Saturday, July 07, 2007

Not Buyin' It.

I went on a girls' trip a few months ago and one of my friends brought the dvd for "The Secret". I'd heard about it but didn't really know what it was all about so I was interested in watching it. As I watched, I was not nearly as energized by it as my friend was, who claims that it has truly changed things in her life, and for her husband as well. Fair warning -- if you loved it too, I'm about to somewhat rain on your parade. Nothing personal, this is just my reaction to it.

I guess for me, most of it was stuff I already knew or thought about. It's not that I didn't gain *anything* from it, it just didn't leave me as gung-ho and rah-rah as I expected it to, which is surprising, as this friend and I are usually very closely aligned with things like this and our reactions to them. For me, it struck me that the biggest and first part of the dvd (I don't know about the book) was all about money and personal financial gain. To me, that seemed to be the emphasis of where one should put their "positive energy into the universe" that it came back to YOU in the form of getting rich. Like the guy who said that he thought positive, whited out what he owed on one of his bills and replaced it with the number he'd like to have in his bank account, and (direct quote or close to it here) "checks just started coming in". Seriously...let's get real, people. Can we get the rest of that story, please? Did you invest more? Did you work overtime? I'm sorry - but people do not just start randomly sending you money in the mail unless you have recently picked up a 2nd job as a televangelist or something. And if they DO just start randomly sending you checks for no reason, then I'm off to Wally World for some white out.

I was really struck by the fact that they kept saying how "The Secret" can change the world. Make things better for everyone. Change lives. Well, then wouldn't it make sense that in the financial part that giving of your own time and money to others is one of the biggest ways to do that? I mean, if the whole premise is that positive energy attracts positive energy and brings good into your own life, how in the world could philanthropy be anything but a huge beacon of positive energy? Do you think it was mentioned once? Even once? Nope. I was really in awe over that one and it left me feeling like the only money message I got was a yucky, materialistic, selfish one. Nice.

My other issue was how they kept saying "The Universe." Now, I am a Christian and will tell anyone who wants to know about it and about where I am with my faith. By the way, I know that I have at least a few people checking in on my blog who are not Christians. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (Hee hee -- just a little Seinfeld in there for you. If you are not a Seinfeld fan, it was supposed to be a little humor. It's 5 am and I'm not completely awake yet, so just keep that in mind.) I do want you to know that I completely watched this with an open mind and expected to love it because on the drive up to the cabin, my friend told me that when the people said "The Universe", to her she took it as them saying "God" because that matched up with her. I really do have an open mind, but the other things they said kept me from thinking that they were meaning anything than what they were saying. At the same time, it was OBVIOUS that they hoped they could rope in people like my friend and were trying to peddle their wares to people of any and all religious perspectives.

Infomercial city.

Maybe, in hindsight, that was my big beef. It seemed like they just couldn't wait to energize you and convert you to their way of thinking and it was like one of those middle of the night (and we all know I've seen those!) Real Estate Riches infomercials. I mean, after all it had worked for them! They were rich, they had been healed from illness, they had attracted hot women into their lives! All you had to do was think positively, throw some positive energy out there into the ol' universe, and you were good to go. I smelled a reallllllllllllllllllllly long infomercial. As I said before, I did take away some good things and some things that I've actually been able to apply to my own life, but for the most was cheesy sales pitchy, dawg. (Ack. I'm tired.)

One man in particular really hit a nerve with me. He was some sort of physicist (okay, I can't even spell that word) and he sort of seemed to mock me and all that is at the core of my life. He said that "there is no big chalkboard in the sky" where God writes your name and what the future holds for you. (Meanwhile, they put up a cartoon chalkboard behind him and write his name on it with cartoon chalk while he's talking. It was like a slap to me.) He went on to say that you are in charge of your own destiny and you are the one who determines what happens in your life. Well, guess what. I think differently and apparently if he would get wind of that, my name would be written in cartoon on his cartoon chalkboard and a little cartoon Tara would be drawn below my name with a dunce hat.

I feel like the chalkboard is a really stupid analogy, first of all. Beyond that, I feel like I am responsible for both the good and bad decisions that I've made in my life, but I will tell you this much -- what one person calls "intuition" and "positive energy" (that would be him), another person (that would be me) calls "God" and "prayer". He can seriously bite my big ol' Christian butt. I guarantee you that when I was sitting in my big, white wedding dress one fine fall day in 1997 about to make what continues to be the absolute worst decision of my entire life by marrying the wrong person, it was not my "negative energy" that had me in a heap in the middle of the floor, ready to vomit, and unable to move 5 minutes before I had to walk down the aisle. It was not God's plan for me...that was CLEAR AS A BELL, but I did it anyway. My little chalkboard in the sky had my name on it, but not The Jerk's. That was my own doing. And guess what? It got undone a year later. It's called free will, and I had plenty of it on that day.

I guess I should get to the reason that 3 months later this is all still on my mind. I am in a Bible study with some women from my MOPS group and we are reading a book called God Moments and I feel like it is my version of "The Secret". It's like me yelling "In your face!" to Mr. Cartoon Chalkboard, although two things are blatantly evident: (a) he can't hear me and (b) he wouldn't care anyway.

In any case, I am so enjoying this book and this is energizing me. This is giving me hope. This is what my soul needed at a time where it seems I have stress coming at me from every angle. I am so glad that I'm reading it and know it will be one I re-read several times.

Oh, and a special thanks to Renee (I still can't figure out how to make your "e" have the accent mark, I'm sorry!) for helping me connect the two things a few weeks ago. When you said that this is like "The Secret", I about jumped out of my seat because it really, really is.

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