As I turned the pages of a book on law of attraction, I felt my body tingling with excitement. My eyes skipped over each word, hungrily soaking up the promise of abundance – my dream life, the perfect career, soul mate, opportunity, freedom, happiness… all wrapped up in a neat little mind trick.
Over the next few months I became the best student of law of attraction, manifestation and abundance. But I wanted to go deep, take it further – as far as it could go. So I diligently scoured books and the Internet for precious tidbits on the subject. I attended webinars, and voraciously read everything from the modern-day masters of law of attraction. I put every practice into practise.
But nothing happened. I couldn’t manifest, and I couldn’t understand why.
I was doing everything right, so why wasn’t it working? I furiously etched more affirmations into my mind, perfected my vision boards, positively believed, believed and believed some more, and waited patiently to receive. But, nothing. I didn’t manifest a single thing, except a whole lot of disappointment and self-criticism. In my exasperation, I dug a little deeper. I had a light-bulb moment when I learned that it wasn’t working because I was coming from a place of lack, a place of unworthiness, and the universe was simply matching its vibration to mine. It was giving me what my unconscious mind was sending out. And that was a whole lot of fear and self-hatred.
So, I decided to tackle myself full-on, and heal from my inner demons.
I had no other choice. I had already lived the life of ego, seen its emptiness and illusions, and moved on, or so I thought. Because, I had been married to a very rich man, and had very quickly discovered that material abundance doesn’t bring any happiness at all. My husband gave me unlimited money, exotic vacations, designer clothes, the big house, expensive jewellery, and all the rest. I loved the man, but I didn’t love his things. I felt very uncomfortable living a life of high status, ostentation and rampant consumerism. It literally clashed with my soul. Right from the start, I knew that none of those luxurious things would bring me happiness. I witnessed how they comforted my ego and my fears, but they didn’t fulfil me at all. After a while I could no longer live with myself, and my husband could no longer live with his ‘cuckoo spiritual’ wife who didn’t care about status or diamonds. So I walked away from the man and his dream life, threw myself onto the spiritual path, and revelled in my homecoming to authenticity.
As I settled down into my new drastically different life – one of unemployment, financial hardship, struggle and instability – I was ensnared by the seductive promises made by the principles of law of attraction. I desperately needed to make money. I didn’t want to be rich, just to find my true life purpose, meet my soul mate and have enough money to survive. I thought those things would make me feel safe and happy, and after my initial failure to manifest, I sincerely committed to healing myself fully, in order to receive my life of abundance.
But it took me a while to realise the deeper fundamental truth behind it all, and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It threw all my ideas about law of attraction and abundance upside down and out the window. But that realisation only came when I had been thoroughly washed and wrung-out in the healing process.
Because, as I really faced myself with compassion, and as I healed from my self-hatred, a deeper truth unfolded. I had thought that the law of attraction would work for me once I had rid myself of my unworthiness story.
But that didn’t happen at all. Instead, a miracle happened.
Layer by layer, I peeled away my limiting beliefs, self-sabotaging patterns and conditioning. Bit by bit, my ego lost its grip, my pain melted and my sense of ‘self’ dissolved. Slowly, slowly a transformation occurred. Sometimes sudden, jolting and painful, sometimes slow, sensuous and blissful. As timeless time passed by, I became more whole, and only then was the truth gradually revealed.
At first, I saw how my spiritual ego had trapped me into chasing abundance. My stubborn and cunning ego had simply wrapped itself in a new spiritual identity, but was doing the same old thing, playing the same old games… chasing more, chasing the next moment, chasing anything to keep itself safe and alive. I already knew that chasing material things in a non-spiritual context would never bring me happiness. I’d lived that life, chewed it up and spat it out. But now I realised that using manifestation, law of attraction or ‘The Secret’ to create a better life, would not bring me happiness either. Because it was still about chasing the same things – the ideal career (this time, in perfect alignment with my soul’s purpose), the relationship (this time, my spiritual twin flame or past-life soul mate), freedom (this time, from the illusions of collective egoic unconsciousness).
Yes, in continuing to chase Abundance, I would simply be giving my egoic motives a ‘better’ spiritual label. I would be deluding myself that this time I was simply attracting the abundance that was my birth-right as a divine being of the universe. How clever and deceptive my ego could be!
I realised that, for me, law of Attraction and all its derivative concepts were a deceptive ego trick, where material pursuit was given shiny spiritual clothes, to create a more palatable and worthy hook. I had embarked on a fruitless trail of consumeristic spirituality. And the only way out of my ego trap, was through the gritty path of healing and awareness.
As I continued to heal, another layer of truth unfolded like a blissful exhale, and it showed me reality, raw and unfiltered – it showed me that true abundance lies within me, always, and isn’t dependent on anything external at all. True abundance has nothing to do with money, soul mates, dream careers, identity or any other external thing. True abundance is the universe that lives inside me, and the universe that is me, even though there is no ‘me’ at all. True abundance is made of truth and reality, weaved from the fabric of love.
And when I let go of my desire for abundance, let go of the chase, the grasping, the attachment… when I let go of my ‘self’, the universe responded with truth and reality. And its simplicity is astonishingly beautiful.
Abundance is now.
Abundance is inside, outside and in-between. Abundance is in the heartbeat and the breath of every present moment. Abundance is rich, limitless and yet formless.
I could fill a page with pretty words to describe the expansiveness of abundance. But in reality, abundance simply is. And that realisation brings total and absolute freedom, as I smile and ask myself, ‘Why chase something that already is?’
Published on Elephant Journal: LEARN MORE