those positive examples, they won’t help.
Once you’ve spent some time realizing it’s not an all or nothing game, that a chance for a positive outcome exists for your situation, you can finally begin to work on focusing on yourself in a positive way. This is where you make statements such as “Perhaps I can meet a nice guy. What would a really awesome relationship actually look like? Etc.” Keep in mind that you should always move from general to specific, from vague to more defined. So, in this example, you’d begin with “What if” or hypothetical questions or statements, before moving on to actual “I Am”, “I Will” or “I Have” affirmations. Keep these general at first, as well (“I am lovable”; “Some men adore me”), before moving on to truly specific statements such as “I am attracting more and more love into my life”, and “A gorgeous hunk of man is on his way to me, now.”
How long do you spend in each stage?
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, not meant to be followed to the letter. How long you stay in each stage or whether or not you can skip a stage (you can’t, but when things shift rapidly, they will often smoosh together and make it seem like you skipped one or more) is entirely determined by how you feel. Sometimes, you can move through the stages in seconds. Other times, it can take months. It all depends on how much resistance comes up during this process and how willing you are to let go of old beliefs and fears. Are you truly willing to feel better? Most people would insist that yes, they are. But then, they’ll often refuse to let themselves off the hook, holding on to the belief that they are broken, instead of being willing to make a new decision and forgive themselves.
Stay in each stage and work it until you either start to get a little bored or your thoughts naturally morph to the next level. This morphing is normal and quite common if you’re willing to allow it. Remember that positive momentum I mentioned earlier? Well, that momentum ensures that unless you actively do something to keep the vibration down, your energy will start to rise and you will feel better. This is why people see positive changes in their lives just by meditating a few minutes a day. They are allowing the positive momentum to get going and take over and that energy immediately begins to manifest in awesome ways.
Don’t judge the “setbacks”
The last tip I have for you is not to be so damn hard on yourself if you have a “worse” day. If you’ve been feeling like crap about something for a long time, you’re going to have more than one belief to shift. This means that you can be feeling better, even significantly so, only to fall back into a funk. It’s important that you realize that this doesn’t mean that you’ve gone backwards. This is actually a sign of forward momentum – you moved your energy closer to what you want and you hit the next obstacle, causing the corresponding emotion to come up. Depending on how long you’ve been holding on to whatever belief has just presented itself to be released, this could feel quite traumatic. When that happens, re-read this whole post, and follow the instructions from scratch. Remember that nothing has gone wrong, it’s just that you’re right in the middle of your journey, and you’ve got some more cleaning up to do. But if you’ve been feeling better at all, chances are very good that you’ve been doing everything right and your apparent setback isn’t one, at all.
LOA principles do work, even if life has been kicking you in the teeth for a long time. The only reason it’s been doing that, believe it or not, is to get your attention. And the only reason it’s so hard to get your attention is because you were born into a time when kids were still taught the exact opposite of how the Universe actually works. Ok, most kids are still taught that, but the times are a-changing and I’m creating my reality, so I’m going to start talking about “those times” in the past tense. You were taught NOT to pay attention to your feelings, and in fact, to suppress most of them, even the positive ones. You were taught that conforming (pleasing others) is more important than doing what makes you happy. You were taught that happiness isn’t really possible. You were taught to sacrifice. You were taught that you are not worthy. You were taught that the real goal is to make a lot of money, and nothing matters as much. You were taught to judge yourself and others. You were taught that you were powerless. You were taught that it’s probably all your fault. You were taught to hate instead of love. No wonder some of you are in a funk!
But Who You Really Are knows that:
- Your emotions are valuable messengers, and should NEVER be ignored or suppressed. They should be honored.
- You have no control over how other people feel. You can only be responsible for how you feel.
- Happiness isn’t only possible, it’s the goal.
- Win/lose situations don’t exist. They are a human invention. If it’s not win/win, it’s lose/lose. We are generally always losing in an attempt to win.
- You can’t not be worthy. The very fact that you exist is proof that you’re worthy. You are God, projecting herself into this body (and others) so that she may know herself from every possible perspective. You are God experiencing himself.
- You and everyone else are perfect, just the way you are.
- You are a powerful creator
- Our natural state is love. Anything else is going to be painful.
Hang in there Awesome Dudette and give this process a try. Don’t expect things to get better immediately (no pressure!), just take it one day at a time and celebrate even small victories. Understand that crying jags and angry outbursts are not only ok, they’re signs of healing. Let them happen, along with any other emotions that want to come out, keeping in mind that as they do, you will have to actually FEEL them. I know… how scary. Do it anyway. It will help.
Sending you big smooshy hugs,