Television plots are ripe with manifestation. It’s what a story is, we need a hook, a plot, a reason to root for the characters to get anything they want. We get an imaginary world where boyfriends are a dime a dozen, you can marry your best friend, you can get any job regardless of your qualifications and if you need a job, well the right person will just be there and by the end of an episode, you will have exactly what you want.
Show of hands.
How many of us have been in a restaurant complaining to our best friend about our employment history only to have the guy sitting next to us just happen to not only be in the industry you want to work in but also happen to know of a job in that field?
Anyone? Or was that just a plot from Friends?
Here’s the question, has this fictional version of life messed with our heads so much that it has given us this false hope that it can happen in real life? That all we have to do is visualize and pray and manifest and there it is, in sixty minutes or less we are planning our weddings while sitting in our corner office overlooking the entire city of wherever you want to live?
We see the posts on Facebook:
“I visualized and put it out into the universe that I would land my dream job and/or my perfect man and I got exactly what I wanted.”
We read these posts and wonder, “wait, why not me? or “why am I not that lucky?” “Am I not visualizing/manifesting/praying enough or correctly?” The rest of us go on a string of failed dates and are doing everything in their power to apply for that dream job only to be rejected and it doesn’t matter how many times we imagine it happening, it’s not happening. At least not now.
So is this idea of praying/manifesting/visualizing just a fictional, made for television way of looking at the world? Is it too easy? Vision boards are like storyboards for sitcoms and dramas. Here’s what will happen in Act 1 and by the final act, well, everything will end happily. I will be living the life I was meant to live.
Lately, the real world seems to be a far more depressing place. You can imagine your dream job down to the outfit you will wear, where you will go to lunch and imagine the meetings you will attend, only to be rejected from the job. You can imagine your wedding day down to the last detail, know where you want your future children to go to school only to go on yet another date with a guy who will never speak to you again after that outing or tell you he’s not interested. You can imagine your novel being loved by millions or going on Ellen to promote it only to receive yet another letter saying that it’s not what they’re looking for and to the millions of truly struggling people out there, the truly broken, whose to say they haven’t visualized a better life for themselves and have found it led to nothing.
So how do we fight this whole fantasy story or do we fight it? There are plenty of people that do fight it. We see the negative Facebook posts declaring it all to be fake. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of writing a few. There are the eye rolls at the people who talk openly about the luck they had just simply by putting things out into the universe. All of it seems like a television plotline. “I wanted this character and that character to get together by the end. I wrote it and they did.” Is there a fight to be had or is it just something nice to look at, to comfort us as the real struggles threaten to take us down. It’s like wrapping yourself in a blanket when you feel sick. You’re still sick, but the blanket is nice.
Maybe we have to look at those “putting things into the universe and being successful” posts the same way we would look at a plot of a television show. People don’t typically post the number of rejections they get. They don’t post the tears, the pain, the number of times their dream job was not to be or how many times they stared at their emails, hoping someone would respond or every time the phone rang and thought, “well, this has to be for a job” only for it to be from someone selling life insurance or a trip to Cancun. So just like the plot to a television show, all this manifestation/visualizing/praying is just that….a plot. It’s just nice but there’s no basis in reality or it’s an altered reality that is instead purely fiction.
The real work has nothing to do with the universe or a higher power or a vision board, it has to do with you. Sending the resumes, the cover letters, letting the rejections bounce off you like Teflon. It’s listening to the people telling you to give up because you’re clearly not good enough while you keep on working because someone somewhere is going to finally say yes because you know you’re good enough. It’s about you as you keep working and working and working some more. Maybe put away the vision boards and rework the resume, that might make more of a difference or update your dating pictures and keep going out until finally, there’s a connection in both your professional and personal life. Then at the end of the day, you’ll finally be able to sit back and say….it was worth it.