Does the following situation sound familiar to you? You decide to manifest something important to you, perhaps a new job that will provide more income or a greater sense of alignment with your values. You commit to various manifestation techniques, such as creative visualization and scripting. Remaining focused on the outcome, you take inspired action and let go of any fear or negativity that bubbles to the surface.
After consistent effort, you manifest the coveted job! Initially, you are elated by this gift from the Universe. But after some time in the new position, you start to feel that old sense of dissatisfaction with where you are. Perhaps the drama you wanted to escape is erupting in the new workplace, or the sense of belonging you were hoping to find has faded in the face of mundane work tasks. You find yourself saying, I got what I asked for, but I’m still not satisfied. Did the Law of Attraction not work properly?
For many people, after they manifest a goal with the Law of Attraction, a sense of dissatisfaction or longing can creep in. When faced with this scenario, many people assume that they made a “mistake” and failed to manifest the right outcome. They rush to refine their techniques, armed with the belief that they can “get it right” with a newfound commitment to the Law of Attraction. As someone who counsels individuals spiritually, I see time and again how clients say they want something—a better job, a fulfilling relationship, or more money—that they believe will fulfill them in some way. But once they have attained their goal, their joy often evaporates, slowly replaced by dissatisfaction.
“To be true to ourselves, we need to let go of defense mechanisms and pieces of ourselves that hold us back. ”
What’s really going on? Instead of questioning your manifestation skills, consider instead that sometimes we do not always know what will bring us true happiness. One of the principal tenets of the Law of Attraction is that you need to get clear on what you want. So very often, though, our mind tells us we want one thing, when in fact our heart—our authentic self, if you will—wants something else. We think we are clear on what’s best for us, but that clarity is sometimes an illusion. Working with the Law of Attraction thus creates a conundrum: the tool that can best help us manifest our most fulfilling desires—our mind—is also the very mechanism that keeps us from connecting with what we truly want.
Why does the mind do this and what can we do about it? One reason that we run into trouble is that manifesting what would make us truly happy—what our authentic self wants most for us—often takes a lot of risk. To be true to ourselves, we need to let go of defense mechanisms and pieces of ourselves that hold us back. Most people’s psychic lives are built around several core issues of lovability, belonging, and worthiness. As a result, when we set out to manifest our goals, our mind often subconsciously steers us away from anything that might trigger those core issues. To protect us from pain, rejection, and humiliation, our well-meaning mind often ends up protecting us from our most authentic expression. The mind simply does not know any better, because it is deploying its defense mechanisms. So we choose a job that might seem right on the surface when the job that would really light us up unconsciously scares us too much.
“Anybody who wants to work successfully with the Law of Attraction needs to develop or deepen a silent meditation practice. It is very hard to know your heart’s desire when you are distracted by mental chatter.”
Another, closely related reason is that we often inherit our sense of purpose from someone else (usually a parent) or base it on an existing model that isn’t right for us. We may have known early on in life what our purpose was, but as time went on, it got buried under belief systems and patterns that we inherited from family, friends, and teachers. As a result, we conform our lives to a model or paradigm that may have worked for someone else but actually limits us. We might even subconsciously devalue what would make us authentically happy because we strive to become what a parent or society tells us would be valuable and practical. For example, perhaps you wanted to be an artist, to heal and enliven others with artwork, but you became a doctor instead because it more easily fit the paradigm of a healer.
Another, exceptionally powerful technique is to thank the mind for all of its assistance. Express gratitude for your own ego! We often thank the Universe for our lives, but we rarely thank our own minds. By acknowledging the ego and its well-meaning efforts to take care of us as best as it knows how, we can gently encourage it to soften and step aside. Thank your mind for getting you this far, and then set the intention that both you and your ego be guided by your authentic self. Regularly thanking your mind will lessen the grip of your defense mechanisms and allow those deeper desires to come through. When you meditate and thank the mind for its efforts, you may be surprised at what kinds of goals and wishes suddenly arise. When they do, act on them, and you’ll strengthen your connection with your authentic self.
“You will soon discover that discovering the truth about yourself is the most rewarding manifestation of all.”
This is just the start to letting go of the mind’s efforts to distract us from the authentic self and what would truly make us happy. Does this mean we have to delay our efforts to manifest until we have figured out who we really are? Not at all. Instead, approach your efforts as an invitation to learn about your heart’s desires, not as a test of your manifestation skills. Regard with healthy skepticism what your mind says you should manifest and treat your work with the Law of Attraction as a journey toward your true self. That journey might seem like a meandering path, not a direct route, to a final destination. When you manifest something that ends up not being deeply satisfying, acknowledge that you are still learning about who you really are and start again. As you learn to peel away the layers that mask your true self, you will start to manifest powerfully, in alignment with your authentic self. You will soon discover that discovering the truth about yourself is the most rewarding manifestation of all.
Patrick Paul Garlinger is the author of When Thought Turns to Light: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Transformation (2016), and Seeds of Light: Channeled Transmissions on the Christ Consciousness (2017). He lives and works in New York City, where he works with clients to understand their true self and release the past so that they can live authentically. He does not subscribe to any particular religious doctrine but believes that we are all connected to the same source of unconditional love. To learn more, please visit Patrick’s website.