I consider myself to be a pretty positive person, and fairly self-aware. But this past year of financial insecurity and instability (that I volunteered for) has brought to light some deep-seated, not-so-positive beliefs about money. So I've spent some time thinking about where these ideas originated, and I realize that as a child I made some flawed assumptions about what I was seeing around me. My father did a great job of making and handling the money in our family, and my mother was mainly interested in spending it. He made sure that she always had what she wanted, and out of love didn't bother her with the stress of how much we had, or how he managed to make it happen. Looking back I can see that with my child's mind I misinterpreted this as an unspoken message that "women can't be trusted with money" or "women aren't smart enough to handle money." I have a vivid memory of my dad sitting me down at about age 17 and telling me that if I wanted to continue to live in the style to which I was accustomed (comfortable upper-middle class), I would need to become a "professional", meaning a doctor, lawyer, etc, and I would need to marry the same. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was not cut out for those kinds of professions, so I made an unconscious decision "OK, I'll never have a lot of money" based on that conversation. (And of course, this became a self-fulfilling prophesy!)
My mom, on the other hand was very much a true "Southern Belle" who went from living with her own father who spoiled her, to living with mine. The belief system I inherited from her was the idea that "there will always be a man to take care of you", and "making and managing money is the man's job". So I think on some deep subconscious level I've been waiting for a man to come along and take care of me financially, because I believed that I wasn't capable of doing it myself. On top of all of this, somewhere along the line I also decided that "wanting money and material things isn't spiritual." The combination of these messages and decisions I made in those early years have influenced the way I think and have lived my life ever since. I have made statements like; "I'll probably never own my own home" (so, of course I haven't), "I'll probably have to work all my life", and "Money isn't that important to me." I've thought many times "as long as I make enough money to just cover my bills, I'm OK", and of course, this is exactly what the Universe has given me. No surprise, all of my adult life despite working hard and climbing several corporate ladders, I have made just enough to pay my bills, and not a penny more. I have been totally limiting myself with my own limited thinking! Even though I was trying consciously to think thoughts of abundance, my subconscious belief system and my resulting actions were completely undermining any progress I might have made.
I believe that we come into this life with a divine purpose, maybe even several. When we are "on our path", meaning making decisions and taking actions aligned with accomplishing this divine plan, our lives are easier, things seem to unfold more smoothly. Doors fly open, red carpets roll out, divine synchronicities occur. (Oprah calls this "being in the flow of Spirit". I love that image!) Conversely, when we stray from our path, things get harder, we get bogged down, and find that every door seems firmly closed, no matter how long or hard we knock. I believe this is the Universe's way of getting us back on track, back on our path to our ultimate destiny. I think that the financial struggles of this past year were meant to get me back on my path, and to hold up a mirror for me to see how self-sabotaging my thoughts and actions have been. The gift of this past year is that I've been so uncomfortable that I've been forced to take a long, hard look at why I was choosing to live my life this way.
Now that I recognize those old-worn out beliefs and understand where they originated, I can make new decisions based on what I know as an adult to be true. I have decided that I am tired of struggling financially. I am weary of constantly worrying about money. "Just able to pay my bills" is not good enough any more. I can decide that I deserve to have whatever I want, and that I am smart enough to earn it and handle it myself! I know I can manage money and manage it well, after all, I've been "managing" to get by on a small amount successfully for a very long time! I believe that following my passion and fulfilling my divine purpose in the world is the surest way to achieve these things. I have been playing small, and as Marianne Williamson says "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking....We are all meant to shine."
It's time to reclaim my power, it's time to shine. I believe that the Universe is a playground designed for us to enjoy, and to be happy. So I am choosing to step into the life the Universe wants me to have, no more holding myself back!