I never had a good relationship with money. As a kid, money scared me. Money caused arguments. Money drove wedges. Money was elusive and for other people. My father threw it around like rice at a wedding and my mom kept it hidden in case my father ran out. I remember going to work with my older sister to pick up her paycheck; she was 16 and I was 7. I felt like a big girl and I loved being chosen to ride along. It was an exciting adventure. She just wanted to grab her check, show off her darling baby sister and buy me a treat.
She asked me if I wanted a milkshake, and that is the first time I remember being a deer in headlights when it came to money. I said no. Not because I didn't want one; my family rarely splurged on anything, so what I wanted to do was scream, jumping up and down, saying "Yes! Yes! Please and thank you!" But instead, I became almost catatonic and whispered "No thanks." Why? Because I certainly didn't have any money in my pocket, and I couldn't ask her to spend her hard earned money on me. Was it a worth thing? A fear thing? I don't know, but money became something I couldn't keep or handle later in life.
As I grew up, money was still the cause of a lot of frustration and fear. I settled on a college that was cheap instead of my dream school, and paid for it with student loans. I married young and in debt, so we decided to do what most kids do with their parents advice: we ignored it. The warning, "Don't spend more than you earn, and for God sake's stay away from credit cards!" became our permission to live paycheck to paycheck and get as many credit cards as possible. After all, what did they know? All was magically delicious until it was time to reconcile the bank statement, and then my then-husband would lose his mind, and somehow this homeschooling mom was the culprit that had spent all his money. After that divorce, I used credit cards to get by and start over.
What kind of false security I chased after. I used money that wasn't mine to avoid the painful feelings that were mine. I used money to comfort, distract, and yes, to provide for my six kids. I used money to give me a sense of worth and accomplishment; a façade that I was capable and willing to make everyone's life easier in the midst of hardship. I used money til I used it up and went bankrupt. Money was my enemy; after all, I certainly would never treat a friend that way.
My choices didn't just bankrupt me financially; they affected me body, mind, and soul. How did I get to a place of restoration and healing? I had to be honest, open minded and willing — that's how. I got a money coach and I got honest about my fear of money, how that fear had driven me to despair and distraction, and how I had abused the gift of money, the reward of money, the relationship with my money. I became open minded to learning a new way to relate to money, a way that would demonstrate how grateful I was for money, how much I valued it, and how trustworthy I was to be its steward. I became willing to became intimately acquainted with money, how I earned it, how I spent it, how I felt when I had it and how I felt when I didn't. To love it and not to fear it. Now, for the love of money, I coach others to improve their relationship with money like I did and have the joy of driving out fear and exploring the possibilities of a healthy relationship that brings joy and abundance. Are you ready to learn how?
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