Manifesting Your Dreams: Wishful Thinking or Not?

Keen Category: Spiritual Advice

A woman wondering if manifesting her dreams will really work, with an illustrated question mark next to her head and a space background behind her

My first attempt at manifesting using the Law of Attraction (or LOA) was at the age of four. Every night, I stood on my front porch scanning the starlit sky until I spotted the brightest star. I serenaded it with a song my mother taught me, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and made a heart-felt wish and blew it to the heavens, fully expecting a new doll would find its way next to my pillow by morning. My dream eventually came true, but not until Santa Claus dropped that doll down the chimney many months later.

The dawning realization of how the creative field of "making dreams come true" really works came much later. I noticed that the Universe sometimes grants wishes, putting in front of us experiences and opportunities that seem to be fueled by our very thoughts, intentions, prayers, and something else a bit more elusive. I also realized the Universe poses limitations and appears at times to have a mind of its own.

Now that "the secret" is out, millions are test-driving their creative power, using visualization techniques, creating image boards, curbing negative thinking and hoping the Universe hears them right and delivers soon. But when all these attempts at manifesting your greater desires prove futile, is it that you are doing something wrong or is it that the principles behind LOA are flawed?

Here is a set of principles related to the Law of Attraction that have been circulating throughout the "manifesting your dreams" movement, many of which are based on fallacious reasoning and represent no law at all.

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You Command the Universe Through Your Thoughts and It Delivers

A commandment of New Thought spirituality and books like The Secret, the idea that you can have virtually anything you want by simply sending out your clear intention in the form of a thought or visual image to the Universe works to some degree as one opens to the creative field of life and awakens to God's power within. But as one blogger put it, the Law of Attraction seems to work well for little things, like finding a parking space or the right pair of shoes for the right price, but not for the bigger things you may dream of, things you usually can't afford. Some LOA faithful retort that unconscious beliefs, such as feelings of unworthiness or a defeatist attitude, block the energy flow of a creative idea or send a confusing message to the Universe. They also remind you of how many negative thoughts you carry in your mind every day that could be sending the Universe the wrong message. Both explanations for why LOA expectations fall short sound plausible, however the primary reason why the Law of Attraction goes flat is because there are other cosmic laws and a soul design in place that pose limitations on your creative power. Destiny, fate and karmic contracts that balance the scales from previous lifetimes override the power of free will the majority of the time.

It Is Your Birthright to Have Everything You Dream Of

Everyone who has ever felt unworthy of love and the good things this world has to offer may very well derive pleasure from embracing this mantra. But privileges and endowments in life are granted more by virtue of good acts and great deeds, some of which were performed in previous lifetimes. In other words, you reap what you sow more often than not. And the truth is that your only birthright is to give love, to grow in intelligence and to be given opportunities to fulfill your life script, your destiny.

Bad Things Happen Because You Think Them Into Existence

Thank goodness this principle carries no weight in the Universe, otherwise a worrywart would experience an inordinate number of worse case scenarios, peril and disaster day after day. Bad things happen for a number of reasons and force us to improve ourselves. Life challenges strengthen our character, lessons humble us, and losses such as death teach us about letting go and about love. Fate's lot is not always pleasant, but the tests it presents improve us should we learn the lessons at hand.

Like Attracts Like

The idea that everywhere you go you attract like-minded individuals would prove to be a boring homogeneous reality, if this principle was truly set in stone. What is more true is that kindred spirits, members of your soul family, show up on the stage of your life so that you can complete the karma you had accumulated together from previous lifetimes. Some of them offer reflections of your positive traits while others demonstrate behaviors that challenge you to grow to embrace yourself more and to forgive them. In intimate relationships, opposites attract more often than likes, because we grow through the reflection in the relationship mirror by assimilating opposite traits that balance our souls.

There Is a Silver Lining in Every Cloud

The notion that even the most adverse or tragic circumstance has something beautiful in store for you if only you could wrap your mind around it for a while, may be nothing more than looking through rose-colored glasses. The outlooks that a job lost means a higher paying one is around the corner or a car wreck will result in a big insurance check in 6 months don't always prove true. Sometimes clouds rain on your parade for years without letting up and the silver lining is nowhere to be found. Adherence to this formula can tempt you to remain inactive waiting for the silver lining to be revealed, when your challenge was to push through something difficult in order to get out of the situation quickly and achieve something positive for yourself.

There is, of course, merit in curbing negative thinking, visualizing the best outcome, and setting goals with a clear intention of what you want to achieve and call into your life. Thoughts do influence the creative field to some degree and for those who have earned creative mastery, it will appear as though they have the "Midas touch". It is important to keep in mind that our actions toward a specific goal speak louder than thoughts and intention. Generally, what we move towards in life moves closer towards us.

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