heathen (ˈhēT͟Hən/) An uncultured or uncivilized person. One who is wild and unruly; a disobeyer of laws. A person you just can’t take anywhere, especially the fabric store.
Compliments of my Mother’s unabridged dictionary
When I was little my mom was forced to take me and my sister to the fabric store with her, because even back in the early 70’s it was frowned upon to lock your kids up in the closet so you could enjoy just one singular shopping experience.
The genius that arranged the bolts of fabric had clearly intended them to be used in games of hide and go seek and Marco Polo, not to mention a blood thirsty fight to the death for queen of the My Little Pony display. My sister and I were happy to get lost in Fabricland while my mother picked out corduroy to make our knickers with. Yep. I SAID IT. Corduroy knickers. 70's green. In Texas. I loved those sombitches.
After my mom made her purchases, she'd call out for us that it was time to go. We were much too involved in our shenanigans to bother minding. If we heard her getting close we'd take off running and hide, knowing full well she was about to lose her shit. She'd have to hunt us down and detangle us from the spooling towers of fabric while we resisted and acted like little assholes. As she drug us from the store, we’d stick our tongues out at the cash register attendant who stood, arms folded, scowling in disapproval.
Once my mother had wrestled us into the car, she’d make her standard declaration: “Ya’ll act like a bunch of damn heathens! This is the last time I take you anywhere!” The shrill emphasis on “anywhere” always made my brain bleed and my mom's head pop off, but nonetheless, she said that same thing at the end of every last trip to Hancock’s Fabrics; all two hundred thirty four of them. I never understood why she didn’t change it up a little bit, like... “Look here you little bitches - I will kill you. You’re both dead. Congratulations. Mommy's going to prison.” I feel like that might have been slightly more effective.
While we knew that what we were doing was not going to work out to our benefit, we did it anyway, and the result was always the same. When we’d get home, my mom would make us wash the blinds, clean the baseboards, or perform some other equally shitty chore to pay our penance to the lady at the cash register and my mother’s sanity. I’d blame my sister, she’d blame me. I can assure you it was never my fault.
That story represents the general way I led my life, far into adulthood even. I did everything that didn't serve me, over and over again, and then blamed everyone else for the way shit turned out. It was a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, except I never wised up to what was going on. That's until I really started studying and understanding the Law of Attraction, which is the real news here.
As with most news, there’s the good and the bad, and because you’re a heathen (the fact that you're reading this gave you away), you’ll hate them both equally. Even still, I have confidence that you’ll keep reading because heathen’s love to hate stuff. It probably should be said that if you’re easily offended or insulted, you’re the worst kind of heathen – and my favorite kind. You’re the kind looking for a reason to wallow and be pissed. You’re the kind who wants everything to be easy and wants everyone to say exactly what you want to hear in order to validate your toxic crap. If this describes you, you should probably read this series twice or a dozen times for maximum discomfort.
Let’s start with the good news. It turns out you aren’t as bad as you think you are. That’s because the human condition sets us up to fail right off the bat. This means that a lot of the things that suck about you really aren’t your fault. Don’t get too excited, though.
We’re born into this world utterly helpless and surrounded by complete strangers. That’s kind of a big deal seeing that we can’t talk, fight off pirates, negotiate lunchtime, or control our own bowel movements. We’re cold, hot, hungry, sleepy, sick and inundated with new creatures we’ve never before seen. It’s noisy and chaotic, and as we grow and learn the basics, we find that people are continually trying to take things from us, if not gently, then by force.
Besides these obvious disadvantages, we’re born with no guarantee that our caretakers aren’t filling our sippy cups with whiskey and leaving us with babysitters they hooked up with on Craig’s List. We’re forced to trust, because there is no other choice if we’re to survive. We could be placed in the arms of a serial killer, and our only option is to latch on and soak up what they have to teach us.
