A friend recently told me she was “trying to figure out a balance between reality and trying to be positive and proactive.” My gut reaction was, “what do you mean reality?” Because isn’t that always the balance? Seeing something in front of you and it seeming like it can't work, but choosing faith anyway—that’s the foundation of life, manifestation, and christianity.
And it led me to to begin thinking about the basis of manifestation (or law of attraction) and how insanely similar it is to so many christian principles.
Let me first explain that I was raised in an evangelical church and the bible is the backbone of every belief. I was memorizing scriptures for candy as a 5 year old and studied apologetics as a 15 year old, so I feel like I have an okay grasp on the christian faith.
Also I love God endlessly, but that’s not really the point of this post.
The point is, reality is an absolute illusion. Before you stop reading this because you think I’m just going to start talking about the Matrix...I mean, yeah, you’re not wrong, it’s kind of like the Matrix.
BUT. It’s even better. Because we have a much bigger impact on life than just the “brains in a vat” theory believes.
Without going too deep, I want to share about one of the greatest things in our bodies: it’s called the reticular activating system (RAS). This super cool bundle of nerves is designed to filter through all the seemingly insignificant data that we’re taking in every second and keep only what matters the most to your specific brain, based on past experiences.
The initial purpose of this was to help us survive. Think about it: let’s say you’re walking through the forest and see a bear. Would you stand there and think to yourself “oh, what a pretty flower, I’m going to trim some of these and bring them home. Oh what should I make for dinner tonight?” No you would start RUNNING. Why? Because your RAS cares more about survival than it does about your house looking cute. It’s there to keep you alive. We’re constantly taking in so much input—it’s our RAS that makes it possible to latch onto what will keep us safe.
The RAS is all about patterns. So if you saw a bear in the past and it ate your little brother, you would probably stay away from bears from now on. This is where reality comes in. What if you saw a bear cub? You might think “oh that thing is a murderer” and you’d probably feel pretty confident in that. Why? Because your past bear experiences up to now have been rough and your brain is going to lump that all together and tell you to scoot even though that little cub is harmless.
Reality is a sham. Whatever your present circumstances are do not equal “reality.” So often we define reality as what that past has told us is possible. It might sound a little bit like this:
“Well you’ve never made money being an artist before, so you probably can’t do it now.”
“You’ve only had two serious relationships and neither of them were right, why keep trying? All the good ones are taken anyway.”
“The most you’ve ever made is $70,000. Why apply for another job when they’ll probably just pay me the same?”
Don’t be mad at your RAS, it’s just trying to keep you in line with your past so you don’t make any mistakes and create unnecessary pain (aka grow). It’s not a bully, it’s more of a...neurotic helicopter mom.
When you think you’re looking at reality, it’s really just your RAS handing you information it thinks you need to notice so you can make a safe decision. So you can imagine why my entrepreneur friend would struggle with staying positive and proactive when her RAS is probably screaming “OMG YOU HAVE NO INCOME RIGHT NOW. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO. NO MONEY, NO FOOD. WE’RE GOING TO STARVE AND THEN DIE.” Trying to “stay positive” in that headspace is near impossible.
So what do you do/how is this related to manifestation and christianity? Keep. The. Faith.
If your RAS is absolutely losing it because it’s picking up the wrong info, the solution is simple: give it a better problem to solve. Feed it better info. Give it more helpful resources. Create new patterns.
Start to show it a different reality. Begin to ask it to find the good happening, other ways you can make money, how you can pivot in your business, ways you can make the most of this time, what have you been putting off that you’ve really been wanting to do, how can you change the way you’re seeing life?
Because when it seems like it’s all about to fall apart, that’s when faith steps in and chooses to believe in the best possible outcome. And that’s manifestation 101 and Matthew 19:26 .