Taking the Bull(shit) by the Horns

A comment left on The Brick, Part 2:

Isn’t this is a grand pity party – what I have to say is not what you want to hear.

There is a definitely a lot of shock value in a highly intelligent and educated woman saying, writing, and thinking “fuck” a lot. That’s what the Universe is hearing, reading, and believing about you, and that’s what the Universe is giving you. Its the Law of Attraction at work – what you focus on tends to increase – what you give is what you get. Is that how you really who you want to be? Is that how you really deal with your kids? Is that how you coo to your baby? Regards

You know, there is a very, very fine line between appearing defensive and offering an explanation for your own opinion.

So please, bear with me as I undertake a very diplomatic, very nuanced, very measured approach to this post and my associated non-defensive feelings to the aforesaid comment.

So to begin with: FUCK THAT.

Told ya it was going to be measured and diplomatic.

Here’s the deal: I have a long and storied relationship with The Secret (in caps, of course), or the Law of Attraction (copyright-trademark-all-rights-reserved-and-whatnot). Please click here and here if you’re interested in a few of my posts referencing that very concept.

In summary: I think it’s bullshit.

cup_smirkBut the bullshittiness of The Secret, in my opinion, is the completely narrow-minded way some people (ahem: I’m referring to you, dear commenter) choose to understand and execute it.

So yeah, that comment absolutely reflects the inherent nature of the bullshittery associated with that narrow-minded execution of an otherwise beautiful concept.

(Quick aside: Did you notice two conjugations of “bullshit” into descriptive nouns there? Pretty cool, am I right?)

Anyhow, back to the point: To suggest that I in any way “invited” an unspeakable tragedy into my life — into my family’s life — by using the word “fuck” abundantly?

Complete fucking bullshit.

So gather around, dear blogging friends, as I undertake a brief explanation of my beliefs. I won’t belabor the points here, because they’re fairly basic.

If you sit around all day uttering the words, “I’m going to win the lottery today. I’m going to win the lottery today.” Guess what? The Universe couldn’t care less.

What The Universe does care about, I believe, is the spirit and intention in and through which you reflect a hope — a desire.

A goal.

And by “The Universe” in this sentence, I am not referring to the gaseous-nebulous-ethereal-hazy cosmos surrounding the floating heavenly planets in infinite space.

Nope. I’m referring to “The Universe” surrounding us: The people, experiences and actions we encounter and undertake daily.

If we put out into that Universe that we are going to win the lottery today — through our actions (buying lottery tickets, namely — probably a shit-ton of them, to be honest) and our intentions (being optimistic and open to the idea, which translates to excitement and thus the intentional creation of more opportunities to play and win the lottery) — well, then: You’ll probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than, say, I do.

Because I don’t fucking play the lottery.

Nor do I sit around repeating “I’m going to win the lottery today,” hoping beyond hope that the gaseous-nebulous-ethereal-hazy cosmos surrounding the floating heavenly planets in infinite space hears me and makes it so in some grand, enchantedly supernatural, magically delicious surprise.

But I do think some people (ahem: I’m referring to you, dear commenter) believe that.

Sure: I use the word “fuck.”

A lot.

But that doesn’t mean I approach life like I don’t give a fuck.

Or that I hope to be fucked by the universe.

Or that being fucked over time and again is my fundamental, subconscious or otherwise, goal.

Nope. I use the word “fuck” because I like it.

I think it’s funny. It makes me chuckle.

And it succinctly articulates a variety of concepts, emotions and sentiments, all in one tidy, pint-sized 4-letter package.

So, if you’re following along, the intention behind my words: Humor. Sass. Spirit.

I approach life with humor, sass and spirit. And in turn, I get a lot of humor, sass and spirit back. (Just take a look around at all of you, dear readers. I see you with that sassy, irreverent look on your face. I like you.)

But as with all aspects of The Secret or the Law of Attraction, there are some things in life you can’t expect, you can’t predict, you don’t invite. No matter how good a person you are, no matter how grounded and wise you are, no matter how many bricks you successfully avoid that are lobbed at you — one or two are going to hit.

That’s life.

I am a good person. Inherently, I know without a doubt that I am a good person. I have high morals, integrity and an open-minded, people-oriented, embracing spirit.

And yes, I use the word “fuck.”

A lot.

And no: I do not coo it to my baby like some people might suggest (ahem: I’m referring to you, dear commenter).

But what I do say to my baby — to all three of my amazing children, in fact — is this: Live life with integrity. Live life as an open-minded, people-oriented, embracing spirit. Have high morals.

Be good.

But do this all with humor, sass and spirit. Because too many people take things too seriously, and being “good” can only go so far in life without the humor, sass and spirit to back you up when times get shitty. And they will.

Because when life hands some people a ton of you-can’t-make-this-shit-up moments (this time I’m NOT referring to you, dear commenter)…sometimes all you have left is one word.


So now, Dear Universe (and this time, I’m referring to the people surrounding me. Namely, you. Not the gaseous-nebulous-ethereal-hazy cosmos surrounding the floating heavenly planets in infinite space. Just to be clear):

  1. Your thoughts on my favorite word?
  2. Your interpretation of The Secret or the Law of Attraction?
  3. Your reaction to my measured, nuanced and diplomatic post?

