It's certainly happened to me over the past few months. As you know, I've been on a quest to invite more positive thinking into my life since I discovered The Secret six years ago. Of course, COVID-19 and subsequent changes in my personal life have caused me to re-evaluate this perspective. Certainly, it is better for a person to have a more positive attitude. But the fact is that I've seen many tenants of this philosophy proven false, and I've had to question whether it's really the right path to be on. For example, if we really can manifest our destiny, then why is this pandemic continuing to rage on, despite pressure at all levels to "return to normal?" Certainly, enough of us are willing it away - and yet, it stays. People are still getting sick and even dying, and of these many probably never anticipated it happening to them. Isn't that the way when bad things happen? How many of us sit around thinking "gee, it would be great to be slammed with news that I or someone I love has cancer, or dementia, or another chronic condition that will turn life upside down, or have a wreck that incapacitates for months with injuries that will be an issue for the rest of life, or to lose a job/home/any form of security?" Nobody does, and yet these things still happen.
I know you probably think I misunderstand it, but it brings up a valid point. Certainly, none of us know the "why" behind what happens, for better or worse. Positive thinking would tell us that we can still maintain a good attitude even while moving through these unexpected trials. Guess what? Christianity (and probably every other major religion in the world) tells us the same thing. They just don't claim that you can meditate and will yourself a better life by sheer force of telling the universe to do your will.
That's where my biggest stumbling block is. Reality is no respecter of persons, and does not bend to our will. You can expect the best. That's fine, and probably better for you. But you aren't going to always get it, and you need coping mechanisms when the best fails you and you wind out in a "this will make you stronger" season instead. You know what I mean, those times when that Bible verse from Job about everything you fear coming to pass coming true (and probably some things you never imagined, as well). They happen. Believe me, I've tried to will them away. Guess what? It didn't work.
Those of you who know me understand that I am going through a difficult season with health concerns for family members these days. I know I'm not the only one. In fact, 2020 has been a challenge for every human being on the planet in some ways. We've all struggled. It's nobody's fault, because we're imperfect people living in an imperfect world. This too shall pass - I know this - but how can still be my best and gain spiritual maturity on the journey? Obviously, I need it. And obviously, positive thinking did not provide that for me. I don't need "everything will be alright." Faith tells me that. I need strength for today. I need not taking it personally and the fortitude to keep doing my best and carrying on. I need to learn how to adapt to my own 'new normal.' I need to know how not to be a frustrated jerk when everybody is being themselves, everything is happening at once, and nobody gives a crap about my personal situation because they want what they want when they want it. Welcome to being a middle-aged woman. It feels like everything in the world connects through you sometimes.
Sure, there are tenants of The Secret that I'll carry on, but I'm not buying it in whole any more. Still, I don't count this attempt as a waste or fruitless, either. I have learned things on this journey that I hope will help me in the future. It's just that I realized I need a more balanced view of life and coping with reality. There's always going to be some darn thing wrong in life, it will just vary with time and situation. My new goal now is to work out how to mature in Christian faith, and to keep on doing my best and trying to have good days despite the season that I'm in.
Ironically, I feel better letting The Secret go. I feel relieved. I feel like I finally accepted truth, and it's setting me free. Maybe that's a good place to start my new journey to spiritual maturity.
We live and learn, folks, and you see me doing that. I pray you are as well.
That's all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.