The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
Random header image... Refresh for more!

I Did Not Ask For Lemons

Flickr by marlana
Flickr by marlana

I have been really trying to get into this metaphysical thing. You know. The idea tha we are all connected. The idea there is a reality beyond what is perceptible to the our tangible senses. The idea we need only ask for what it is we want and we will receive it. Sometimes it’s called the Philosophy of Success or Quantum Metaphysics. Sometimes it’s called religion. I simply think of it as something greater than me.

So, I reread The Secret. The first time it didn’t take. Apparently I missed a step, or two. (Hardy, har, har. I crack me up.) In rereading the book, one thing jumped out at me I had forgotten annoyed me the first time around. It’s the basic premise of The (so-called) Law of Attraction. This law states everything in your life, you’ve attracted. Bascially, you asked for it.  Consciously or unconsciously. The universe is going to give you what you ask for whether or not you know you’ve asked for it. Another tenet of this law is it doesn’t distinguish “don’t” or “not” or “no” and other words of negation. So according to The Secret, the universe eliminates certain words from the English language and only listens to the others. “I don’t want a bad haircut” becomes “I want a bad haircut”.

Really? Horse-kaka! While I believe in the basic premise of Ask, Believe and Receive I don’t buy the part about everything we ask for we get and everything we’ve gotten we’ve asked for. In the book one of the contributors talks about how he always lines up the great parking spaces because he asks the universe for great parking spaces.  By deduction, he is saying if you are pessimistic about getting a great parking spot you will get a lousy parking spot.

Well today, when I was parking in a downtown Newark, NJ parking garage, I was cursing the architects and engineers  who built this thing because I just knew I wasn’t going to get a good spot. Thus by The (so-called) Law of Attraction, I should have gotten a lousy parking spot. Well, I did not. I got the best spot in the entire garage. Right by the entrance to the building I was going into. Sometimes, you just get what you get.

This one aspect of The Law of Attraction – everything you have asked for you attract and everything you attracted, you’ve asked for – is a bunch of bullshit (Oops, no cursing here. I mean B.S. or bull-ish). Trust me. There is a bunch of stuff going on in my life that I did NOT ask for. But it came along with some other stuff I DID ask for.

I asked the universe for there to be a black/brown/woman President of the United States in my lifetime. It gave it to me. But I did not ask for a near depression, the world-wide freezing of the banking/lending system and two wars in foreign lands against an elusive enemy to provide the impetus for this president’s election.

I asked for a relationship filled with love, passion and fun with a woman who was nurturing, energetic, gorgeous and shared my interests. The universe answered. In her, the universe brought me someone who gave me and was all those things. She was and is very easy to love. But damn! She is flawed, as we all are. Alas, the universe also gave me someone impossible to be in a relationship with. At least the kind I envision.

I asked the universe for my weekend-only barber to be available during the week because it was more convenient for me. The universe delivered. My barber is now available during the week. But I didn’t ask the universe for my barber to lose his regular, benefit-paying, unionized job with DHL to make it all possible. Or for him to take up barbering full-time only to change to another shop 30 miles from my house… because it was more convenient for him.

What The Secret misses is there is a ying-and-yang to this asking the universe for what you want mumbo jumbo. You cannot have hot without cold. You cannot have high without low. Good without evil. Happy without sad. Coke without Sprite. Love without hate. Life without death. The universe as far as I see it demands balance. The universe also demands randomness. Sometimes, stuff just happens and it’s out of your control. Sometimes you get what you didn’t ask for, good and bad. So, to say I asked, or anyone asks, for B.S. in their life is, well, B.S. I did not ask for some of the things in my life. I did not ask for lemons, but I damn sure got ’em.

For those of you who’ve read this far please don’t think I’m poo-pooing the entirety of Law of Attraction. I’m not. I just think about it differently. Do I think you/we are at the mercy of the universe? No. We can influence the outcomes through our thoughts and actions. We just cannot determine outcomes. But to even influence outcomes we need to build on Ask, Believe, Receive. At least three steps should be added. It should be:

  1. Ask
  2. Believe
  3. Work Your Ass Off
  4. Persist At Working Your Ass Off
  5. Receive
  6. When You Get Lemons (’cause you will get lemons), Make Lemonade

I’ve gotten my fair share of lemons lately. I won’t tell you how long lately is. It’s been a while. When it’s all said and done though, I’m not deterred. The next chapter of my life is about change, change for the better. It’s about going after what I want. The love of my family, my babies, JEM, my friends; wealth in both material and spiritual form; health both in body and mind and ultimately happiness for me and those I touch. It’s about making the life I want and making some sweet sweet lemonade along the way!

Flickr by marlana

Flickr by marlana

Print Friendly


1 Valerie { 04.02.09 at 8:40 pm }

Hey Ben i know you have been working on this piece for a couple days :). It Sounds like your heart is broken….I hope it works out for you. I think we usually get exactly for but we are not prepared for the payoff. Just think if the payoff worth it if it is then go for it if its not let it go and stop beating yourself up about it :)

2 Valerie { 04.03.09 at 6:32 am }

I lost some words there it should read ……I think we usually get exactly what we ask for but we are not prepared for the payoff ;) Have a good day!

3 Wenylla { 04.03.09 at 9:43 am }

B: You’ve merely exposed our inability as human beings to clearly define and ask for that we desire. Each new experience brings you one step closer to an interpretation or vision of perfection. With our minds we have the ability to create and conjure images of all that we desire, however it is through experiences and relationships that we FULLY realize what we want and what we don’t want. It is from various encounters, events, interactions, connections or affiliations that we develop a conceptualation or image of perfection within a particular context. So that when we create our next request we can include those elements that were absent from a previous or current experience. Next time, when you create your request for a partner add to the list “someone who is convinced of my love”; for your barber add ” close to me as well available during the week” and as for president try: “someone greater or more perfect than our current in solving our nation’s crises”. What we fail to realize as human beings is that experiences and relationships END and when our needs have outgrown a realtionship and/or a particular experience it is time to create new ones, but this time we are outfitted and informed with a better idea of what we determine is PERFECTION or the ideal. (Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can come together). The Law of Attraction isn’t wrong or flawed we just gotta get our minds right and perfected in creating our requests; unfortunately or fortunately, for many of us this will require many relationships and experiences.

4 Janet { 04.04.09 at 11:01 pm }

I’ve always believed that life is, essentially, yin and yang, congruously mixed together. William Blake was my sensei on that matter. You’re right, Ben, you (“we”) can’t have the good without the bad. “Right” exists because there is “wrong”. Sweet exists because of sour, and the list goes on and on. The Secret does not take into account the fact that s*@!$ just happens sometimes. I think the point and the challenge is to accept this and have faith that, even so, we all are meant to live fully and joyously. I am reminded of Nelson Mandela’s speech, originally written by Marianne Williamson..”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..” Are we not accepting of our power-in thought, word and deed? A resounding “yes”!!!! Why do we choose to think pessimistically more often than optimistically, especially when the chips are down? I think this is the point of The Secret. We always have a choice to know, do, believe, think, expect, welcome, attract, pray for, the silver lining. We must. As far as relationships are concerned, each of us have our own time and pace to realize, accept and live according to this philosophy on life. So, you have found the woman of your dreams, but she isn’t ready to accept your love. You have to ask yourself if it is your responsibility to convice her of it. Is that within your power? Is she ready to make lemonade with you, or will you have to come up with your own recipe? Are you willing to sacrifice your formula for sweetness for hers? ……ok, I’m about to turn this simple lemonade analogy into something way too abstract!! I think you get the point. Good luck with this one.

Leave a Comment