In many ways, money defines our lives. It’s what we spend our days trying to get, and it’s the grease that enables us to move through life with less effort. Without money, life quickly grinds to a halt, you have to rely on other people, you lose your sense of freedom, and you begin to fear the future.
Enlightened people like to think that money is a nice thing to have, but not the be all and end all of our existence. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not extremely important. Alongside love, connection, spirituality, and health, money gives us the stuff in life that we want.
This is why when things go wrong with money, it can be especially painful. People make mistakes with their money all the time. They give it to the wrong people, they invest in the wrong businesses, and they buy the wrong things. Our relationship with money is usually kept on the low: people don’t like talking about it. But when things go awry, it can leave us feeling weak, ashamed, and often depressed.
Healing from money problems is a challenge that many of us will face during our lives. We need to deal with the regret and missed opportunities, and face the fact that sometimes life just isn’t fair.
Money problems can emerge from all sorts of underlying issues. A demanding spouse can put substantial financial pressures on us. A need to buy things just to feel happy can result in huge debts run up on credit cards. Even buying the wrong house in the wrong area can lead to negative equity, killing wealth and leading to terrible regrets in the process.
What is needed is a way to overcome money problems and to heal. Here are some of the steps that you can take to do just that.
#1: Approach Somebody You Trust And Talk About It
If you were the victim of violence or infidelity, you would seek out people in which to confide. But when it comes to money problems, many of us maintain a stiff upper lip. In general, there is no desire to reveal the money mistakes that we’ve made: it’s our problem to deal with.
Of course, the way that people deal with other problems in life is through talking and relating. And just as in other situations, it’s essential to speak about the things that you regret doing with money.
It’s a good idea to be as specific as you can and verbalise what you think you got wrong. For example, you could say,
“I regret sending my spouse $3,000 a month, only to find out that she was having an affair.”
Or you could say
“I regret spending $500 every weekend for a year on clothes that I never wear.”
Find somebody who is willing to listen to what you have to say. You’ll soon find that a confessional is a great way to begin allowing yourself to think about the ways that you’ve screwed up with money.
#2: Investigate Why You Did What You Did
After discussing regrets, the next thing to figure out is why you did what you did. Often you behaved in a way that was destructive to your long-term future because you were laboring under a particular belief.
Again, try to verbalise those beliefs. For instance,
“I thought I had to spend a lot of money on my spouse. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have accepted me.”
Or, alternative, “I believed that the only way to be happy was to spend money on the new things that I wanted.”
You could also have a belief that went something like this:
“I just thought a better paying job would eventually turn up, so I carried on spending on my credit card. But the promotion never came.”
Discovering the beliefs that led to your financial disaster is a necessary step toward financial healing. Figure out what you believed and why it led to your mistakes.
#3: Realise There Is A Future
The great thing about financial turmoil is that it is never the end. There is always an opportunity to make more money and better decisions. And there are a plethora of products out there that make resetting your financial landscape far easier. Unsecured credit cards for bad credit mean that few people will experience long-term pain. There are so many more options today than in the past.
There’s often also a silver lining. Financial crises are an opportunity for a new start. They are an impetus to find a better career or stop indulging in the habits that led to the destruction in the first place.
#4: Be Kind And Forgive Yourself
If you’ve made a mistake financially, you’ll know that it’s sometimes hard to forgive yourself, especially if you’ve let other people down. But the science is clear on forgiveness: you have to do it. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for illness and depression.
Forgiving yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ridding yourself of guilt. It means accepting that you’re a human, not a perfect philosopher king.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel forgiven immediately either. Realise that forgiveness is a process, and that your ability to forgive yourself depends on your work towards reclaiming your finances.
#5: Come Up With A Plan
The final step in financial healing is to come up with a plan that will emancipate you from regret. You want to do more than merely earn back the money you lost: you want a plan to get back more than if you’d ever had a problem with finances in the first place.
Even if you fail in the short term, you’ll automatically feel as if the whole experience was worth it. Now you’re more ambitious and more dedicated to transforming your life.
Nobody heals his or her relationship with money in a day. It often takes a long time to overcome the deep-seated issues which lead to money problems. But the earlier you start, the better. Wealth only grows with time.
Remember to keep on slaying,
See you next time xoxo
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