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One thing that the self help movement loves to teach and re-teach is that we attract our reality, and specifically, that we attract certain people into our lives to teach us certain things. I’m down with that theory. 100%.

But here’s where the (people) attraction theory gets really dangerous — it’s with these bonus concepts: That we attract certain people because they are, on some level, a reflection of us. OR…(and this is where we really mess ourselves up) that since we attracted a loser into our lives, we must also be…a big loser.

I’ll be extremely poetic about this:

Just because you’ve brought a total jerkface a**hole into your reality, it doesn’t mean that they are mirroring your inner jerkface a**hole-ness. It might just mean that they’re a total jerk. And you’re not. And the only thing you need to “work on” is how to respond to them.

Want to know why jerks show up in your life? So that you can burn karma — old agreements to be broken in current time, vows to be rescinded, slates to be wiped clean. We attract jerks for contrast — jerks show us what deception and manipulation feels like. They show us how we don’t want to feel — which is excellent intel for knowing how we DO want to feel.

We attract jerks to show us how to love and protect ourselves and the all-wonderful beings in our lives (in which case, the jerkface we have to guard against, usually thinks that we have turned into a big jerk. But that’s to be expected.) We attract jerks because we don’t feel worthy of respect (but that’s okay, you can start requiring respect any time. Immediately would be good.) We attract jerks to find deep compassion, to uncork the curative powers of rage, to prompt the reclamation of sovereignty.

We attract jerks so that we can take back our power and heal. @DanielleLaPorte (Click to Tweet!)

They’re a jerk. You’re not. It’s just that karmic — and that great of an opportunity.

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul — the book that turned into a day planner system, a top iTunes app, and an international workshop program. A Desire Map workshop happens every weekend somewhere in the world. Author of The Fire Starter Sessions and the wildly popular #Truthbomb series, Danielle is also the co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan and co-host of the Beautiful Writer’s Group podcast.

Entrepreneur Magazine calls her “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” A speaker, poet, former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over four million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place online for kick-ass spirituality,” and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes. The Huffington Post named her Twitter feed as one of the “12 of Wisest Twitter Accounts Worth Following.” You can find her @daniellelaporte just about everywhere.