One of the benefits of having a pre-martial chat about money is that one walks into the commitment feeling 'clean'; no secrets, no worrying at 3AM because you have debts you never told your partner about and they are looming up.
Money issues bring up a wheel barrel of issues including shame, fear and isolation — the trifecta of emotions. These hidden feelings will interrupt any 'yummy' feelings you have with your partner because you will not be present. You don't have control; the shame and fear have control and this results in isolation. You pull away, you avoid certain conversations and you stay away from situations that might expose you. You lie. When asked how you are, you answer "fine." Meanwhile, your stomach churns because your student loans are overdue.
But, the secrets you walk around with will affect all of your relationships, including your siblings, parents, and your friends. Digging into the causes of your debts go way beyond the obvious of spending more than you've earned. Where did we learn to hide our issues about money? Well, it's human nature to hide those things we feel shame about.
Shame is a learned response, taught to us by those who have the most contact with us. It is passed from generation to generation until someone gains enough self-awareness to heal it. As we get older, we take shame with us as the proverbial teddy bear, and keep it tucked away. So, how do we fix our financial problems through admitting our shame?
First, communicating with those closest to us is where one starts. Your posse, the people you feel safe with. As you start sharing your financial situation, and you see those people not run away and not judge you, (they have their own issues) you will feel a bit more courageous, and wee bit more secure with yourself.
Second, get a grip on re-paying the debts, creating a sustainable commitment, even if it is $25 a month. Keeping your self-commitments is the beginning point to building self-respect and self-trust. "Owning your stuff" is where self-respect sits, and there is no room on the bench for fear, isolation or shame.
Thirdly, keep a journal and be compassionate with your efforts. These negative messages were imprinted so long ago; they will not disappear in a month or a year. You have to be patient, vigilant and believe in your heart it was never your fault; ‘it' was done to you. Children are born innocent. It's the adults that take our innocence away.
YOU need to be the best caretaker of your body, mind and soul so take responsiblity today and make those necessary changes.
For a free PDF of my book, check out my website, www.thefinancialwhisperer.com. Sign up for my blog/newsletter and send an e-mail to PR@thefinancialwhisperer.com with "TANGO" in the subject line, and we'll send you back the book. Thanks!
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