The law of attraction can be toxic

For some, the law of attraction is a very motivating and exciting factor in getting to where they want to be, in their career, personal or social life. When I was trying to conceive, after years of trying I was given ‘the secret’ on dvd and told to hang up a small item of baby clothing in my room to ‘put my wishes out into the universe’. What you ask for, you will get, I was told.

But for someone with OCD this can be a dangerous affirmation that our intrusive thoughts will indeed come true. The more you try and stop intrusive thoughts and images the more likely you are to get them, and the more often. And the more you have them, the more likely it will be, following the logic of the law of attraction that they will come true. Compulsions become even more important in trying to counteract this.

I have many different intrusive thoughts, but I will give a few examples.

  • When my heart beats fast my health anxiety insists that it is a heart attack. My compulsions are to body check, feel my heartbeat and pulse, check my temperature with my hand on my forehead and cheeks, try to cool myself down, sip water and seek reassurance. According to the law of attraction, I am attracting the event of a heart attack.
  • When I travel by car I am convinced we will crash and compulsions include praying, begging for a safe journey repeatedly and opening and closing my jaw in line with the road markings. According to the law of attraction, I am attracting a car accident.
  • When I am apart from my husband or daughter I have intrusive thoughts and images about them getting hurt or never returning. Compulsions include reassurance by text, self reassurance, rumination, avoidance. This is the worst one, because if my worry about this happening attracts it happening, like the secret suggests, it will all be my fault if something happens.

If the law of attraction works for you with no adverse effects, that’s great. But it’s important to realise it’s not going to help everyone.

Louise x

Credit: jplenio

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