But even if we're born under the best of circumstances, you have to figure there are still the nearly seven billion other humans out there to contend with, not to mention natural disasters and the nightly news. We’re overwhelmed with sex, reality TV, death and lies. The world’s negativity is impossible to escape, even for those living the dream. In essence, we’ve all been programmed and have bought into the lies of the world. Those lies tell us that we have no control over our lives, that we aren't good enough, we aren't worthy, we aren't pretty or skinny enough, there's too much competition to make it, we're destined for illness, evil abounds, bad things will just keep happening to us, money was never meant for us to have and countless others. It's not that we want to preoccupy ourselves with these negative and depressive thoughts. It is, however, human nature, and that is what we have to rise above.
I personally don't know anyone who's lived a life devoid of pain or some type of trauma. Everyday bad things happen to good people. There's no shortage of tragedies happening around the world, and some of them may be happening to you or people you know. Everyone has issues of some kind, no matter who they are.
At the risk of sounding cold though, the world doesn’t care about those things. Your life has been uniquely tragic, just like everyone else’s. No one will ever show up on our doorsteps to reward us for our suffering. No company will ever keep us employed because we’ve gone through more hardship than the next guy. No mate will ever desire us with every fiber of their being because we’re more pathetic than anyone they’ve ever met. The guy with the most scars doesn’t win. On the contrary, the best revenge is to live well.
So while the good news is that you're not as bad as you think you are, it turns out that the bad news is that you’re worse than you think you are. Since we know that the experiences that have shaped us aren’t necessarily our fault, it should be made clear that who we are now is totally our fault. I can feel you disagreeing with me all the way over here in Texas.
The reality is that our thoughts, actions, and feelings - our responses to our hardships - are what have made us who we are today. So despite the fact that the origin of our condition isn’t our fault, the fact that we still have the condition is. Generally speaking, we tend to have the fundamental inability to see that what we’re doing, saying, and thinking is perpetuating our unhappiness. You may find yourself presently conjuring up reasons why this isn’t true. Stop that.
The alternative to this is believing that we’re the victims of something or someone and our life circumstances are everyone else’s fault but ours. We can’t control the behavior of others, after all. They have it out for us…right? We’re powerless against our enemies. People are cruel. We aren’t smart enough or good enough. We’re broke and trapped in shitty jobs. The bills are out of control and so is the stress. Sickness runs in our families – we’re destined to suffer and die alone. We aren’t good looking enough, or skinny enough. There’s not enough time in the day! Only cheaters get a leg up in this world. We live in the wrong place and we have no talent. Our marriages suck, and nobody appreciates us. How am I doing so far?
Maybe you refuse to believe that you’ve arranged the conditions you’re in. You may be thinking that I have no idea what you’re particular circumstances are. I’ve never walked in your shoes. Maybe you think I’m a judgmental dumbass. If you disagree with everything I'm saying, you won't hurt my feelings if you quit reading. But if what you've been doing isn't working for you, maybe it's time to open your mind up to the possibility that there may be something to this law of attraction business. If you're afraid to try anything new because you think you might fail, get back on the couch with your bag of Cheetos. The rest of you keep reading.
In my particular case, I was so disgusted with where my life was that I was willing to try just about anything, so how quickly things change for you will be directly proportional to how sick you are of your present circumstances. If you’re thinking, well this sounds hard, maybe my life isn’t so bad afterall, you aren't sick enough. Or if you think that maybe you have exactly what you deserve and it won't get better, you’re going to remain unhappy and disappointed. And maybe even get rickets. OK. That last part isn't true. Unless you believe it is.
As you read, keep an open mind. Do research. See what other people are saying. But if you’re really ready for a change and determined to make it happen, the good things will find their way to you. That’s the only possible outcome.
Next week we'll begin talking about how to change the thoughts and behaviors we've been lugging around all these years. Join me for Part 7 of the Law of Attraction: Whoa Negative Nelly! And Happy Monday.