Louise Hay says, "For every habit we have, for every pattern we repeat, there is a need within us for it. The need corresponds to some belief we have. If there were not a need, we would not have it, do it, or be it. There is something within us that needs the fat, the poor relationships, the failures, the cigarettes, the anger, the poverty, the abuse, or whatever there is that's a problem for us. When the need is gone, you will have no desire for the over eating or the failures, or the negative pattern."
Wow. Don'tcha just love her?
Every outer effect is the natural expression of an inner thought pattern. In other words, we prove our beliefs. I heard that many years ago from a wonderful man named Bob Burr. He was leading a co-dependency workshop in Chattanooga, Tn. He followed that thought with examples of how he set out, albeit unconsciously, to prove his beliefs about women with his wife, Judy. I could truly hear the "GONG!" in my head.
Here is an example: If my inner thought pattern is "Men are controlling", then I will unconsciously look for behaviors in my husband that I can label as controlling and at some point say, "SEE?! Men are controlling! That proves it!"
Here's another one: If my inner thought pattern is "I don't deserve to feel good", then one of my outer effects can be poor health. Or I create wonderful, feel-good experiences in my life and unconsciously sabotage them because I won't allow myself to feel good for very long. My mother does this. I watch her sabotage her joy on a consistent and regular basis. She grew up in a home permeated with beliefs around scarcity. So joy, among other things, is ...rationed if you will. Not uncommon for people who grew up during the Depression.
Here's another physical manifestation of internal beliefs: If my thought pattern is "My boundaries aren't respected", then an outer effect can show up as added layers of protection/fat, which is a physical boundary.
If we have inner thought patterns of scarcity and lack, then we will live our lives from a place of scarcity and lack. And we will always be hungry for more. I have a friend who cannot have a conversation without giving some verbal expression and attention to lack of money. But interestingly, my friend has a beautiful, well-maintained home and always manages to pay the bills and have enough good food to eat. If I live from a place of lack, no matter what abundance I may have in my life, I cannot see anything but lack. It becomes my experience because it is what I live internally, not externally.
This scarcity and lack thing is an issue I have been intentionally working on changing in my life. I grew up with those messages and developed those beliefs in my own psyche. And it wasn't just around money. In my home growing up, the experience was there is not enough money, time, love, energy, attention, anything. It permeated everything. So in my family, we experienced the world from a place of "not enough".
The good news is we learned our beliefs, so we can UNlearn them. We can teach ourselves new thought patterns. It is a practice... just like meditation. I have been working with a particular affirmation. I look in the mirror into my own eyes. It goes something like this: "I now realize that I have created this condition, and I am now willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that is responsible for this condition. I release the need to create scarcity and struggle in my life. I deserve a life of ease, comfort, and joy. I now create an ABUNDANCE of good things in my life. I am now open to prosperity of health, prosperity of wealth, prosperity of relationship. I am open and receptive to all good!"
This practice of developing new thought patterns has created indescribable joy in my life. I am happier and more content than I have ever been. I had mistakenly thought that the way to that joy and contentment was in having the 'wealth' of things I thought I lacked. Only then would I feel ease, comfort, and joy. But what I discovered is that that kind of thinking is backwards. The key is to first change my thought patterns. That creates good feelings in my body; the joy, contentment, ease, etc. And then interestingly, when I am in that place of joy and contentment, it appears that from that place is where I create and attract the external 'wealth'. Ah-Ha! Who knew?