Thursday, February 3, 2011

Law of Attraction...or Destiny?

So I've read quite a bit about "The Law of Attraction" (LOA).  (Definition: Law of Attraction:
Law of attraction says that all your thoughts, all images in your mind, and all the feelings connected to your thoughts will later manifest as your reality." In other words; everything you have in your life - now - has been attracted to you through your mind.(  I've read articles on it, watched some videos, and even started to read a book on it.  I stopped because with my OCD, I overanalyze things.  With positive thoughts, I always, not by choice, think of the negative possibilities as well...I really tried hard not too, I just couldn't help it! Talk about frustrating... Anywho, research on it is very interesting, and can be quite convincing (just google "law of attraction). 

Then there is Fate, or destiny.  Peolpe always say, I was destined to do this, I was destined to meet him/her...etc, etc.  Basically, whether the event was positve or negative, it was meant to happen.

These ideas can be quite conflicting.  I've questioned both many times. Finally, I think I may have figured it out (or at least started to). However, before I reveal my answer/theory, here's a little bit of background on why this topic is so prevalent to me:

Since this blog is followed by a lot of runners, I'll use running as an example.  In preparation for races I have, to say the least, worked my ass off.  I trained hard, ate right, and did whatever injury prevention I could.  And sometimes, it wasn't good enough. First, last fall (2009), I started of XC season with a bang.  The first race was only a 3k, but I finished 4th overall (admittedly, it was a small meet with only 3 other teams), and first on my team in 11:44.  Then, with another bang, my times dropped.  I was still working hard and trying to eat right, so I was very confused and upset.  Finally, I found out I was anemic (iron deficinent).  I still struggle with it now, and it sucks!  Then last December (2009) me and Sandi attempted our first "I Believe" run.  I went into it injured, probably still anemic.  Admittedly, I had some doubts, but I figured if I believed I could do it, that's all that matters, right? WRONG.  Me and Sandi were in tears the first day, as we both new we would never make it at my limping pace (IT band, knee). 

That spring, I tried to take my time and slowly get back into running.  I made sure to do extra work to strenghten my hips.  I wanted to run the Cleve. Marathon in about 3:30.  My training times were a little rought at best, but I kept going.  Then boom, out of nowhere a few weeks before the marathon, I get an excruciating tightness in my legs whenever I run.  The doctors couldn't really say much, they needed to wait and see how things went in a few weeks with some stretching and rest.  That was 2 days before the marathon.  When I came home, I tried to run around the block. I couldnt.  I finished the short walk back to my house in tears.  I told Sandi she could run it.  She did it in an amazing 3:25 after a hard training week (100+ miles).  I wanted to be happy for her, and I was, but it was a really tough moment for me.
After that, I continued PT, got tested for compartment syndrome (results were negative, the test horrible).  I didnt start running til mid June.

In the end, I decided these injuries happened for a reason.  I learned to listen to my body more, not to take training so seriously all the time, turned to trails and ultra running, and, most importantly, remembered that while I love running, it doesnt matter anywhere near as much to me as helping others.

Then there is this past December.  I was really into the LOA.  I was reading the book, trying really hard to focus my energies on good health for the run.  Then on Day 2, my IT Band (hip) flares up, so on the morning of Day 3 I cry as I run, then walk.  Stupid LOA. I remember, humanly...asking "Why Me?" (Are you remembering a time where you did the same?)

So did I just suck at LOA or was it just fate?

Well, I think I believe in both. 

I've been reading "Angels in the Wilderness", about Amy Racina, and avid and experienced hiker, who fell 60ft in the Tephite Valley (a rarely traveled area) and broke both her legs.  She spent 4 days there, then was rescued.  She had no health insurance.  Incredibly, she had no spinal damage.  With the help of her friends, the community, and shear determination...she is now hiking again.  She was able to get her 300,000 medical bill cut to 11,000. Amazing, right?

One chapter of her book is entitled "Questions".  She couldnt fathom why it happened to her.  Amy believed that you create your life, and she had created a good one for herself.  Had she made her fall happen?  When she asks a psychic, she simply says that she was meant to have that experience.  In recollection, she had always been drawn to that spot.  The psychin also explains angles had been with her in the ravine, protecting her from harm. 

She then turns to God and asks "Why me?"  A compassionate voice whispers "It had to be so".  With this she realizes that her things are not all about her, she may just be part of a greater plan, and who knows what her experience may bring.  Then she gets the last message: "You must tell the story".

How fitting that I should come upon this book, after I have asked this question so many times.  Her experience has helped me, and probably many others.  I tried to make sense of the second "I Believe" run.  The run was to help me help people for Christ's sake!  But, it did teach me to step away from my egotistical self.  I am no lesser a person for not finishing, and I stilled helped a lot of people. 

What I believe is that we all have, lets say, a Life Chart.  When we are born, we have certain things in our life that are pre-planned.  They are events necessary so we learn and get the most out of our lives.  So that's fate. However, I believe we have the power to make the worst or best out of those situations.  For example, if you lose your job, you can sulk over it and end up in a sea of depression and financial problems.  Or, you can soften the blow.  You can seek another profession, maybe that childhood dream, and go after that.  You can join a gym and get back in shape or pursue a hobby. You can take this as an opportunity to spend more time with your family, and still work hard to seek out a new career.  You can use your experience to help someone else. 

That's why Im writing this afterall.  So by my mistakes or successes, you can learn from them, and maybe it'll help you a little bit on your path.

To sum it up,  I believe that, whether we like it or not, fate will happen to us, and then, by the Law of Attraction, we can pull good things into our lives and make the most out of our experiences.