Healing Your Relationship With Money
Commitment Five: In my relationship to money, I am committed to the full financial empowerment of the people around me.
Are You Choosing Financial Empowerment?
Take a minute and think about someone you’re really comfortable asking for a favor or to lend you a few bucks. Now bring to mind someone who you’re not comfortable asking for money. Feel that tightness, anxiety, fear or anger? Or maybe you instinctively shy away from asking ANYONE for money, even if it’s for a “good cause.” Or maybe you are wonderful at asking for money for fundraisers but get skittish asking for money in your business world when asking for the sale or for a raise.
These are all symptoms of financial victimhood. In this Commitment, we’re going to explore how to convert financial victimhood into financial empowerment.
In “Why People Don’t Heal,” Dr. Caroline Myss encourages people to look behind the challenges they’re experiencing to find the underlying issue. As with any health challenge you might be experiencing, your financial challenge is not the issue. The true issue, to paraphrase Myss, is the loss of power that the financial situation generates in you and in those around you. In order to fully heal our relationships with money, we must make a commitment to the full financial empowerment of the people around us — including ourselves.
We need to start by learning how to not take our financial challenges personally. We need to separate ourselves from the financial feelings and fears that we have of being a victim. And we need to learn to recognize this victimhood in others so that we don’t accidentally enable others in their financial dependence. Our goal is to empower each other to recognize and support our financial strengths.
How do we recognize our inner victims and how do we claim our inherent inner power? Start by asking a simple question of yourself or the person you’re interacting with: “What about this situation makes you feel helpless, defeated, incapable, not in control?” Then ask: “What would make you feel powerful in this situation?”
As Caroline Myss says, “fear interferes with the mindful use of your power. When you base choices on fear, chaos comes between you and your inner Divinity.”
Before you offer to help someone financially, and before you request or accept financial help from someone, stop and examine your motivations and their motivations. Be sure you are coming from a place of empowering and not from a place of enabling.
If you’re extending yourself, what’s motivating you? Are you seeking to rescue or comfort someone? Why do you feel the need to do that? What are you afraid of? Why do you have a need to be needed? What would happen if no one needed you?
Conversely, before you ask for or accept financial help from someone else, ask yourself: “Why do I feel compelled to ask for help? Is my request born of a desire to be rescued? Is my request a test of the other person’s love, loyalty or commitment to me? What’s behind my request to have my need filled? Will this financial aid empower me or make me feel like a victim?
One sure way to assess whether your actions and the actions of people around you are empowering or victimizing is to actively concentrate on how you feel physically and emotionally when you consider a particular financial decision. Empower yourself to say NO to financial decisions that don’t resonate with you.
Say no to well-meaning friends who offer to float you loans when you’re trying to pay down debt. Say no to friends or relatives who insist on bailing you out of financial difficulties when their assistance makes you feel like you owe them something. And say no to lending money under the same circumstances when you’re not sure that your intentions are pure.
If people don’t respect your efforts to heal your relationship with money, you may need to consider distancing yourself from them. Imagine you’re a recovering alcoholic. Sometimes you must create distance between yourself and friends and relatives who actively drink or who victimize you by absent-mindedly offering you a drink whenever they see you, or leaving booze out in the open when you come visit. You may need that same distance in your financial recovery.
Over the next two weeks, I encourage you to consciously choose to use your money ONLY in ways that empower you and the people in your life. Consciously choose to eliminate financial decisions that make you feel guilty, that make you feel like a knight in shining armor or that elevate you above someone else.
Working through these commitments will bring many of your old money issues to the surface. Think of them as the financial vampires of your soul. Only by luring them out into the bright light of day can you hope to end their control over your life.
Paula Langguth Ryan is a contemporary prosperity advisor, author and motivational speaker. She is devoted to helping people release their limiting beliefs — so they may achieve personal prosperity and abundance in all areas of their lives. If this booklet fed your soul, tithes and offerings are gratefully accepted to support the continuation of this work: Paula Langguth Ryan, 1121 Annapolis Road, Suite 120, Odenton, MD 21113.