Much has been said about the inadequate ‘law’ of attraction. (Yes, ‘the secret’ that is so heavily marketed that it is no secret. The ultimate secret of True Happiness is an open one though — the Buddha’s teachings.) Let us now look at what is somewhat the opposite, which I call the law of resistance. The bad news is that you ‘attract’ what you dread, in one way or another, time and again — until you muster enough compassion and wisdom to face it (for yourself and/or others). What you resist persists naturally.
What you dread never really goes away by itself because the dread is in you — wherever you go. Some see this as the universe’s way of stimulating growth, while I would say it is just your karma and biased perception at work — presenting to you what is present in you. Whether your experiences lead you towards or away from enlightenment is entirely up to you.
Of course, with moral guidelines against harm of self and others intact, this is not a call to try anything and everything foolish. Perhaps with great ‘pain’ at first, when letting go of resistance for facing the dreaded, the lessons you will learn will be even greater, thus worth it. This is truly ‘no pain, no gain.’ What needed is not so much forceful confrontation, but calm mindfulness of what is dreaded. When the dreaded is experienced just as it is, something interesting happens — the dread dissolves, fear disappears.
This is possible as when you learn to see the dreaded as it is, you will realise that it is different from the dread itself, which is self-imposed onto it. The pain from dread is always initially mild, but it can intensify when you keep resisting, with increasing aversion. This is not pain from the dreaded per se, but from resistance. For some, being in the waiting room for an hour can be more painful that seeing the dentist for ten minutes!
Even if they are not realised, universal truths will keep manifesting in your life, including hard truths – because truths are always around. Other than past karmic reasons, everything does happen for a reason (or more) — the one(s) you choose presently — so do choose carefully, including what you wish to attract and resist. There is no super-intelligent being playing pranks to test you; just an occasionally deluded one falling for unrecognised self-created traps — you!
Whatever you experience is ‘punishing’ only when you miss its educational value, and rewarding only when you truly learn. The natural cycles of ‘rebirth’ from life to life (and within this life) are wonderful ongoing opportunities for overcoming your spiritual roadblocks, till you clear them all — which is when you are liberated from all suffering. [Republished from year 2008, as edited and extended]