New Thought: I Don’t Know The Secret

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Psssst. You're doing it wrong, Matt.
Psssst. You’re doing it wrong, Matt.

I read The Secret. I still don’t know it.

I also read Wallace Wattles’ The Science of Getting Rich. And I’m a far cry from that.

They’re both the same book, only Wattles focused on money and wrote his version 94 years before Rhonda Byrne repackaged his ideas and made a fortune.

The genre is “New Thought.”

The premise of both books is that we create our own realities via the Law of Attraction. The law of attraction is as true and constant and impartial in our universe as the laws of physics or gravity, the authors write.

I read these books about four years ago.

My life has been infinitely shittier ever since. Which could mean a variety of things:

1. I’m doing it wrong.

2. My cosmic universal wiring is totally jacked.

3. They’re total bullshit.

Are bad things happening in your life?

Well, it’s your fault, moron!!! At least, that’s what Byrne wrote.

You caused that car accident!

You made your Aunt Gwendolyn die of cancer!

You’re the reason life sucks and there’s no money and insurance premiums are rising and the FDA is allowing all that shit into our food and the politicians are all on the take and people are getting raped and children are starving in Africa and those baby seals got clubbed!

“Your ability to think is unlimited, and so the things you can think into existence are unlimited,” Byrne wrote.

If you believe her, by tuning your mind to the proper “frequency,” you can think things into reality. You want a 1993 beige Mercury Topaz? Think about it really hard. Feel gratitude in your heart for it. And then The Secret Elves in deep space who probably aren’t even getting hazard pay build it for you, and—BAM!—you’ve just Secret-ed yourself a fancy “new” ’93 Topaz. Booya.

“You have the ability to choose what you want to experience,” Byrne wrote. “The Universe offers all things to all people through the law of attraction.”

Maybe I’m Doing it Wrong

This is totally possible. I do tons of things wrong!

Maybe I’m just bad at Secret-ing stuff. Maybe I need to practice harder. Maybe my mind isn’t on the correct “frequency.” Maybe I should stop trying to conjure up 20-year-old Ford Tempo knockoffs. But seriously, since reading those books, I’ve lost a job and my family.

Worst. Secret-er. Ever.

Did I lose my job because I attracted the layoff back in 2009?

Did I lose my wife because I feared losing her?

Did her dad die because she was afraid of losing her father?

Are we only in control of us, Rhonda Byrne? Can we make other people do things with our minds?

Do bad things happen to other people because we worry FOR them? Are all of my friends and family in mortal peril because of me? Can the space elves make things for other people?

Don’t sleep on the space elves.

They can make ANYTHING in their magical Universe toy-building shop.

You just have to know The Secret.

But I’m still not in on it.

My Cosmic Universe Wiring is Totally Jacked

Sometimes, electricians—amateur and professional—make mistakes. They put the red wire where the blue wire was supposed to be. The yellow wire and the green wire get crisscrossed. Shit happens.

Maybe, just maybe, my wiring into the Universe was not installed correctly.

Case in point: My personal life.

Fact #1 – I read The Secret.

Fact #2 – I read The Science of Getting Rich.

Fact #3 – I tried to incorporate many of the principles into my daily life. I have an open mind. I swear.

Fact #4 – I tried to visualize being wealthy and living happily ever after in a gorgeous home with my wife and son.

Fact #5 – My wife filed for divorce. My son is now gone half the time, and I have less money than ever.

They’re Total Bullshit

What if?

What if there are no space elves out in the Universe building the things we think up and sending it to us in magical rocket ships that materialize as new jobs, or lottery wins, or chicken pox, or AIDS?

What if the law of attraction is more of a metaphor?

A reminder that visualizing success and working for it and being positive and helping others and having faith and being a good person and displaying gratitude is simply a universal recipe for someone to whom good fortune tends to smile upon?

Isn’t that possible, Rhonda Byrne? Isn’t that possible, Wallace Wattles?

I don’t know.


If I’m Secret-ing all these bad things into my life, I need to figure out how to stop.

If I’m getting royally screwed by the space elves because my wiring was installed by some disgruntled electrician from the Local #2749 Secret Universe Electrical Workers Guild, I’m going to be pissed. But more importantly, I need to figure out how to rewire it.

