Why doesn’t the Universe just give me what I want?
Why doesn’t the Law of Attraction work?
You know you have asked these questions or ones like them sometimes.
We feel pretty clear about what we want. We want a loving partnership. We want money in the bank. We want a house on the beach. We want the right and perfect career. We want our team to win the game. We want to release these frickin’ 10 pounds.
God, Spirit, the Universe, our Essence or Higher Self, the unified field (who or whatever we believe is the force that gives or doesn’t give) doesn’t seem to be listening.
The truth is that we all have stories we tell about why we have or don’t have the things we want. We may not be aware of these stories because to us they seem like just the way it is. And no positive force in the universe will act against those stories, because to do so would be an act of violence against our creative nature, and because all too often pushing against the stories has the rebound effect of making us cling to them more. The stories play like background music in our hearts and minds and influence everything we think, say and do.
Some of the popular themes of the stories we tell are:
- I need to EARN what I receive. No pain, no gain.
- Life has both ups and downs. If we didn’t have the downs we couldn’t appreciate the ups.
- Spirit knows better than me, and if I am not getting what I think I want, it must be because it’s not for my highest good.
- There are lessons for me to learn before I can receive what I want. Or, not getting what I want is teaching me necessary lessons.
- It is not pleasing to the Universe for us to want material things.
- It is not noble to receive what we want; it is better to do without. We will be rewarded later.
- It is not OK for me to receive the things I want when other people are suffering.
- The proper use of this life is the mortification of the flesh; when we want things we are only showing our weakness and unworthiness. (If you don’t believe this one, do a quick Google search for fundamentalist religious groups.)
- I’m doing something wrong and that’s why I can’t manifest my dreams.
- If I get what I want now, I’ll pay for it later.
From a Universal perspective these are merely stories. The Universe doesn’t judge them. If that’s what we want to tell ourselves about life, that is our prerogative, and the Universe will comply as we create an entire existence around them. But from a Universal perspective, these are not Truths. And from that perspective, these must be tricky to navigate.
I often hear stories from my clients about the way life is. “I am not very lucky with love or money.” “Life sucks, and that’s just the way it is.” “My poor eyesight or hearing or memory is just part of aging.” “I’m just a happy-go-lucky person; I don’t do responsibility very well.” “My family is abusive.” “I just don’t have the energy I used to.”
The last thing I want to do, as a Coach, is feed these stories in any way. They are limiting. They are not true and they cause my clients distress and misery. So, I can’t agree with their assessment, as the Universe cannot really agree with the limiting stories we tell ourselves. But I don’t want to contradict my clients either. Doing that will risk a defensive reaction, and I know that it is counterproductive to put my clients in a position where they are going to dig in their heels and insist that the story is true. I have heard clients go on at length with long lists of evidence that their story is the absolute TRUTH.
I know that my clients, as people everywhere, are doing something mysterious and wonderful with this opportunity we call life on Earth. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I want to respect each one’s unique approach to figuring it out for him or herself. So I try, as I imagine that the forces of the Universe do on some much grander scale, to hold a different story for my clients in my heart. I offer it as an idea when there is an opening, but mostly I just do my very best to see them and their lives as unlimited, unencumbered by history, un-encrusted by story.
I imagine that the Universe does the same for each of us, patiently waiting eternities for us to mature in the stories we tell ourselves. The next time we ask why the Universe isn’t giving us what we want, we may want to look deeper at the stories we are telling ourselves and question our assumptions about what is true. We may just find the way to lift the limitations and joyfully receive all we desire.