When your life is going well, your ego can be seduced into thinking thinking that you are the sum of your choices and you are responsible for all of your fortunes. Misfortunes are just minor obstacles, things that you choose to overcome on your relentless march towards success. People less fortunate than you? Well, they chose to be that way, they didn’t know The Secret. Then you hit a major roadblock and you realize that you don’t attract everything into your life and that our experience as humans includes good times and bad times.
It turns out, all that Secret stuff is a bunch of undiluted horseshit.
Saying that someone is poor, or sick, or unemployed because they want to be is an exercise in ego; people are simply not that powerful. We don’t attract what we want into our lives; how boring would that be? All our teams would win, we’d all live in mansions, we’d all have perfect relationships, while living in perfect health. Who doesn’t want the best for themselves? We don’t “attract” everything into our lives that we think we want, so it isn’t logical to blames ourselves when things happen to us that we don’t want. We may be spiritual beings living human lives, but that doesn’t mean the human part isn’t important, it’s what makes the story interesting.
History is full of stories of people who had circumstances thrust upon them. Usually, the good stories are about people who screwed up the good things they were handed or about the ones who overcame the bad things. There is nothing all that remarkable about people who had everything go their way, history tends to forget them. Life gets interesting when you have a few unexpected turns in the road.
While you can’t control circumstances, you can control how you handle them. We revere things like courage, strength, compassion and grace under pressure because bad things came along; anyone can handle a smooth ride. The Secret, it turns out, is about recognizing that you control only one thing: how you choose to react to circumstances when they come along.
Watching your spouse sit through chemo for 4 hours gives you a lot of time to think about circumstances. She didn’t “choose” to have proteins grow uncontrollably in her chest, she doesn’t have that kind of power. Her unique genetic composition allowed this to happen, it didn’t happen because of anything she thought or did, she didn’t get cancer because of toxic relationships or some bizarre need to put this on everyone in her life (Dr. Wayne Dyer, of whom I am a fan, blames his leukemia on something like this). Sitting in a room full of people getting drugs pumped into them is a lesson in humility and a testament to the fact that there is a higher power at work here, no one in the room attracted this circumstance.
People are not Gods, we don’t control circumstances. We only react to those we are given.
“What you resist, persists.” According to these new age types, we are supposed to welcome Teresa’s breast cancer and see it as her body trying to heal itself (again; this is Dr. Dyers reasoning in his latest book). Again, I say, HORSESHIT. We are going to fight this thing with every manner of drug and treatment known to modern science. We aren’t choosing to fight it with avocado and wheat grass, we aren’t going to meditate it away.
We welcome the invitation to fight and battle we will. We are going to handle this circumstance with anger, gritted teeth, aggression and resolve. There is nothing nice about our foe and we see no reason to play fair. Acceptance is not part of the deal, we are resisting in every manner possible. Ten years ago, Teresa would have been a victim of circumstances, this particular cancer was a “bad one.” Today we have a 90% chance of success because of research, science and the willingness of many dedicated people to go to war on our behalf. There is no room in this battle for “acceptance.”
Warriors don’t back down and, while it is easy to have faith and behave magnanimously when everything is going the way you want, we view the Secret of this circumstance as an opportunity to demonstrate how well we can fight together.
I wouldn’t want to be cancer today, it has F-ed with the wrong people. You want the Secret? The secret is this: cancer is about to get its ass kicked.