A basic dynamic of energy is that we attract who we are --the more positive energy we give off, the more positive connections we’ll magnetize to us. Ditto for negativity. It works like this: Love attracts love. Grumpiness attracts grumpiness. Passion attracts passion. Rage attracts rage. The explanation? This human form of ours is a subtle energy transmitter. We’re constantly sending out signals that others on similar frequencies pick up on and gravitate toward -- an instinctual call we may not be aware of. Why opportunities do or don’t show up in our lives is a function of this.
A striking phenomenon known by many therapists is that we often attract waves of patients who mirror our current struggles and joys. It’s as if a communiqué is issued to the universe saying, “I’m here. This is what I’m going through. Come to me." For example, soon after I sold my first book Second Sight, a series of patients also had beloved projects that came through for them. A few years before, as I helplessly watched my father losing control of mind and body from Parkinson’s Disease, I received a burst of anguished calls from new patients whose parents with Parkinson’s were suffering the same harrowing decline. On a lighter note, when the daughter of a psychologist-friend got pregnant, my friend’s practice suddenly became a parade of expectant parents.
How can we harness this intriguing alchemy to bring yearned-for positive connections to us? The crux is to strive to energetically embody what we want to attract. For starters, take a look at where you are now. This entails nailing down parameters for what being positive does and doesn’t mean in terms of attitude and behavior. Once you’re definitive about this, you can strengthen these traits in yourself and attract the same. Don’t worry if you’re far from a positive place now.
It’s an evolution. Give thought to what you value most in yourself or others. Keep a running list in your journal. Here’s the essence of how I see it.
Positive persons are:
- Committed to developing compassion towards themselves and others, and having an open heart
- Courageous about following their dreams
- Those who seek to be authentic and believe in themselves, even when externals are crumbling
- Aware of their darkside and trying to heal it
- Willing to learn from mistakes
Positive persons aren’t:
- Perfect, phony or positive all the time
- Beating themselves to a pulp over shortcomings or a black hole of pessimism
- Constantly mired in fear or tolerant of letting their hearts harden
- Squeaky clean do-gooders who neglect their own well-being.
- Saccharine pleasers who ignore their darkside and unconsciously act it out at the expense of others.
Never forget: we’re talking about real human beings with pluses and minuses. What sets positive people apart, though, is a determination to do their best and not succumb to what’s negative in themselves or externals. Where some of my patients go wrong is holding idealized expectations, not grasping that everyone--including themselves!--has irritating/challenging/disappointing aspects. Earth to humans: we’re inhabiting the material planet with all its foibles. Even so, you can legitimately hope to personify and attract others fighting their way out of the muck with an open heart and sense of humor. These are my heroes and friends. In contrast, someone “too-perfect” feels like fingernails on the blackboard to me. You don’t want to be anything like those always-smiling, aiming-to-please, women-robots in the horror flick, “The Stepford Wives.” These are the evil twins of the positive person I’m portraying.
This law of attraction will make doors open. The root truth is that quality of connections, not quantity counts. Understanding this demands that we see beyond our culture’s obsession with popularity. I appreciate how inbred the desire may be. High school can be hell for anyone “unpopular.” I, for one, felt so agonizingly out of it; the “cool” kids hung on the “upper patio” while I snuck cigarettes behind the auditorium with my scraggly hippie friends. Thankfully, as an adult, I realized that popularity is a mixed bag that doesn’t always deliver happiness. Yes, opportunities may increase. And, of course, it feels good to be liked. But I’ve seen this need turn into addiction.
I’ve worked with actors whose self-esteem is inextricably tied to their public’s adulation -- certain suicide for self esteem. Also without exceeding discrimination, mass popularity can lead to confusion and defeat. One patient, a drop-dead-gorgeous model, can’t get from the parking garage to my office without a guy coming on to her. This woman has a seeming jackpot of romantic options, but still keeps choosing the most horrifyingly flawed men, a destructive pattern that brought her to see me.
Energy doesn’t simply have an on-off switch. Just as a radio emission has a volume control, you can adjust your vibes. You can amp them up with some people and tone them down with others.
is psychiatrist, energy and intuition expert, and author of the bestselling books Positive Energy, Guide to Intuitive Healing and Second Sight. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA with a private practice in Los Angeles and she leads workshops on the interrelationship of intuition, energy, and medicine. For information about books, audiotapes, and workshops.