30 July 2013

Leaving the Financial Past

As an ACOA it still baffles me how easily I can fall into an old mindset. Nothing destructive or anything like that, just the feeling that I am not worthy.

Recently, I was visiting a site I belong to that specializes in different self-help forums. One of my favorites on that site deals with financial difficulties that people experience. I post quite a bit on that part about where I was (totally broke) to where I am now (out of debt.)

I don't brag about my situation nor do I look for a pat on the back... I just share what I know, my own experience, strength, and hope (ESH).

Right now, my experience has taught me that no matter how much money I make it will never be enough if I don't have my expenses under control. I believe it doesn't matter if a person makes $7 an hour or $27 dollars an hour. What matters is if their expenses are below what they make.

Think about it. Two people with pretty similar credit ratings, yet they live entirely different lives. The one, we'll say his name is Joe. Joe has a beautiful home and makes his monthly mortgage payments. He also drives a brand new top of the line vehicle. All in all Joe is roughly paying out $26.99 in expenses. He still in the black but just barely. And he really can't miss a day of work or he'll fall
behind on his payments.

Now the other guy, we'll call him Mike, has very little debt. He rents an apartment and owns an old 1985 car. Mike is roughly paying out $5 an hour for his expenses. Though Mike is making considerably less money and owns a lot less, he also has no stress and can miss a day of work without destroying his credit.

Even though Mike is making $20 less an hour, he is able to save money easier because of no debt and no need for material wealth. I believe Mike actually has a better life than Joe, just because of expenses.

This is how I view finances today. In the past I viewed it from the eyes of Joe and was never happy and always under intense stress.

Living the life of Mike, I am able to live and enjoy things with no stress. I was sharing these thoughts on that forum and one person jumped on me about not being able to relate to me. I talked about an upcoming dental appointment and how after many years I will finally have a smile I'm not embarrassed or self-conscious about and that I would be able to pay for it all with cash.

This person made the comment that they visited my site and how I probably make a ton of money off of book sales and speaking engagements. And how I had no idea what normal folk struggle with.

When I first read it, my first thought was to apologize for making money. For learning how to manage money... and finally apologizing for wanting to fix my teeth with insurance because I have from a full time job.

Than it dawned on me that I had nothing to apologize for. I have been broke. I have been homeless. The thing is today, I have quit being a victim and blaming others for my past or even my present.

As I thought more about what that person wrote, I could relate to it. The jealously and the envy. How dare someone enjoy life while I'm struggling!!!

It goes back to karma. Give each other a pat on the back and give each other support and love and things will change for everyone. The envy and resentment do nothing but keep the victim alive.

1 comment:

  1. A good friend told me recently that when somebody attacks somebody else it is often more an issue with 'them' and anger at 'themselves' than at the perceived target. (we can all have these moments!!)

    Like I share in my above post though, I do often feel that stuff can come across entirely differently on online messageboards etc.

    Sometimes message board posting can lack the caution & care that F2F encounters bring, and may come across as arrogance & bragging when that isn't the case at all! It's simply relief at having, after many years struggling, been able to arrive at a position where you are currently ok financially - and trying to help & support others.

    As an AA-er, I know that the 12 & 12 tells me that some people never manage to get themselves OK financially again and that too is OK. Some people can do everything 'right' and still it seems s**t happens. Humility is the key I feel in any situation. But for the Grace of God etc...

    Sometimes it's too easy I feel when things are going OK to get almost carried away and insenstive to the pain that others are still going through and struggling with - intentionally or not.

    I would hate the fact the some folks I know who have never got themselves OK financially, somehow feel shame and feel 'less than'.

    I look at our local village tramp and I kid you not - sometimes I feel he has a happier and simpler life than me! he certainly smiles alot!!!!

    The problem with criticism for me isn't the criticism itself - its whether its done with love and care - not in an attacking way. I will always consider and look at criticism to see if there is any truth in it - even a grain of truth. Yes its uncomfortable and I can feel uncomfortable myself at my behaviour at times... but to put a wall up against all criticism means I stop growing.

    I feel that spiritually healthy people always feel joy at the achievements of others. Those who don't, perhaps need to look deep inside at why they are unable to feel that joy.

    Blessings & Hugs for you Dave!