Healing Your Relationship With Money
Commitment Four: In my relationship to money, I am committed to revealing myself, to not concealing myself.
Getting Radically Honest About Your Money Matters
How many times have you told a white lie or half-truth about your financial situation? Ever inflated your current salary during a job interview because you were afraid you wouldn’t get the salary you were asking for otherwise? Told the panhandler you didn’t have any change because you were afraid he or she would use the money for booze or because you didn’t want to deal with their harsh reality? Said “the check is in the mail” when it wasn’t? Said “we can’t afford it” about something you didn’t want to spend money on? Said “you don’t really want that” when you were actually concerned about how much something cost or because you secretly wanted something else but weren’t able to speak up about it? Ever tried to get a discount or something for nothing, just because you thought you shouldn’t have to pay more?
Almost everyone, at one time or another, has been afraid to fully reveal themselves financially. This fear, which drives us to conceal what we’re actually experiencing regarding money, is insidious. It sets us up for financial failure in ways we don’t even realize.
Making a conscious commitment to revealing ourselves financially, rather than continuing to conceal ourselves financially, means taking a long, radically honest look at our current financial situation. It means examining every bump and wrinkle and money decision dispassionately and without judgment. It means facing all those money fears head on, even when doing so is painful, anxiety-provoking or brings up anger and fear we’d long pushed aside. It means being willing to reveal the truth about your finances and how you feel about money.
Ask yourself: what do I need to change about myself and the way I deal with the financial situations in my life in order to feel like I have control over my finances? In order to feel like I’m not wasting money and that I DO have enough? In order to realize that the fact others have MORE than I do doesn’t mean I can’t have more for myself? Remember, you’re making a commitment to being radically honest in all your financial dealings.
What exactly does it mean to be radically honest? It means asking before you make personal copies on the office copier, or offering to pay for them before you make them. It means not asking others to compromise themselves in order for you to get what you want. It means actively speaking up about what you do want and not making assumptions that others will (or should) know what is important to you.
Now, you might be asking yourself what the point is to this commitment. The point of radical honesty is that you’re aligning your intentions with your actions. Ever been shortchanged by a person or company? How did you react? Most of us usually go out of our way to go back and set the situation right or we go out of our way not to patronize them again. Radical honesty means taking those same extra steps to correct situations where a person or company inadvertently shortchanges itself.
Many of us are quick to teach our children a lesson in right and wrong when we catch them pilfering a pack of gum from the store, for example, yet we see nothing wrong with pilfering a pack of legal pads from the office. We’re quick to go out of our way to let our insurance company know if they haven’t paid us for a claim, but we’re not so quick to let them know if they pay the same claim twice.
We rationalize our actions with practical truths. We’ll be using the legal pads for business work, mostly. The insurance company can afford to pay us twice. But radical honesty calls for us to step up to the radical truth behind our actions.
I was recently in this situation and faltered, because I was short on time. As I climbed back in the car, hurrying to my next destination, I realized I had received two booklets of stamps, but had only been charged for one. I rationalized that the next time I was at that post office, I would correct the situation. Yet I haven’t made it a priority to go to that post office, and when I do get there, the windows are usually closed. I can still set the situation right, however, by dropping a check into the postal slot, with a note addressed to the postmaster, explaining what the check is for and asking that a receipt be placed in my mailbox.
Why did I accept the stamps and not fix the situation right then and there? Why do we take the office supplies or use the office phone for personal long distance calls or use the copier to copy our personal materials without asking? Why do we look for ways to “get a better deal?”
Fear. It always comes back to fear. Fear that we won’t have or don’t have enough time, energy or money to do what we want to do. And this fear often manifests as anger. “They” — the corporation, the government — can “afford” the expense. We want more and they have more, and this makes us angry and fearful. After all, we pay a lot in taxes, or sweat equity or premiums, or whatever. They “owe” us.
The only problem is, this mindset constantly keeps us indebted to others by not honoring our relationship with rigorous honesty. We displace the fear with righteous indignation.
But then our anxiety kicks in, which is a symptom of our fear. We start thinking about the copies that need to be made, for instance, and our pulse begins to race. What if someone comes in while we’re making copies? What if we forget to take the originals with us? What if the insurance company discovers it overpaid us and wants its money back?
This energy-draining anxiety is deflecting you from your commitment. The phrase “ask and you will receive” is no mere platitude. By asking permission to borrow a piece of office equipment or use office supplies, for example, you receive empowerment, you receive energy, you receive greater abundance.
The next time an opportunity comes up that has ties to a financial issue for you, be bold and daring and reveal your radical truth. Put the truth on the table. Tell your mate you’d rather spend your money on new curtains than on a belt sander, instead of chastising your spouse for wanting to buy “something we can’t afford.” The truth isn’t about a fear of lack. The truth is that you have desires too, that you aren’t verbalizing. You want more, too.
Take a bold step and speak your truth about money situations. Voice the fears. By giving them a voice you acknowledge them and that acknowledgement helps ease the fears.
Think about an argument you might have had with someone recently. Chances are that you didn’t need to be perceived as right. You just needed to have your point of view understood and acknowledged. That’s the true measure of winning an argument, and the true measure of how well you’re revealing yourself. You’ll know that you’re revealing yourself completely regarding your finances when you can walk away from a situation feeling proud and anxiety-free, knowing that you spoke the truth about the situation.
Whether you’re avoiding creditors, sneaking materials from work, hiding purchases from your spouse or not sharing your true feelings with your spouse, or avoiding settling matters with a person or organization who has more than you do, you are concealing yourself.
When we put ourselves in these situations, we’re like children who stay home sick from school. We get all agitated and upset over having to take medicine for our ills. But once we do so, our health starts improving. Speaking the radical truth about our finances is the medicine that will help us heal our relationship with money. With this Commitment, I send you a spoonful of sugar in the form of an unconditional hug, to help the medicine go down.
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.