Dear Commenter X,

A million thanks for reading and commenting on my piece All Because I Got Sick, a raw and emotional post about the financial devastation brought upon my family by years of having to deal with my serious illness. A piece that took me three drafts, four slices of humble pie, and a bucket of tears to write. I also want to extend my eternal gratitude for suggesting that I watch the documentary The Secret to try to learn how to “outsmart” the tough times life has brought me.

No, really, I mean it. Thank you a thousand times over because when I read that I seriously had the best laugh I’ve had in well over a decade. I could laugh right now just thinking about how hard I laughed when I read your comment. And I am, laughing that is, right now. I’m thinking about your suggestion and busting out into peals of laughter. Your comment truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Cannot stop laughing over here.

I’ve never seen The Secret, but I’m familiar with the premise. You attract what you think about or some bullshit like that. According to The Secret, if my life is miserable it’s because I’m thinking miserable thoughts and if I were to just think more positively then good stuff would come my way. Which, I can say, has to be somewhat true because I think about Skittles a lot and they are almost always in my life.

I have to be real with you, though, I think The Secret is an absolute crock, complete and utter useless garbage. I wanted to just say that to you, but I was kind of feeling a little bit guilty about it because, like I said, I’ve never actually seen The Secret. I am a woman of integrity, after all. Integrity and profanity.  Ok, integrity, profanity, and junk food! And, a woman of integrity shouldn’t say something sucks balls unless they know it for a fact.

Soooooooooooooooo, I popped myself a big old bag of popcorn and poured myself a glass of wine, snuggled into bed, and watched The Secret.

All 90-something minutes of it. An hour and a half of my life that I’ll never get back.

And, now that I’ve seen The Secret, I feel completely comfortable telling you, with absolute certainty, that The Secret really is bullshit. It is an absolute crock. Complete and utter useless garbage, of that I am now sure. Like, this shit is the worst. The. Worst. It is the essential oils of the documentary world.

Let’s start with the production quality, high school A/V club all the way. My 11 year old makes more visually appealing videos about what he builds on Minecraft. I take better Snapchat videos than this. Billy Mays, allegedly coked up infomercial king, were he to come back from the dead and star in The Secret: The Infomercial, would ask the producers to step it up a notch on the cinematography. Billy’s a professional, ya know? He has standards.

The actual content of The Secret is just as bad, if not worse. The panel of “experts” is composed of a couple of authors, a doctor (a D.O. mind you, not an M.D.), a metaphysician (HUH?), a couple of physics guys, and someone who is labeled a visionary. A visionary. That means nothing. Colleges don’t give out Visionary Arts degrees. Well, maybe the shitty online ones do, but you aren’t leaving Harvard with one.

So, they’re all like, The Secret is everything, man. The Secret, is like, it’s like, dude, it’s like everything and we’re all made up of energy and we’re magnets and the universe is your personal genie. You just, like, ask for what you want and BAM! The universe gives it to you because the universe will sing a song. Or I’ll sing a song and the universe will like it or the universe and I will make a duet like Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton or something like that. Islands in the stream, that is what we are. I don’t know. It wasn’t making much sense at that point.

In all that mess I did discover there are 3 steps to The Secret:

1.) Ask

2.) Believe

3.) Receive

The documentary illustrates these steps through a short vignette of a little boy wishing he had a jazzy new red Schwinn. And who can blame him? Schwinn bikes are the shit, am I right? So, let’s just call this big dreaming little scamp, Timmy. Timmy wants that bike something fierce. He’s green with envy when he sees the neighborhood kids riding around on their Schwinns and he cuts out a picture of one and he believe with all his little Timmy heart that he’s going to get that bike.


One day!

Grandpa shows up to his front door with, you guessed it, a shiny new red Schwinn.

Well, duh, Timmy, that’s what grandpas do. They get you the good stuff. It’s literally their job, the thing they live to do. Plus, he was probably sick of hearing you whine about not having that bike and just wanted you to shut your punk ass up. Geez, Timmy, get it together.

Clearly this ask, believe, receive part is bullshit. Otherwise, I’d be making out with Benicio Del Toro right this very second. Because there aren’t too many things I believe in more strongly than my desire to play tonsil honkey with the Academy Award winning star of Traffic.

But, then it’s gets even bullshitier. Yeah, I know that’s not really a word, but I believed it was and, lo and behold, it’s a word now. The universe is my genie, after all. The Secret contends that illness is created from stress and from our not being grateful and loving enough. So, those of you that haven’t already done so had better write grandma a thank you note for that $5 check she sent you when you were eight years old or you’re definitely going to get herpes.

According to The Secret and Bob the Philosopher, the more I talk about my disease, the more disease I’m going to create. Well, damn, Bob, you could have told me that before I started this blog and wrote approximately 8 billion words (give or take) on my tumor. I guess I’m going to drop dead any second now. Also, “incurable means curable from within”, so buck up you terminal folks. You are a mere few positive thoughts away from shrinking that brain tumor or stopping your Parkinson’s.

Look, Commenter X, I’m sure you meant well, but c’mon. The Secret? The motherfucking Secret? Fuck that. I’m not in debt because I think about debt. I’m in debt because oral chemo is expensive. I don’t have a rare tumor because I didn’t think positively enough. I have a rare tumor because I have a defect in one of my genes. And the tumor is dead because of chemo and the debt is being paid off because I now have more money coming in than going out. That’s no secret.

The only real and true secret to life is that it’s unpredictable and chaotic and you will never outsmart it. In fact, if you spend your time thinking that you will, you’ll miss out on some of the greatest parts of your life. The best you can ever hope for is to learn to ride the waves as they come. And with the right friends and chocolate and trash TV and junk food and adult beverage of your choosing, the waves can actually be the best part. The waves are where you find out what life is all about.

And, unlike The Secret, that’s no bullshit.




*Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.