Ok. Non-defensive rant over.

And that felt fucking good. So thank you.

And thank you also for the supportive comments, feedback, and even some reader donations to my annulment/name change/therapy fund over the course of the last few days. You guys astound me.

Now I’m off to utter the words “I’m going to win the lottery today” and hope for some magically delicious surprise from infinite space.




27 thoughts on “Taking the Bull(shit) by the Horns

  1. Carol M says:

    Fucking awesome! Indeed, let’s not point fingers or name names, but this commenter couldn’t spot a fucker target to try to fuck around with. I hope she does not get too fucking frustrated. Have to go home now while listening to Lana del Rey’s Song’ Fucked My Way Up To The Top’. Cheers!

  2. Jodi says:

    Well. You handled that stupid uneducated buffoun conmentor a lot better than I would have. I simply would have said fuck you and then blocked (his?) Sorry ass. Can you even do that in a blog? I hope so.

    I think The Universe concept is a lot of bullshit. I do beleive you can create a self fullfulling prophecy to some degree. If you tell yourself over and over again you’re going to have a shitty day chances are you’re going to have a shitty day. There are so many areas of life which we have no control (like winning the fucking lottery) of which no amount of positive thinking is going to change. And we can’t “positive thinking” a asshole into acting like anything but a asshole. We can just tell said asshole to take a fucking hike.

    And that’s what I think about that.

    Having a awesome fucking brilliant day.


  3. uneffingbelievable says:

    I think you have much bigger fish to fry than the “Universe”. It’s hilarious to me that people actually believe that the Universe can be manipulated. There are people in this world who are having bombs dropped on their houses, children dying of AIDS, people are actually starving to death. But they want you to believe you can stop those bombs from falling on your house if you put that request out into the universe in just the right way? Or maybe get the Viking stove you covet? Fucking idiots. Hope you are hanging in there.

  4. Jackie Ruiz Shelton says:

    I agree with you 100% and I’m saying this as a big fan of the Secret/Law of Attraction.

    When life knocks you about the head, as it has in recent months, you can’t just bury your head in the sand and keep telling yourself it’s all good. You also have to deal with your shit. And the F-word is one fantastic way of dealing with it. Eventually, you’ll get to the other side and you can Secret what you need. But I don’t think anyone can reasonably expect you to be all happy Pollyanna now.

  5. O. Leonard says:

    Fuckin’ A. Well said. It’s also my favorite word and I use much like punctuation. I don’t think it’s caused me any bad karma except in 2nd grade when the damn teacher heard me utter (scream) the word on the playground just happening to be under the 2nd grade window during recess. Got my mouth washed out with soap the one and only time. Led to a satisfying period of notoriety for the remainder of the school year. Oh, and believing you will win the lottery will not help you win the lottery. Picking the right numbers will, and you know the fucking odds of that.

  6. monicastangledweb says:

    Well, did you at least buy a lottery ticket? I hear that helps increase the odds of winning. But I digress. Fuck, where was I? Oh yeah, apropos of nothing, we should meet up for a Diet Coke binge. Whaddaya think?

  7. Kristen says:

    Being open to the positive certainly doesn’t by definition exclude the use of a well needed “fuck you” or “fuck no”
    or “motherf*cker” here and there…and certainly sometime saying/writing/screaming those things into the universe is the only possibly way to hold onto any sense of the positive. Fuck, yeah 🙂

  8. Forrest Hartman says:

    For the record, I am a fan of positive thinking. I say this because I don’t see how any good can come out of negative thinking and, frankly, I am less productive when I get into a funk. The problem with THE SECRET is that it argues that positive thinking is all it takes for success. As you pointed out, quite nicely I might add, this is ridiculous.

    Positive thinking helps because …
    A) It keeps you motivated. If you are sure you will fail, you will. Why? Because you won’t really try.
    B) It makes you feel better and, thus, makes you more likely to achieve goals than if you are sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.
    C) Positive people are attractive to other people, and much of the success we enjoy in this life comes from relationship building. In America, a lot of success also comes from being wealthy. That means you can afford to be a real asshole if you have a lot of money, but most of us will benefit from being nice … and positive.

    But none of that has to do with the Law of Attraction, which isn’t so much a law as a fairy tale. Nobody will ever convince me that children (or anyone else for that matter) who are fighting cancer are doing so because they REALLY, REALLY wanted a life-threatening disease. They will also fail to convince me that Kim Kardashian has a lot of really nice stuff because she sits around all day wishing for really nice stuff. It probably helped (a little) that her parents were incredibly wealthy and that our celebrity-obsessed culture makes it easy for famous people to get even wealthier.

    One also wonders why the Universe would be intent on giving guys like Hitler and Stalin their ways. Yeah, they both died in the end, but they had pretty good runs, no? And they had those runs at the expense of A LOT of folks who apparently weren’t using the Law of Attraction correctly. If only THE SECRET had been published a lot earlier. 😉

    As for use of the word, “fuck.” I think overuse — like overuse of any word — diminishes power. But that’s just me.

