For a lot of years now I’ve struggling to come to terms with the emotional pain in my heart… pain that has NOTHING to do with money but has deeply impacted the flow of money into my life.
Pain is a tough topic. Emotional pain is easy to dismiss, but the physical pain gets attention easier. A lifestyle that money can buy, the kind that’s displayed at every swipe on Instagram, tricks us into thinking that money is the answer to escape our pain. No one escapes pain. If someone tells you that, they are flat out lying.
I’ve been working through the grief of 5 miscarriages over the last 12 years and something I’ve learned is that the only way to heal is to feel my way through the darkness. I grew up believing that the best way to cope with disappointment, sadness, & unhappiness is to simply counteract those with being the most positive, the most optimistic, to be stoic and noble in my response to the heartache and disappointment. To not let people see how truly broken I am. The cruel part of life is that in our pain, OUR world has stopped… and yet the world around us keeps moving on.
When your world has crumbled for whatever reason it becomes the crossroads of descending into the pain or taking the road of denial and unhealthy coping. I took the coping road for way too many years. Money and it’s many moods became my unexpected tutor in that coping road. Part of coming to terms with my pain is healing my relationship with the power I have given money and the pursuit of it in my life.
I’ve found it easy for me to feel that money reflects my value. This is a lie, but it’s easy for anyone to believe because the world is built upon this idea. I’ve read so many different “MONEY MINDSET” books because since I became a wife & mother I’ve always struggled with the routines of money management. It’s as enjoyable to me as doing the dishes, folding laundry, and cleaning the toilet. This has lead me to think – “Well, if I’m not good at managing it, then I will just make more of it”. Enter my entrepreneurial spirit and a successful business many years later. Still though, even in my “success”, I continue to struggle with debt and not feeling like I’m worthy of monetary success and security. Is it only about the management of money? Or, is there something deeper going on… which is where I now see how MONEY HAS EXPOSED MY PAIN.
So my goal has become this: look at the pain, deal with the grief, come to terms with all that is hard for me to accept about myself and the way my life has turned out so far at age 40.
Recently I picked up the book “The Illusion of Money”, by Kyle Cease. I actually bought this book on pre-order last year because I was so excited to consider money from a different perspective. I had just finished Kyle’s book “I Hope I Screw This Up” and found his thoughts and humor refreshing in the personal development space, which can often become too heavy. I appreciate a humorous approach to this messy journey of life.
The Illusion of Money has helped me look at a part of my pain in a not so daunting way. It’s been the kind of book I’ve needed to chew on to help me work through my money issues. In all honesty, I ignored his book… like purposely glance at it, know that I should read it, look away and go onto something else… for quite a few months because I knew what it would require… some WORK, some getting honest with myself & seeing things I have conveniently been hiding from for a long time.
Every chapter has been a breakthrough of some kind for me and I’m only on chapter 6 so far. This week as I read Chapter 5, “I love my current bank account” I decided to make the time and do the exercise suggested at the end of the chapter. (I know… shocker… like books should really help us change or something!)
I took a blank piece of paper wrote at the top: Negative beliefs I have about myself that need LOVE, HUGS & COMPASSION… List ANYTHING that is hard for me to accept.
My intention wasn’t to expose ALL the beliefs I’ve been holding onto that make me feel like crap. Just the ones floating on the top of the cesspool of my negative beliefs. Things like: I’m too heavy, I’m lazy, I’m all talk and no walk, I’m alone, I lost 5 babies in pregnancy, I don’t love the mundane of motherhood, I have to eat to nourish my body, I don’t like failing so I don’t like trying. Anyway, my paper soon filled up with 22 beliefs, and I began to see a pattern of loss, feeling alone, fear and exhaustion.
Kyle Cease suggests the power of creating a place of appreciation, surrender, releasing, compassion and acceptance for the negativity we hold onto. I went back to my list with a different pen and next to each negative belief wrote: “and, I love that”. I took the things most heavily on my mind and chose to LOVE THEM. To accept them. To show compassion for them.
Then I took it one step further. I decided to look at my pain, step into my dark place, FEEL the pain and THEN look for the light.
I think I’ve all too often looked at things in my life that I don’t want to accept, and, not knowing how to accept them, buried them, because they didn’t align with who I expected myself to be… always positive and happy. Granted that perception was often based on what I thought others expected of me.
The quote “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in.” comes to mind. We have to acknowledge our brokenness, so the light can come in and show us TRUTH.
So this is how I worked through my paper. I wrote the negative belief or circumstance I didn’t want to accept. Then I wrote that I loved it and found the treasure there. Here are some of my examples:
1. I’m too heavy and, I love that! I AM ALIVE
2. I’m lazy and, I love that! I HAVE SO MUCH TIME
3. I’m all talk and no walk and, I love that! I HAVE SO MANY IDEAS
4. I’m alone and, I love that! IT’S QUIET TIME
5. I lost 5 babies in pregnancy and, I love that! I FEEL LOVE IN THE LOSS
6. I don’t love the mundane of motherhood and, I love that! I LOVE THAT I GET EXCITED ABOUT A LOT OF OTHER THINGS
7. I have to eat to nourish my body, and, I love that! I HAVE FOOD IN MY HOME
8. I don’t like failing, so I don’t like trying, and, I love that! TRYING CAN BE MARVELOUS FUN!
Interestingly enough, by the end of this exercise, I FELT SO RICH.
I still have so much to discover about my pain and my infinite value, independent of money. I would encourage you to give this exercise a try. Here’s a simple worksheet to print out and write out 22 things in your life that are just really hard for you to accept and write them out, give them some XOXO and find the LIGHT in what is broken. It’s ok to be broken friends. That’s where the light finds its way in and healing begins.