Money Got You Down… Feel Better Now

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trapped… Frustrated... Overwhelmed... Drowning… Powerless...

These words are what many use to describe their feelings toward money right now. Everywhere you turn there are stories of people going under, losing more than just their jobs or homes but losing hope as well.

It’s been tough to feel good about finances lately, but it is possible. You can begin right now to let go of the debilitating anxiety, turn around fearful thoughts of impending disaster, and instead allow feelings of hope and freedom back into your life.

The first step is to stop believing you’re a victim. In any situation you have a choice. Though the options before you may not be the best, you still have a choice. If you’re one of many families facing foreclosure or eviction, you may be thinking you have no choices, but you do. It may sound harsh, but you are choosing to eat over paying your mortgage. You are choosing to move out and find something more affordable. When you stop saying ‘there’s nothing we can do’ and instead decide ‘it’s not what I want, but this is what we are doing’ you begin to feel in control of your life once again. And that control is empowering, something many are desperate to feel.

Secondly you must remember that you are still good enough. Men who have lost income and can no longer maintain a past lifestyle tend to feel they are failures. They feel they have no worth as husbands and fathers unless they are able to provide for their families. Women facing tough financial choices also feel like failures in that they cannot create the home they feel their families deserve. Many believe everything is ‘all my fault’ and carry the tremendous burden of guilt and shame over the circumstances they find themselves in. They berate themselves, saying things like “you always do this”, “Nothing ever works out”, “You are so worthless”, “Look at the mess you’ve gotten us into” or worse. While it’s true that your choices may have been the best in regard to money management, you were doing the best you could with what you had. You can’t change the past, but you can create a new future. In order to do that you must identify then change the patterns that got you here in the first place. Beating yourself up isn’t going to help you do that. Forgive yourself for the ‘mistakes’ you’ve made.

When working with clients who feel they have failed, have no worth or hate their lives, I often ask them what they would say to a small child who had just failed. Would you really remind them over and over how worthless, useless and dumb they are? Or would you wrap your arms around them, encourage them and help them do better next time? I hope you would love them, and now I’d like you to imagine encouraging yourself in the same way. You are still good enough. You are good enough to be loved, you are good enough to have a wonderful job and beautiful home, and most importantly you are good enough to be happy. You’ve punished yourself enough, it’s time to let that go. “I am still good enough”. Try it now and see how it feels.

Lastly, love your money! It never helps to feel bitter and resentful, so love the money you do have. Thank it and yourself for all the bills you can pay, the food you are able to buy. I know it’s difficult to see the good when there is so much we feel we are lacking, but being sad isn’t going to change it.

I wish there were magic recipe to bring resounding joy to everyone’s lives, but in truth I think the most any of us can hope for is to feel better. Every day, working to pull yourself up one thought at a time until you feel that blessed release, when the anxiety or fear abates, and you can relax a bit

Empower yourself. Money is only a tool. It does not control your life, you do. Take back that control by owning your choices and caring for yourself enough to create something better. Remember you are only a victim if you believe you are. Love your money and love yourself. It’s ok to be where you are right now, and it’s also ok to start to feel better.

As always it is my goal to help uplift, inspire and heal other’s lives.

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