    Anyone who thinks swear words lead to a dismal life would do well to look at guys like filmmaker Kevin Smith. In a phone interview, he once told me that his fatherly advice to his daughter was not to fear words. To do anything else, he said, would be hypocritical because Daddy made a lot of money penning screenplays with the word “fuck” in them.


  9. JZinDC says:

    I have no problem with the word, using it, or using it around my 12 year old (although I know others will disagree with this last point). I want my son to understand that “obscene” words like fuck are only for limited use because of arbitrary and culture-specific word taboos that relate back to horribly dated and repressive concepts of decency and sex. They harm nobody and target no aggrieved groups. These words are discint from slurs, which are never to be used. Accordingly, growing up and learning how and when to use obscene language so as to oa vouid offense that harms relationships, jobs, etc. is fine and when he is older I will trust him to make these choices. So keep on saying the word, and ignore the nonsense bullshit that using a word attracts anything.

  10. Elizabeth Lee says:

    I’m not a big user of the f-word. I’m a middle-aged woman from The South™ and it’s not my thing. However, I don’t have a problem with other people using it. You need strong words for harsh situations. I wonder sometimes if the word is losing its shock value due to overuse, but, gee, Mikalee, you’re in a shocking situation and deserve to throw around as many f-bombs as you need.

    As far as The Secret/Law of Attraction/Speaking Events into Existence Crap? It’s crap.

  11. Jill says:

    Seriously? You’re supposed to put your “intentions” out into the universe to get what you want? So what about those folks with cancer or fibromyalgia or ALS? Did they get that because they DIDN’T put their intentions out there to not get sick? And what about those folks who put those good intentions out into the universe but still got sick? I’ve gotta call bullshit on that concept.

    It’s been my observation that folks tend to anthropomorphize damn near everything to put it in a context that is easier for them to understand. Like the universe. Which is actually inert as far as feelings and meanings go and as such doesn’t give a damn what a person’s intentions are. So you can put all of your good intentions out there and still get hit sideways by unpleasantness. In other words, sometimes shit just happens.

    And it doesn’t matter how good your bullshit detector is; there’s always someone out there who is better at hiding their bullshit. For most folks, this ability is something that they’ve learned over time, on a per-experience basis. But there are some folks who were born with world-class bullshitting ability who will always be able to get past the detectors of mere mortals.

  12. pye savage says:

    There is a rule in the world of construction called the Rule of F’s, depending on where you are in the food chain relating to where someone else is requires a variable number of fucks to be strung together in a sentence. For instance an electrician might need at least two fucks to even get an apprentice’s attention but just one when discussing something with another electrician. The same electrician might need a fuck this fucking fucker and get this fucking thing out of my fucking way to interact with some other trade in a professional manner, usually a mininum of seven.
    A project manager has an unlimited number of fucks to pull out in case the bad thing happens. I once used 13 in a video conference with a well known software/data center company and I was just warming up.
    General fuckery is always on the horizon and needs to be met with an equal level of fuckedness just to hold one’s even fucking keel. If I sailed fucking even keels would be the order of the day.
    There is a reason that predatory decptive behavior is practiced by predators and we are always by nature playing catch-up, hopefully before we are wholly consumed, in the meantime if you ever need to borrow a few spare fucks I keep them in a large bin next to my desk, they automatically resupply, I’ve yet to see the bottom , this is the nature of life.

  13. Julie Frayn says:

    I fucking love your favourite word. The Secret aka Law of Attraction is crap. Fucking crap. Huge pile of steaming fucking crap. And your measured, nuanced, and diplomatic post was full of sass, humour, and spirit. Like everything you write. Keep it the fuck up.

  14. The Guat says:

    I can’t fucking believe the fucking balls on some fucking people … Are you fucking kidding me? Was that your ex or leaving a note on your blog, or his current chic giving you crap because I remember a while back the only negative commenter you had happened to be the person responsible for the “brickgining”. In any case as you can see by this WP community we totally get your sass and humor and give you plenty of support and cheer you on when you grab the bull(shit) by the horns. Awesome post.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Well said. There are always going to be people who automatically turn off at the use of curse words or bad spelling or bad grammar or whatever their trigger thing may be. It is a shame, because as a result, they will miss out on the valuable things a lot of people have to say.

    As for the “what you put out is what you get back” thing, I think it has value to a limited and very local extent, but I also think it’s throwing some serious judgement at people who, say, happen to live in Gaza. Bad things don’t just happen to bad or negative people and good things don’t just happen to good or positive people. (And using the word “fuck” in no way puts you in one camp or the other.) That’s not how the world works and to think it is, is incredibly simplistic.

  16. kitchenmudge says:

    Had pretty well given up on you until I saw the last two posts. Very sorry that our gain in reading has to be your loss. I won’t Google to find out exactly what happened. Figure you’ll tell us in your own sweet fucking time.

    You used to like my graphics:

  17. joanneinjax says:

    Happy New Year Mikalee,
    When will we here from you again? I so want to hear how you are doing and read your wonderful prose. If you don’t feel like posting, email me.
    xoxo to you and your children,

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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