And if it’s all bullshit, then I’m just annoyed that Wattles wrote something revolutionary in 1910 only to have Byrne repackage it, make a fortune, and get a bunch of people’s hopes up about their futures, and then tell us we have no one to blame but ourselves when we get a galactic-sized dick in the ass.

You know what, though?

I think there’s a chance Byrne just wants to help people. I want to help people, too. I just whine a lot more than she does.

If I can just get the space elves to deliver me some Secret ass lube, I might be able to walk a little straighter.

Then, my friends, we can let the healing begin.

19 thoughts on “New Thought: I Don’t Know The Secret”

  1. I try to practice the Secret-ish… just more of a positive thinking kinda thing… which I obviously have been failing at this week. And I have a mantra that I repeat when I find negative thoughts creeping into my psyche (this week not withstanding).
    Am I financially secure? Do I have excellent health? Am I in a mutual madly-in-love relationship? NO
    Am I as miserable as I used to be? NO
    Am I as happy as I want to be? NO
    Is there a real SECRET? Fuck no…

  2. Those books sound absolutely ridiculous. I understand where they’re getting at-but yeah, they totally make it seem like if you think positive thoughts, bad shit won’t happen to you. The truth of the matter is:

    1. You didn’t lose your wife. She lost you.
    2. It’s not your fault that you don’t have your son as much as you want-it’s hers.
    3. Your bad luck has nothing to do with you. Shit just honestly happens to good people.
    4. Thinking positively won’t stop bad shit from happening to you. It will stop you from suffering through the bad things happening to you.
    5. You don’t necessarily have a choice over what you experience, but more of HOW you experience it.
    6. You can whine all you want, but don’t you dare think that there’s anything wrong with YOU because your wife left you for a rich man slut who’s going to cheat on her multiple times and make her one day feel way less insignificant than you feel at this very moment.
    7. You seem like a really rad dad.
    8. Keep it together. Not just for your son-but for your own sanity and purpose. Don’t waste these next years of your life wondering what you did wrong and the “what ifs” when in fact, you did nothing wrong. You loved your wife. Just like you promised her on the day you guys got married. You promised forever-she did too, but she broke that promise. Sounds like the shit bag is totally her. Sounds like she’s been secretly shitty for a while. And honestly, it really is for the better. You deserve just as much love as you give back. Once you’re done wallowing over your post marriage sorrows and you actually meet someone who will give you the light you look for every day, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
    9. Never fucking settle for less than you deserve.
    10. I don’t have a number 10, but I was on a roll with this list and I wanted to keep the number even. I’m weird like that.

    P.S. I may not know entirely what you’re going through because I’ve never been divorced, but I’ve had my heart ripped out and eaten like a delicious apple and I’m still picking up the pieces. Even if I’m not 100%, I’m happy because I know who I am and who I am makes me happy, even if who I am couldn’t make someone else feel that way.

    1. Some of my close friends might disagree, but I’m SLIGHTLY less whiny in real life than I am when I’m writing.

      I don’t mean to suggest I’m exaggerating or being phony.

      Just that, I’m not moping around all the time like a self-wallowing idiot.

      I laugh. I smile. I have fun.

      And it’s mostly because I have a TON of wonderful people in my life. People just like you. Except they’re all married, less pretty and don’t write as well.

      Thank you for reading. Thank you for being supportive. I enjoy your work very much.

      1. Awww thank you! And hey, that’s what journaling (even public journaling) is for. To whine and get all of your feelings out so they don’t soak up in your brain and cause you to EXPLODE so that you wake up in 5 years in a padded cell with a helmet on. Hooray for blogs!

        And I know you do all of those things. I just started reading your stuff so I figured I’d add my “it’s totally not your fucking fault” rant because honestly-sometimes you need that constant reminder. Blog on, dude. Blog on.

    1. That means an enormous amount coming from you.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment.

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  6. I too read The Secret. Probably at the worst possible time. Am still waiting for the space elves to fix the wiring. I thoroughly enjoyed this entry though. It was both happy and sad for me, but mostly happy. Your blog is awesome! Thank you.

    1. Ha. The Space Elves.

      I’m so childish. I can’t help it. But, I’m glad you like it, certainly.

      To space elves making us stuff that doesn’t suck…


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