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commented on Feb. 6, 2011
Has anyone else ever had the experience of putting lots of energy into an upcoming, seemingly imminent event, and the whole situation changes so that the event doesn't even happen? Example: You spend the weekend planning a new budget to the last dollar and commit to sticking to it. It takes hours and lots of effort. You arrange auto-debits and change some billing dates to better balance your cash flow. You set up a savings and investment plan that is sure to succeed. By the end of the weekend you are exhausted but you feel great because you can clearly see yourself out of debt in two years, with a hefty savings account. You call your Mom and tell her the good news. You fantasize about taking a vacation to Bora Bora in two years. You imagine that you will meet your soul mate during a sunset walk on the beach. You feel great and think you are finally 'in control'. On Monday, your company announces that your entire division will be outsourced and you are now out of work. You can't find another job for several months so you end up taking one that pays 30% less. So much for being in control.
If you are wondering, no this did not happen to me. This is only an example. Of course you can always say that the loss of the job was completely unrelated to the great effort you just put into your wealth management and emotional high that ensued. However, I have had similar experiences so-so-so many times that I have to wonder if I am causing the effect with my energy. It seems the more energy I put into imaging things that haven’t happened yet, the less likely they are to happen.
I feel confused because Creative Visualization and similar books teach you how to imagine and feel that certain things are already true. Doing this supposedly alters your thinking and reality such that they actually become truths. I actually believe this can be done and I've had a few of these experiences as well, but they are the exception. I want to learn to do this successfully every time and get off the emotional roller coaster.
It seems I’m not alone in feeling that we shouldn’t get too excited about future events. Here are some things that have me pondering:
• My Muslim friend bought a new car. He immediately hung an unattractive 'evil eye' symbol from the rear view mirror. He explained that it's purpose was to bring something 'ugly' into the car to create a balance with the beauty of the car, since an imbalance is unnatural and will always be corrected (by a dent or whatever). Every time he got in the car, he saw the evil eye as well as the beauty so his thoughts were kept “in check” if you will. You could simplify this to say he believed the evil eye brought "good luck" regarding the car.
• I've been given a very similar explanation by a Hindu friend regarding the reason they smear a dark streak on the foreheads of their (beautiful) children.
• In Peter Benchley‘s The Girl of the Sea of Cortez, a man has found what he believes is an oyster with a giant pearl inside. He thinks about how much he will be able to do with all the money after he sells the pearl. Before he opens the oyster, he tries to calm himself because he believes the gods don’t like it when a person gets too excited about things before they’ve happened. When I read this many years ago, I thought “I know what he means!”
So my question is this: Why is it that sometimes visualization brings about things you want and sometimes it seems to cause the opposite effect? It seems to have something to do with the level of energy/anxiety we have regarding the thing. A calmer, ‘if it be your will’ sort of attitude seems to be more effective. Since I don’t believe in a God who has a will, this is difficult for me. I'd love to hear your thoughts.