I belong to a Mastermind Group where we rotate the opportunity for each member to take a deep dive and receive support and feedback from the group meeting to meeting. It was my turn, and I shared I was feeling overwhelmed with being the main financial provider for my family. My husband recently left his full-time job to join forces with me in my consulting practice. This is absolutely the right move for us, and our family, but I was feeling under pressure.
As a result of sharing my fears out loud, my thinking settled. I began to see more clearly. I saw how I made up the story that because of the change in his status, I needed to produce more income. It became clear to me I was identifying with money as the source of my security. I wanted more, not because I needed it, but because I wanted to feel more secure.
This is an old thought pattern of mine that had not been active for quite some time, but with my husband letting go of his monthly pay check, the insecure thoughts reared their heads. Having the thoughts show up wasn’t a problem, but my buying into them created tremendous internal pressure. As a result, I felt stressed and overwhelmed, but my stress and overwhelm had nothing to do with money. I had everything covered. There was no need for more money. This made it even more clear to me that my feelings were a reflection of my distorted thinking and had nothing to do with reality.
I was relieved to see the illusion fall away and recognize my safety and security come from inside of me. My stability is a state of mind, not an external circumstance. I have the potential to experience internal peace and calm whether I have everything covered financially or not.
There was a period seven or eight years ago when I was not covering everything. My husband and I were not bringing in enough income to cover our basic needs. We used credit cards to bridge the gap, and then a change in my work situation reduced our income so we couldn’t make the full payments. We paid what we could on each card, but the creditor calls began. I tried to have conversations with them, but many were extremely rude, some even told me to file bankruptcy rather than find a way to make the payment plans work. I felt worthless and ashamed. I believed I was a failure.
I had the wisdom to reach out for help and spoke with the amazing life coach I had worked with previously, Steve Chandler. He helped me to separate out my self-worth from my net worth. He helped me to see that I didn’t need to answer the phone or engage in unproductive conversations. Nothing bad was going to happen to me. I was doing the best I could. There was such a huge relief that came over me. I saw things in perspective again. I was committed to getting back on track. It just wasn’t going to look the way the credit cards companies wanted it to look in that moment. My life was far from ruined, and I had much to be grateful for. Steve helped me see that money is not the same as oxygen, and I would not die from this situation. I saw all of my self-judgments were not true. I relaxed into my natural wellbeing, and experienced my innate value and worthiness. This allowed me to keep perspective and persevere. I did not crumble or give up. As a result, we were able to pay off all of our debts, and only a few years after that buy our home.
In my current situation, I didn’t have credit card companies calling me, and I was meeting all of my financial responsibilities, but I still, temporarily, bought into the insecure thoughts telling me: “I can’t do this. I’m not good enough. I need to work harder. I need to do more. I am not enough. I don’t have what it takes,” and I focused on making more money as a way to try and make these thoughts go away so I could stabilize. This had the opposite effect. Instead, I felt more insecure.
When I look at these thoughts now, I see they are all founded on the premise that I am responsible for my success. I am in charge. It is all on me to make it work. That is my red flag. Whenever my arrogance takes over and has me believe that I am in control, I know I have lost perspective. When I look back at the successes in my life, I see I couldn’t have planned everything that came to fruition, and certainly, at times, I didn’t even imagine how things could turn out the way they did. In fact, my success seems to have happened in spite of myself and my efforts. This does not mean that I am against putting effort into things, but I am against hard work. When I am working hard, I am fueled by fear. When I am working effortlessly, I am fueled by inspiration.
It seems ludicrous to me that I can still get hooked into believing these negative thoughts. In the past, I would have thought this was a problem. Now I see it as simply being human, and one of my many frailties. I no longer try to fix my frailties because I know they are simply a reflection of me getting caught up in a negative thought storm of my own creation. There is nothing real to fix. The more I accept myself exactly as I am, insanity included, the quicker the storm settles, and the sooner I get to experience the calm of my true nature.
One of the pitfalls of a personal growth and development focus is the habit of putting oneself under the microscope and becoming hypersensitive to one’s perceived flaws and shortcomings. This can lead to a painful experience of self-absorption, when the real transformation in consciousness occurs when we forget ourselves. It feels amazing to leave the confines of self-management and surrender to the natural openness of the heart. We all have an internal compass that guides us to our highest potential. It circumvents the distortions of our insecure thinking and points us in the direction of the highest good of all concerned.
What I know for sure is I will never have more time to experience the gift of my life than I do in this moment. Living life, even just a little bit more, from the compass of the heart makes it all the sweeter and more precious.
Whatever concerns you have, bring yourself fully into the moment and connect with the wisdom of your heart and let that be your guide. Trust the voice of your inner knowing rather than the voice of fear masked as responsibility and rationality. Listen deeply beyond all of the ego’s admonitions of what you should do and who you should be. Listen deeper than that. Listen attentively until you hear the music of your soul. Listen for the deep silence of love. Listen to the part of you that knows and trusts that wisdom.
This doesn’t require years of practice. It is your natural state. It simply requires a willingness to get still in whatever way works for you, and to experience the fullness of the stillness. The abundance in the quiet. The loving vibration.
It helps to see that our personal thinking is made up, and, therefore, subjective with no foundation in truth. The fact that we think does not make our thoughts facts. This understanding makes it easier to take our thinking and our experience less seriously. This helps us to get over ourselves and see our upset and hurt are temporary experiences based on made up perceptions that will pass. Behind all of this is the formless potential. The unchanging presence. The fact of thought that offers the pure potential and possibility of a completely new understanding to emerge from within and awaken our consciousness more fully to love.