When Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret (book and film) came out in 2006, the world was made aware of the existence of one of the most powerful universal laws, the Law of Attraction. Technically, as you know, it wasn’t really a secret. Not only did a great number of people know about it but its content was never meant to be kept from anyone either. That’s my humble take anyway.
To Byrne’s credit, the LOA was indeed a mystery to the masses before she popularized it using brilliant marketing strategies and vernacular that resonated with self-help audiences worldwide. Personally, it took a few years before I aligned with it and a few more before I truly got it.
Similarly, the secret about emotions is not really a secret. Like the LOA, it’s there in plain sight for all to harness.
The Day I Uncovered The Secret
For a long time, the people closest to me repeatedly questioned about how I stayed “calm” or “rational” or “collected” in given situations where others generally lose it. To many of these same people, I was Mrs. Spock, too logical and sometimes quite insensitive. I actually don’t remember the exact day I became aware of what was “different” about me. I do remember though that it was after a disturbing experience…
It was a weekend night around 10 pm. I was coming back home from a friend’s house and heard some commotion as I approached the door to our apartment. Conflict in our home was a constant so I wasn’t overly surprised. I was actually more annoyed that my good day was going to end in a bad way.
Intending to flee straightaway to the safety of my bedroom, I opened the door and saw Dad with his two hands around Mom’s neck. I think I yelled but I’m not sure. If I didn’t, then, the surprise of my arrival startled him and he immediately let go of her. My Mom was shaking like a leaf and my Dad was visibly unsteady. That’s when the smell of alcohol – another household constant – reached my nostrils. Thirty years later, I still remember the feeling of calm and clarity that overcame me at that very moment.
As my Dad started towards me, zigzagging, it was clear that all I needed to do was push him out the door and lock it behind him. He was so drunk that even if he stood a good half foot above me and carried at least 80 more pounds, I did so almost effortlessly. Just in case he was still alert enough to use the key hiding under the doormat, I held the lock’s lever and looked through the peephole to monitor him. Meanwhile, I ordered my Mom to call the police while I kept guard. I’m not sure if it was the amount of alcohol she had absorbed or the shock that was affecting her most but I remember walking her through every step like you would with a five-year old. Finally, she picked up the phone book – there was no easy-to-remember 911 back then – and dialed the number to the police station.
During that time, my Dad kept pleading to let him in. He apologized profusely, another constant! I held that lever as strongly as I could even if he seemed to have no intention of bending down to grab the hidden key. He was so inebriated, he would have probably fallen if he tried. Fortunately, after what seemed to be a relatively short time, two officers arrived and handled the situation appropriately. Mom and I were safe.
My parents divorced the following year.
In the days and weeks that followed the event, I shared what had happened with a few friends. They seemed perturbed by how “unemotional” I was. They obviously felt compelled to soothe me but I had no need for it. From my standpoint, there honestly was nothing to be upset about.
It was this type of recurring reaction that caused me to eventually notice that I either had a certain skill or a serious problem!
And The Secret Is…
As a hard-core behavioural junkie, I read what I could find on what I intuitively thought was detachment. I learned lots and even became a bit concerned by some of the things I came across. I wondered whether this tendency of mine was an effective defense mechanism or a risky avoidance strategy. Keeping as objective an eye on myself as I could, I arrived at the conclusion that I would seek help if I ever began to spiral downward.
Eventually, what I came to understand is that my ability to dissociate – the official label to this psychological propensity – creates a sort of nano pause in the middle of any situation that calls for a new “state of mind.” In that very short instance, I seem to unconsciously choose the required emotion which guides me towards the behaviour that favours a more desirable outcome. (Friends, I’m not tooting my horn here, it’s just the weird way I’m wired!)
So, the capacity to change and choose the way I feel in any and every situation is what I’ve dubbed “the secret of emotions.” In the same way it took me time and information before I could harness the LOA, I trust that those who have yet to leverage the secret of emotions need the same.
My sincere intention is to provide the information, here and elsewhere on the web, and my sincere wish is that you will give yourself the gift of time.