I Read The Secret and Now I Can’t Control Which Thoughts I Manifest
You’ve no doubt heard of The Secret, the 2006 best-selling self-help book endorsed by Oprah, Good Housekeeping, and the lady who reads tarot cards on the boardwalk for five bucks. Millions of readers’ lives have been changed by learning about the law of attraction and how to manifest whatever they want in their lives through the power of positive thinking, and now I can count myself among them. But I’m not sure it’s for the better.
It started out good. I visualized a better job, and I was magically contacted the next day by a headhunter about an opening that fit me perfectly, at twice my previous salary. I visualized my ideal man, and that very weekend, I spilled my coffee on him at Starbucks. (Which was fine, because I also visualized cutting down on caffeine.) Before I knew it, I had manifested a perfect life for myself — perfect career, perfect house, perfect family.
Then I got complacent. Having manifested everything I want in life, I lost my focus, and my mind began to drift. One day, I scrolled past a cute gif on Twitter and idly considered that a teacup pig would be a fun pet. Suddenly, I was staring at a live pig, in the middle of my living room. That might not seem like a huge deal, but I don’t know the first thing about caring for a pig, and soon my home was covered in porcine feces as I frantically Googled “how to house-train livestock.” Long story short, my home is now overrun with adorable but deceptively high-maintenance animals, and I fear animal control will start asking questions before I’ve even come up with pun-based names for all of them.
You don’t realize how many weird thoughts flit through your head until they start instant materializing right before your eyes. Have you ever seen someone so physically repulsive that you can’t help but wonder what it would be like to have sex with them? Well, I have. Three in the last week. One was on the subway. Not only had I found myself having sex with a disgusting stranger, I then had to share a jail cell with them. Irving turned out to be a pretty cool guy, and he’s going to give me a great deal on my taxes, but that’s not the point.
It’s starting to become less of an annoyance and legal inconvenience and more of a real threat to my physical safety. If I worry that a car on the street will swerve into me, or I’ll fall off a cliff while hiking in the mountains, it actually happens. It’s a good thing I manifested myself some great health insurance, because I’ve manifested a heck of a lot of pelvic fractures. I leaped off a building. I jumped right the damn off of a building because we all imagine doing that sometimes, the attraction between my body and the ground was too strong. I narrowly escaped a falling power line yesterday. I never realized how afraid of the world I was, (until I started manifesting all my greatest fears) and now those fears feels pretty justified.
My feelings about The Secret have become fairly complicated, to say the least. It’s taught me so much — that my mind is a terrifying place, my thoughts aren’t my own, and I am but a mere pawn trapped in the labyrinth of my own reverie for its sick amusement — and for that I am grateful. I just can’t help but feel kind of resentful that one day, I’m going to watch a horror movie, and in the silent darkness that follows, a knife-wielding maniac is actually going to show up.
Oh no. There’s someone at my door. That’s okay. I’m ready to end this.