Do our thoughts determine our experience or does our experience determine our thoughts?
The Law of Attraction, while not a scientific law per se, is generally accepted to mean that "a person's thoughts (conscious and unconscious), emotions, and beliefs cause a change in the physical world that attracts positive or negative experiences that correspond to the aforementioned thoughts, with or without the person taking action to attain such experiences."
In simple terms, "you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your experience."
Where my belief systems part from this quasi-scientific law, or perhaps where its interpretation becomes abusive, is the general assumption that "good things happen to good people" and, conversely, "bad things happen to bad people."
I especially find it difficult to believe that people who experience tragedy, adversity and suffering have essentially earned their fate by something they did or because of some negative act or occurrence associated with that individual.
Did the citizens of New Orleans earn the devastation of Hurricane Katrina? Did the Jews deserve the Holocaust?
"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
While I obviously do not buy into some interpretations of the Law of Attraction, I do believe that our attitudes toward life can create self-fulfilling prophecy and, in this sense, "like attracts like," both negatively and positively:
If we believe that our dreams cannot be fulfilled, then we will not make an attempt to make our dreams a reality and, therefore, they will not come true.
If we pursue meaning as a destination in our lives, we are likely to be energized by hope and to be fulfilled by the pursuit of meaning itself, whether any particular destination is reached or not.
If we perceive money to be scarce, we are less likely to take risks with it and will hold our money closer to us; thereby, hindering our ability to attract it.
If we perceive money as abundant, we are more willing to take more risk with it and to give it to others, which increases the potential for money to grow and for others to realize its abundance; thereby, making it abundant.
If we share ourselves and our unique gifts with others, we create the momentum of giving that goes beyond ourselves, and this momentum consists of others sharing with others and others sharing with us.
If we attach a positive meaning to our suffering, rather than dwelling on the suffering itself, we enable ourselves to move beyond it.
If we are fearful of suffering, then we are already suffering.
If we feel that we are unattractive, then we have already made it so.
If we like ourselves, then we become more attractive to others.
I believe the Law of Attraction works to the degree that we choose to make it work, which is why I lean more toward the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy. While I consider myself a man of faith, I do not believe our lives are completely pre-destined but that we are given unique gifts and a certain capacity, the potential of which can only be fulfilled (or limited) by our self.
What are your thoughts and experiences on the Law of Attraction?