As I read The Secret, my first thought was, "Wow, this book is great news for anyone who believes in their ability to alter their thoughts, but bad news for the soul suffering from neurological Lyme Hell."
If I had read it two years ago when I had about as much control over my mind as a runaway train, I would have been frightened. This was a time in my life when neither anti-depressants, nor counseling, nor prayer or meditation, nor the force of my intention served to alter my thought patterns much. Little did I understand then the power of bugs and my subconscious to screw up the abililty of my conscious mind to choose right thoughts and thereby create an ideal future for myself.
According to Byrne's theory, I'd have been screwed.
This isn't to say that the law of attraction doesn't have merit. Fortunately and unfortunately, it does. After all, life circumstances often unfold according to what we think and believe about the world and ourselves. To take an example from my own life, I've lived many years under the tyranny of the false belief that, "Nothing good ever happens to me." Sometimes I look at my current circumstances--poor health, no job, no life partner, no home of my own--and it would seem that this theory has played itself out very nicely in my world.
But as I heal from Lyme, I experience an increased ability to focus on what's right with my life, and I see my gratitude bringing about more positive circumstances into my life.
Further, when it comes to healing, The Secret is absolutely correct in its affirmation that negative thoughts cause stress and hence illness.
But what if you're the Lyme disease sufferer who can't get a grip on your thoughts, try as you might?
If the author had researched a bit further into the process of how thoughts are formed, she might have learned that the subconscious is often a more powerful force than the conscious mind, and that belief systems residing in the subconscious command feelings and thought patterns, more so than the force of one's will. For example, if you consciously tell yourself that God loves you, but your life's experiences reflect a lack of being loved by others, especially your primary caretakers, then your subconscious might tell you that God really doesn't love you that much. And in the battle between the conscious and subconscious mind, guess which mind wins? You got it. The subconscious. Fortunately, I do think that God can alter the subconscious mind through revelation, but to endeavor to do it oneself is trickier.
Hence, thought patterns are carved into our minds with the chisel of our life's experiences, and attempts at creating an ideal reality through right thinking can be disrupted by patterns of flawed programming.
Further, Lyme contributes to the crooked pathways of our minds, which complicates or even precludes"thinking" an ideal reality into existence.
So if you suffer depression, anxiety or any neurological manifestations of Lyme which impede your ability to focus on joyous thoughts, then the The Secret may frustrate you.
Or the potential of the mind to heal may excite you, because you believe you possess the ability to apply the law of attraction to your life, or that God can help you with this.
Great, so what's the point of pondering all this? You ask. Well, do you think that your health depends upon the power of your mind or upon God? If you don't believe in God, then the following may not matter. If you do, then it may make all the difference in the world.
The law of attraction, as described in The Secret, grants us charge over our destiny, by allowing us to command health and life circumstances according to our whims, with the result that it displaces God as ultimate ruler over our lives. Why do we need Him to lead us when we've got a spectacular mind that will accomplish whatever we wish?
Removing all other considerations, this may sound like a good thing until we realize that we don't always know what's best for us. Just because a child wants a candy bar, does that mean she should get one?
Beyond that, believing in the law of attraction implies that the baby with AIDS in Africa, the earthquake victim in El Salvador, and the Lyme disease sufferer can all take the blame for attracting disaster into their lives. But I guess that's an okay theology to swallow if you don't have a child with a distended belly or a husband with cancer.
Correspondingly, if your mind has gone haywire from Lyme, you might wonder if you stand a chance at redemption into health and a better life.
And if all the world's decisions were ultimately left up to us, it would seem that only those of us with mighty happy minds would be able to receive the fruits of what we'd call an ideal life.
I personally think that, while God has devised some fine laws in this universe, He is ultimately King over all these laws. And that includes the law of attraction, which, while it plays itself out nicely under many circumstances, is not an all-or-nothing formula that we can apply anytime we need an Aladdin to fulfill our deepest desires.
For me, this means that while The Secret has great merit, God gets the last say over what I do and attain in my life. Far from being complacent, however, I actively pursue healing, through herbs, Rife, salt/C and Immune Response Therapy, as well as through prayer and other mental therapies. Yet I don't trust in my therapies nor in my ability to heal myself.
I trust God, because this disease, as life, is much too complicated for me to navigate on my own, and I think God knows better than I do what I need for the attainment of joy and peace. What's more, what if I couldn't afford my therapies anymore? What if I had some kind of hellacious herx reaction which left me bipolar and unable to "think" my way to joy and prosperity?
Thank God I have God.
Believe in yourself if you will. Believe in the power of your mind to heal. It's right and helpful to do so. But if God is sovereign in your life, then hand Him the keys to your health.
So how do I reconcile the apparent work of the law of attraction in my life with God's sovereignity? While I may have helped to sabotage my health with negative and fearful thinking, my decision to rely upon God for all my needs (and without knowing what this meant, exactly) has meant that He has guided me towards therapies which have enabled my healing. One, Immune Response Therapy, has had the effect of tearing apart the destructive belief patterns, so that I can better "choose" to replace them with healthier ones and hence happier thoughts. But had I not asked God to lead me, I might not have been brought to a knowledge of how to treat Lyme disease. This is, for me, God overriding, or perhaps using, the law of attraction according to His will, not mine, to bring His prosperity, not the world's, into my life.
Finally, my god tells me to feed the poor, and to attend to the ill and to the forsaken. The law of attraction, according to The Secret, would admonish me not to spend time with such folk, as speaking of their pain and destitution would invite such into my own life. This smacks of profound self-centeredness, and flies in the face of my god's command to "love others as I love myself."
Of course, if you get easily enmeshed in others' pain, then by all means, steer clear of these folks or set some appropriate boundaries. Ask God to show you His love, and when you know you are loved, you will be able to love others.
While presenting some amazing truths and interesting concepts to ponder, The Secret would have earned higher marks in my book had it demonstrated the use of the law of attraction for more noble causes. Learning to love God, for example. While it made mention of using it for love and spirituality, material wealth and ambition nonetheless were given greater attention.
But now I'm digressing from how it applies to health.
If you believe in a god who loves you, then believe it is He who heals and that it doesn't depend on you as much as it depends on Him. In my own healing journey, I have of late been endeavoring to trust more, and to try less. To surrender and not strive. To rest in His peace.