Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Secret is Out

"One of the things I learned the hard way was it does not pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself." - Lucille Ball

You've heard of the hot new book, The Secret. Well, if you've ever read Norman Vincent Peale or Myrtle Fillmore or Ernest Holmes or Claude Bristol or Agnes Sanford or Malinda Cramer or Louise Hay or Ralph Waldo Emerson or "Abraham" (relayed by Ester Hicks) or Wayne Dyer or Marianne Williamson, then the secret has been out for a long time.

But what seems to be appealing about The Secret (of course I had to read it!), is that it so succinctly says (and seems to confirm) what you knew from reading Holmes or Peale or Hay. The secret is that you knew what to do all the time! And, if you haven't dipped your toe in the pond of positive thinking, then perhaps it really is all new and does seem like a secret has been revealed. Either way, its good stuff.

One of the pearls of wisdom from The Secret is simply this: "Feeling is desire."
Now, if I feel sad, I probably don't consciously enjoy feeling sad (enjoying it would make me happy, wouldn't it?). But, my subconscious mind works as faithfully as any other natural law. When I allow myself to feel sad (or angry or afraid, etc.) for a prolonged period of time, my subconscious mind interprets that as a request. So, it draws my attention to things or ideas that will contribute to more sadness (or anger or fear, etc.). By dwelling on the negative, I find more negative to dwell on, and I wind up stuck in a rut for minutes, or hours, or days, or weeks, or...

So "the secret" to feeling better is to think a happy thought. Rather than dwelling on something that makes me miserable, I choose instead to dwell on something beautiful, lovely, fun, encouraging, or affirming (see Philippians 4.8). By finding a thought (my favorite movie, vacation spot, meal, best friend, memory of a special achievement or a spectacular sight or beloved pet) and focusing on that until my mood lifts, I have changed my whole energy field. My subconscious mind then figures, "Oh, he wants happy stuff now. Let's look around for things that will make him happy." The quip remains true: Where attention goes, energy flows.

Disappointments will come along. We will respond to loss with grief and to injustice with sadness. But we must be careful to not make a happy of dwelling on the negative...on lack or pain or regret. What we dwell on produces feelings, and feelings that we sustain are interpreted by our subconscious mind as a request. Let's request joy, hope, fulfillment, confidence, love, and goodwill. We think of those things until we experience good feelings about them, and then we hold those feelings until they manifest as experiences that will produce more good.

The secret is out. Let's put it to good use.

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