I am hopelessly in love with the concept of the Law of Attraction. As a schoolgirl with a very impressionable mind I happened to read a book called “Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. At the time it was one of my dearest wishes to see my name on a nameplate in front of a house of my own. My OWN. Reading the book inspired me to turn my wish into a goal and set my mind to achieving it. Almost as if on cue, I came across a story called “Glenna’s Goal book” in one of the Chicken Soup books. It cemented my belief that dreams are worth pursuing and when a wish becomes an obsession, life gets you to the place you want to be.
Almost like a divine hand gently guiding me to believe without question, I read this sentence in Paulo Coelho’s 'The Alchemist' -
"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
I don’t remember anything else about the book. But this sentence got etched in my soul. Then came The Secret. The book, the movie, the philosophy, I lapped it all up because I felt I had already seen the miracles it worked in my life. I gifted copies of the book to people I wanted to share the joy with..the joy of having discovered something that really works. I already had the house I had ardently wished for. I happily looked at the nameplate with my name on it a little longer every time I passed by it. I used affirmations religiously and whenever something positive happened, I attributed it to the Law of Attraction and the Power of Intention. I thought all goodness came from keeping a positive frame of mind and expecting good things. It all seemed perfect. Until recently.
Becoming a parent is a life changing, irreversible event. I have wanted my baby girl long before I actually had her. I remember telling my mother when I was a teenager that if at all I do marry and have a baby, I want a baby girl. When she was born, my joy knew no bounds. But the beauty of motherhood is fully enjoyable only when you have people around to help you with everything else and you just enjoy being a mother. Being a nuclear family didn’t help my cause. In between washing bucketfuls of soiled cloth nappies, lack of sleep and having to attend to other chores, moments of pure joy were few and far between. I remember crying out of exhaustion, wishing I’d just get 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Just when I’d begun to adjust to my new role as a mother, we decided it would be the best thing for our baby if I were to quit my job. My mother was a working woman. She had no choice but to go to work to provide for her children. Thanks to a supportive husband, I had a choice. I couldn’t bear the thought of staying away from my baby and miss watching her grow. I couldn’t think of leaving her with a babysitter to go to work each day with an image of her crying for me with her arms outstretched burning my soul, while I’d count hours to be back with her. So I quit my job.
Now any working woman who is good at her job will tell you, the financial independence and job satisfaction that comes from working and being good at what you do has a massive impact on self esteem. The assurance that I got from knowing my job and doing it well, the friends I had at my workplace, the happy times I spent at work, all the new skills I gained each day, all the little fears I conquered each day and the many little challenges that I shone through..everything that made Me the person I am..all gone.
It was in these days that I tried again to reconnect with what the Law of Attraction taught me. Like attracts like. Thoughts become things. So while I coped with the challenges of getting accustomed to being a clueless first time mom and losing my identity as a financially independent, career oriented woman, I tried to apply the Law of Attraction to keep thinking positive thoughts. After a while I just gave up. It seemed like escapism to me. I could no longer replace a negative thought with a positive one. I could no longer shift my mood from unhappy to happy just by humming a tune or distracting myself by looking at something nice. Its hard to stay positive when you’re alone, listening to your baby cry for hours and have no clue why.
The exhaustion, the worries about our future, the mood swings I had while my hormones went crazy, the unending list of chores I had to do with baby practically attached to me, the loneliness of suddenly being home alone all day with a bawling baby..all of it just sucked my energy and enthusiasm. My inability to explain to my confused better half just why I wished to simply curl up and die added to the stress. The sudden change from living a predictable, somewhat organized life to being hurled into this whole new world of being a mother, then being a full time homemaker was an emotional roller coaster.
I couldn’t see HOW I could use an affirmation like “I am a joyful person” without feeling foolish. I couldn’t add any more pictures to my scrapbook, of things I hoped to have one day. It made me feel like an idiot. When I was earning, it made more sense to hope to have that nice modular kitchen someday and paste a picture of a beautiful holiday destination. I knew it would be within reach. It all seemed like I was asking for too much now.
Yesterday I picked up The Secret again. I wanted to know if I still had a shred of belief in me that the Law of Attraction may work for me again.
The page I opened read “You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A little hope glimmered in my heart.
I remembered a quote I read somewhere - "