On Saturday, with the blizzarding that was happening around me, I asked an older homeless couple if they would mind helping me clean up one of the floors in the storage facility. They were happy for the work that would help preserve them from the cold. I was grateful that I didn't have to leave my desk to spend a couple hours cleaning the 4th floor! It's hard to be at your desk helping customers, answering phones, and on the 4th floor cleaning.
This morning I learned an unexpected benefit of this. The wife came into the office holding her boots and talked about how she wanted to avoid messing up the floors with the mud. I gave her some wipes to clean the mud up. Because she had invested time on the cleanliness of the building, she took pride and care to make sure not to track in mud today.
I have been thinking about the Law of Attraction or the idea that "like attracts like". I believe that while there is some merit to positive thinking, there is an inherent fear attached to this ideology. Or rather, a misinterpretation.
Someone used the term last week to talk about setting a tone for business by attracting the right kinds of clientele. Like attracts like.
I thought of my homeless customers. I began to fear that perhaps I was attracting the wrong kinds of clientele. Then I thought about how we divide ourselves in our lives. We are divided into classes, races, cultures, hobbies, priorities, families, singles, educated, uneducated, families, friends, work colleagues. Like attracts like. If like attracts like, what does it say about me if I spend my day with homeless people, my night's with my roommate who enjoys herbs (if ya catch my drift... ;), my Sundays at church, my weekends at the theatre? What am I attracting? Would I experience more financial success if I chose to spend more time with rich people?
I wonder if this philosophy encourages us to fear those with less, those who live differently than we might choose.
Yesterday at church, I sat on the stand preparing to sing with the choir. There were about 650 people gathered together. Everyone from all walks of life, education, classes and as rare as it is in Utah, from different races. All gathered together to worship. Like attracts like.
I thought about the people that Jesus chose to spend his life with.
I wondered if he lived with the "like attracts like" philosophy. Perhaps. Perhaps he preferred those who understood to those who possessed.
I think it is worth noting that what the Savior chose to attract into his life might not be the same kinds of things today's self help gurus might want to attract.
Honesty, sincerity, love.
But perhaps everyone he was with had fatal flaws that had the power to bring him down to despair. Perhaps he chose to spend his days with horrid people who were mean and judgmental and rude. What then?
About ten years ago, I had a natal birth reading performed where I was told my future by a man from India. He interpreted gifts I had received by virtue of being born under certain stars. He mentioned some wonderful gifts and his words were encouraging to me. But he started with a phrase that has stuck with me, "With the grace of God, you can change your stars!"
I thought of a scripture found in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 3:19 For the anatural bman is an cenemy to God, and has been from the dfall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he eyields to the enticings of the Holy fSpirit, and gputteth off the hnatural man and becometh a isaint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a jchild, ksubmissive,
meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things
which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth
submit to his father. (I apologize for not removing the footnotes as given in the online version of the scriptures.... too much work.)
The natural man. The person we were born to be according to the alignment of heaven and earth, the parents we were born to, the people we spend our days and nights with...
Unless we become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.
Through the grace of God, we become the light. We are not dragged down by our surroundings, but rather we are the light in the darkness. We outshine all other influences. Like attracts like, but with God's grace, we outshine all other influences and undo all other elements.
Missionaries, peace corp volunteers, priests, rabbis, reverends, nuns--all bring their love and their light into poor, dark places and they shine. They illuminate the love of God and they introduce elements of charity, love, forgiveness, and grace to people who might be without.
Or rather, they discover pockets of glorious people who perhaps have nothing but charity and truth to offer one another. And they are all edified together.
While it might be wonderful to cut out magazine pictures of Jaguars and large mansions, I believe there is merit to identifying what the world's most powerful teachers, prophets, and even the Savior, chose to attract.
My life is so blessed. I spend my days among people who prioritize love, art, kindness, compassion, truth, laughter, family, and joy.
I bring the light I have with me, but my light is compounded by the empathy and compassion of my dear herb loving roommate. My light is expanded by the support and love I find among my friends at the theatre. My light is enriched by my friends and customers at work. And at church, I have opportunity to be fellow citizens with the saints of God, encouraged by the good word of God.
I could tie things back to the first story I shared, but Yann Martel didn't bother to in his book Life of Pi, so I figure I'm not going to either. Besides, anything I say at this point would be didactic or self-congratulatory.
Today, I am grateful for the Law of Attraction and for the blessings that I attract everyday through my experiences with good people.