Snack Food: Tastes Great, Makes You Fat


I had my first physical exam recently since my hysterectomy last summer. I did not mention the exam here before I went, even though I was worrying about it, because, eventually, some law-of-attraction stuff would have crawled into my comments and e-mail inbox to tell me to think positively lest I attract cancer to myself.

At first, the Law of Attraction thing sounds wonderful. It sounds like an empowering idea and one with which I do not completely disagree. I am no expert, so excuse me if I get this a bit wrong, but I am given to understand that the main tenet goes something like this: "You get what you think about, whether wanted or unwanted. The Law of Attraction is neutral".

Under this law, we are all walking magnets attracting things into our lives, both good and bad. On the surface, when I am told that I have the power to attract the good and possibly lessen my chance of having the cancer return, that sounds great, but when you dig deeper, that same seemingly encouraging message tells me that I am also likely at fault for my prior experience with cancer, because if I am responsible for attracting the good in life, then I am also responsible for attracting cancer, child abuse, and my plantar wart (no bare feet for me this summer!).

That message becomes less warm and fuzzy when you look at its flip side, doesn't it? It makes me wonder what I was doing when I attracted this pernicious HPV of the foot. Maybe my distaste for all feet other than my own - because mine are the only beautiful pair, don't you know - translated into the uglification of my own cute toes.

That Law of Attraction philosophy is not just unicorns and rainbows, which is fine, because that's how things are in this universe we call home, but when I am told that I should plaster a smile on my face and look on the bright side when dealing with the loss of a major body part, I am reminded of the zealot of a director I had who lead the children's choir at church who said, at the funeral, to the wife of a man who had died after a long and painful battle with cancer: It's too bad that he did not believe enough.

I think we do attract a number of things into our lives, but I also believe that there is chaos, which, although it does have its own kind of order, affects us in ways over which we do not necessarily have direct control. You could read that as my being unwilling to take responsibility for all the factors that affect my life, but then I would have to knee you in the groin with my mind.

If I have twisted the Law of Attraction out of shape in any way, let me know. Send me a book about it. Educate me. Because as it stands right now, it sounds just like other overly simplified theories of How Things Work of which I've heard. If you steadfastly pluck at Truth through the linguistic employ of a theory without conditions for proof, you enter into extremely unstable territory that demands of you to take leave of rational explanation for the comfort of the because-it-just-feels-right defense. It's great snack food for the ego.

50x365 #253: L. B.

50x365 #252: Warren