A long time ago, I worked in the projects. You actually don’t understand poverty until you have seen people who really do live in areas considered “below the poverty line”. I know that doesn’t help you right now, but it needed to be said.
On the flip side of this, if you actually do have money, do you feel like you aren’t entitled to it? Do you feel bad for having it? You see, for a long time, I felt really bad about money after seeing children from poverty.
I was a teacher, yes. I struggled just like everyone else to make ends meet. To be honest though, I never struggled as badly with little money as I did when I had more money, and then suddenly didn’t have as much. Life’s funny that way.
What lessons did money really teach me then?
- I was not as poor as I imagined. I didn’t have any idea how to use food stamps. I could actually pay for gas for my car and did not have to use public transportation. My belief was that I was really struggling. And while I was, it was not at a level that some people are currently facing. Money showed me that lesson and in turn, I thanked God for my current situation. I became a mentor and took children out in their neighborhood to places they wouldn’t have been able to go without my help.
- I was not as rich as I imagined either. Money is hilarious. It taunts you to spend it and spend it you do. Then that funny guy called Visa calls on you one day and you owe $20,000. For house remodeling…that you did to save money. Oops. My belief was that I could always make more…that is until the day I got really sick. I had not learned the save for a rainy day lesson. I was out that day. Sick. I needed to have a savings, so lesson learned.
- I was “always” going to be in debt. You think there is absolutely nothing you can do, but you are wrong. You can actually call credit cards and reduce your rates, work to pay off the least amount or the highest interest rate, and continue to visualize your debt being paid off. Here is the part where I start to lose you. I did good things. I paid for things, donated, and such…even when I had not as much as others, and more than some. I tried very hard to get out of this fear mentality that debt wants you to be in. I knew that it was not going to be forever and I was right. The belief that it was going to get worse held me back. It almost stopped me in my tracks, but I made a plan. This is the hardest of the steps I think.
- Others seem to have it “easy”. There were times I would look at other people’s posts and think wow! What a nice vacation. But you know, they split it 3 ways maybe and I didn’t know that. Or you might see the “I did a great job and got a raise” post. They don’t mention it took them 5 years of hard work. Don’t always think that the grass is greener because you know I say it’s Astro-turf. Some people just make things appear as if it was handed to them, and it’s okay. You know you are a hard worker and there’s no shame in being real.
- Throwing in the towel by saying “I can’t afford that.” When I was driving my mini-van into the ground…with the oil leaking, the tires deflating and fixed more times than I can count, the hood looking like hail had beat it to death, and the hub caps rusting, anyway, I thought “I will not be able to afford a new car anytime soon…but I have to”. I started changing the way I thought that year. I had used that car to get me to more doctor’s appointments than I could count and it had been a good car, but it was time to move on. So I wrote about it as if it happened. Over and over again. Each month. And then it happened. We donated our car to a good cause and I bought a vehicle I had long since wanted because one of my illnesses left me with really sensitive hands to cold…and the vehicle came with a warm steering wheel control as well as butt warmers!!! I thought it was heaven. I still do.
Money is energy. I see that now, and I also know that I actually have more control over my actions with it than I previously realized. I don’t use it as an excuse, I don’t hide behind it, but I don’t need to lie about it either. When I want to go after something now, I just work harder, and put more energy into my plan. I don’t if you believe this, but try it sometime. Don’t let money control your thoughts…control your thoughts and therefore control the flow of money. ~Aimee
Want to learn more about my journal therapy? See the work with me tab here on the page.