If there is one thing we can be grateful for about the law of attraction, it is that it is nothing new. There is definitely nothing “faddish” about the law of attraction. Any survey of world religions people have practiced for thousands (and thousands) of years would reveal concepts that mirror some of the main ideas of the law of attraction:
However, many people leave out what is perhaps the most important component of the law of attraction – gratitude.
Living with an attitude of gratitude answers a criticism often cited by those who think the law of attraction only applies to things (like magnets). These people don’t think the law of attraction applies to our daily lives. They are quick to point out that we don’t always attract what we want. More than that, we seem to be pretty darn good at attracting what we don’t want.
For instance, who wants to lose their job? Who wants to be sick? Who wants to be in a car accident? And yet all these things can, and do, happen to people who adhere to the belief that the law of attraction not only exists, but impacts the very quality of our lives.
The first mistake most people make when trying to decide whether or not the law of attraction is just some “New Age mumbo jumbo” is that it is a belief. Some people believe hell exists, some don’t – but neither one of them has any proof for their belief.
Denying the law of attraction is active in our daily lives is akin to denying that water freezes when it gets cold enough. As a matter-of-fact, WE freeze when it gets cold enough. And anyone who lives in Buffalo, New York will tell you, no matter how much you want to attract a hot wave in February, “It ain’t gonna happen.”
Gratitude and the Law of Attraction
That kind of thinking has nothing to do with the law of attraction – or how this law actually functions in our lives. The law of attraction is not some sort of magic fairy dust we can throw over our shoulder and then watch as all our dreams come true.
But what does that have to do with gratitude? If you live in Buffalo and hate the bitter cold winter is sure to bring, expressing how grateful you are to live where the average daytime temperature in February hovers around 25 degrees surely isn’t going to make it any better.
But gratitude can make it better -especially when you write it down. Keeping a gratitude journal can be the single most important practice when it comes to recognizing the powerful influence the law of attraction has on the quality of your life.
A gratitude journal is akin to a physicist writing down an equation they discovered in the attempt to describe the behavior of quantum particles. If the physicist doesn’t write down what she (or he) thinks is the best equation, there is a really good opportunity for her to forget her discovery – and then she’d have to go through the same process and try to figure it out all over again. Even if her equation is all wrong – she can use it to build out the right, or maybe just a little better, equation.
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Gratitude is Best
The same principles apply to keeping a gratitude journal. Certainly we don’t always know exactly what would be the best or right thing for us to do or have happen to us. It is equally true that, even when we are certain we DO know what is best – we are often wrong, or things don’t seem to turn out the way we want them to.
But perhaps we actually DO always know what is best for us. And maybe we weren’t wrong when what we wanted turned out to be not-so-good.
Actually both are true – and that Buffalo winter can help explain how something can go both right – and wrong – at the same time.
It’s Valentine’s Day afternoon and it’s freezing. The streets are so icy it would be insane to even consider trying to drive to the exclusive restaurant you made reservations at three months ago just to be sure you’d get a table. You’ve already promised your spouse a Valentine’s Day to remember and now everything is ruined.
If you live with an attitude of gratitude you certainly are not going to escape feeling disappointed. But the next day you take out your gratitude journal and write:
Life sure has a sense of humor. Here I was disappointed we couldn’t go out to dinner and we ended up having a Valentine’s Day we’ll never forget. We’d already sent the kids to Grandma, which gave us the idea to spend the night in OUR PJs watching the same Star Trek the Next Generation marathon we knew the kids were. Our “romantic dinner” consisted of eating every ounce of junk food we could find in the house. We felt like teenagers with no parents around – enjoyed it so much we promised to make date night happen again. Somehow we’d just let that go – seemed just another thing to have to make plans for. Now we know we don’t need to plan anything – other than time to be alone together. Already scheduled Thursday evenings for the next 12 months. (Of course it is great that the restaurant called to tell us they would give us half off one dinner if we made another reservation!)
Gratitude in Action
Keeping a gratitude journal is more than simply writing down our thanks for the things we happen to like. If we take a closer look at this entry we can see three parts of the law of attraction in action:
Intent: The intention was to enjoy the company of our spouse.
Affirm: We affirmed that we spend time alone together.
Manifest: We made being alone together real by reserving Thursday nights to be alone together.
Clearly this entry could just have easily been a lament as to how awful things had turned out. How the evening had been ruined. Or perhaps no entry at all – just a bad memory of a bad evening. What disallowed that was an attitude of gratitude.
It is easy to see that keeping a gratitude journal is essential for keeping us out of the trap of thinking because things don’t turn out the way we thought they should means we don’t manifest our intentions. In this case, gratitude allowed us to see that our intention was to enjoy time alone with our beloved – not the prime rib. Intentions include all of our desires, needs, and goals. Gratitude gives us eyes to see our intentions manifest, even when they don’t exactly mirror what we may think we want.
Gratitude also provides the opportunity to clarify our affirmations. In this case we affirm that time is spent alone together. It is gratitude that clarified that this affirmation does not require specific circumstances to be in place in order to enjoy that time alone together.
Gratitude also has the power to manifest our intentions and affirmations in our daily lives. When we are grateful we tend to behave in ways to sustain that which we find good and meaningful in our lives.
Finally, writing it down is a very powerful tool to apply the law of attraction in our daily lives. Far from magic fairy dust, the law of attraction is powered by the same quantum physics that act on objects. So, unlike heaven or hell, the law of attraction is not a belief – it is science. Quantum physics mathematically describe that like not only attracts like – like things cohere (link up) with each other. Making the effort to record what we are grateful for attracts other things we are grateful for.
Keeping a gratitude journal attracts the best for us to us.