Elvis Costello and the (Law of) Attractions
April 28, 2016

Like Elvis Costello’s aim, every word of this story is true.

Do you find the movie the Secret interesting but hokey? I do, and I have a lot of personal anecdotes that support it’s claims, however something does not quite sit right. So gather around and ponder on this tale, I would love to know what you think.

The lurgy (thanks Spike Milligan for such a great word) had struck. The weekend was cursed and I had barely got out of bed. I considered myself cheated and I was feeling sorry for myself. Here is a little confession, I am no fun to be around when my ADHD self is robbed of outside or adventure time. The last few months must have been hell for my family following the incarceration of injury. Anyway, the weekend had passed in a blur of sweat and sheets and I had not accomplished anything. It was Monday morning and work was the last place I wanted to be.

Kimberly offered to drive so that I did not have to walk and as I got in the car I said something along the lines of, “I don’t want to go to f@#$ing work!” My mouth is sometimes akin to the small item of plastic furniture our toddler gleefully filled, he smiled a lot more during his call to duty though. Immediately, I realized Henry Ford would happily wag his finger at me and tell me I was right and yes with an attitude like this I was going to have a miserable day. Kim validated Henry. Dig deep Wil. The next words out of my gritted teeth were a struggle, “What am I going to do to have a good day today?” By the time I exited the car 5 minutes later I had had plenty of time to ponder. With a fresh sense of purpose I strode out, maybe I even strutted. I was determined to have a good day and it would happen because I was not only going to allow it, I was going to “be the change”.

A few minutes later when I looked at my schedule I had to fight back the urge to become Mr Pouty and loose my poop in a mass of flailing arms and tears. Then I remembered leaving the car? “What am I going to do to have a good day?” So I started with a smile, maybe like a New Ager I could “Fake it ’til I make it.” Then it was into the fracas, dealing with other people’s frayed emotions and trying not to saddle myself with their “stuff”. (It’s a hard task for an empath.)

The next thing I know I am looking at the name “Elvis Costello” and I am thinking what kind of joker signs in like that. My initial glance at the man had me wondering who tries to impersonate someone. Then I looked a little closer and it was him, the man who had written the soundtrack to my youth. Sure, totally out of context but the real deal none the less. (And, looking good for a man in his 60’s I might add.)

Here is some background. During my teens Elvis Costello was writing some clever and angst filled music which totally met the needs of an angry, adolescent, hormonally charged, spotty kid head on. Then as those same hormones, left me in an emotional mess, crying over some girl who did not reciprocate my intense (but in retrospect oh so misguided) feelings, he was there with tunes sweet enough to do the job of a dozen boxes of Kleenex. He charged from angry, to melancholy, to uplifting, to soothing without raising an eyebrow. He was prolific and with a wit so sharp he not only captured typical moments I understood through experience, he allowed me to reexamine them.

Here was the man, the myth, the legend right in front of me. And do you know what? I got to say thank you. Not very eloquently, not explaining why he had been so important in my life. But I got to say thank you. And then I got to help him. It wasn’t the life saving help of a surgeon but it was aid non the less. How good does that feel?

So what is my point? Well its three fold. Firstly, when you put it out into the world that you are taking your destiny into your own hands, good things happen. When you think about, define and focus on what you want to happen it generally does. Secondly, when you take your gifts and share them you find fulfillment. Elvis Costello struck me as a humble, happy and kind man, appreciative of the magic he has found that surrounds him. Thirdly, gratitude is a panacea, it really does cure all ills. Its funny, my ailments melted away inexplicably, I found my happy place and what is more I was able to re-visit some of those melancholic teenage years and see them through the lens of acceptance.

You’ve got to love chance encounters.

So what do you think? Is the Law of Attraction a crock of potty solids? Is fulfillment (happiness) borne of living to your potential? Is gratitude the one true snake oil? Tell me your thoughts. Is Elvis Costello brilliant? And, who wrote the sound track to your life?