Healing Your Relationship With Money

Commitment Six: In my relationship to money, I am committed to acting out of the awareness that I am 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of my finances.

What’s Your Cause and Effect?

During the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, veteran race car driver Dale “The Intimidator” Earnhardt bumped or “rubbed” a competitor who was making a move to overtake him. He died instantly in the resulting crash, and many blamed his death on the failure of his waist belt harness. Some even went so far as to call the manufacturer with death threats.

Those closest to Dale, however, didn’t point fingers. They were aware that Dale was 100% responsible for, and the source of, the crash that claimed his life. Dale was noted for his aggressive driving style, and for bolting out of his car after a wreck and encircling his competitors’ necks with his strong hands, as if to throttle them for their contribution to the current state of his race car. Isn’t that how we generally react regarding our finances?

Something wrecks our well-laid plans and we immediately look for somewhere else to lay the blame. We look for someone else to accept responsibility for what happened. If we get laid off or fired, it’s not our fault. It’s because of the economy or our boss’ poor business skills, or the top brass collecting big salaries. If we can’t do the things we want to do or buy the things we want to buy, or pay the bills we want to pay it’s not our fault. It’s because a client canceled or because our boss doesn’t pay us what we’re worth, or because our parents didn’t pay for our college education, or because we just never get a break.

Or maybe we join the chorus that says society doesn’t properly value helping professions, or teachers, or police officers, or alternative healing practitioners, and that’s why we don’t earn as much as we’re worth. It’s easy to find an outside source to lay blame on for the past and current state of our finances, because that’s what we’ve habitually done. It’s easy to assert that who we are is inferior to who we could be because of someone else. But what if who we are is inferior to who we could be because WE’RE the one holding ourselves back?

The very vibrant, self-assured Eleanor Roosevelt once said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt gave birth to this philosophical observation after growing up in a family where her mother constantly berated and belittled her, telling her that she had best develop a strong personality because she was too ugly to ever land herself a husband. Eleanor could have easily felt inferior and allowed her mother’s negative words to crush her spirit and hold her back.

Instead, Eleanor chose to affirm her belief that no one, including her own mother, could make her feel inferior without her consent. She refused to consent and instead took 100% responsibility for creating a vibrant, joy-filled, soulful life. And wound up married to a man who was to become President of the United States, to boot.

She refused to be a victim. She claimed responsibility for creating the life she desired. Being committed to acting out of the awareness that we are each 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of our finances is an extension of the commitment to shake off all ownership of being a victim. Making this commitment is perhaps the biggest step you can take toward healing your relationship with money. In the act of taking responsibility, in the act of shouldering the full, unvarnished blame for where we are right now, financially — with our jobs, our debt, our savings or lack thereof, our spending habits and our earning habits — we empower ourselves in a way that is infinitely courageous.

What would happen if you acted out of the awareness that you were 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of your finances? What myths would you have to release? Who would you have to forgive? How much courage would it take to step forward and acknowledge the role you played in every event that happened in your life that you feel held you back? How much courage would it take to own up to all the passive ways you engaged in keeping yourself down, so that you wouldn’t have to face the unknown, wouldn’t have to disappoint another, wouldn’t have to risk being afraid?

Many people, as they begin taking steps to heal their relationship with money, and raise their prosperity consciousness, find themselves feeling like Al Pacino’s character in The Godfather. Every time you take positive steps to get out of a financial mess, something happens to pull you back in. You can’t seem to get a lucky break.

When you start to despair, when the pink cloud of your early prosperity successes begins to fade, when the darkness threatens to overtake you, stop and take a deep breath before you throw up your hands and quit. You’re on the cusp of a major life change. Give it time to manifest in your life.

If you toss a pebble into a pond, it sends out ripples. Those ripples keep going, and then they come back. Even if you don’t drop another stone into the pond, the ripples continue, until they finally settle into a new equilibrium. That’s what’s going on with your finances right now. You’ve set into motion a new pattern, but the ripples from the old financial decisions and the old financial patterns are still making waves in your life. Stay the course and act out of the awareness that you are 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of your finances. This includes the parts you celebrate as well as the parts you deny.

Being committed to acting out of the awareness that you are 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of your finances is a big commitment. Taking ownership for our lives brings up many fears, resentments and disappointments.

Last week, I spoke with a 62-year-old woman who believed her financial situation would improve only if her step-brother shared his inheritance with her (the house her father had given to his mother, which this woman believed she was entitled to share), then her financial situation would improve. I asked her to imagine what her

financial situation would look like if her step-brother didn’t share the house with her, if she alone were responsible for her financial future. The fear of having to take responsibility for her future financial situation made her see her fear of taking responsibility for the current state of her finances. She saw that this would require a major shift in the way she thought and felt about money — but she was open and receptive to taking the first steps toward this healing.

I encourage you to explore these thoughts over the next two weeks. Ask yourself, what comes up for you when I ask you to make this commitment? What supports you or stands in your way when you think about taking this step? How would your life change if you were 100% responsible for, and the source of, the current state of your finances? Are you ready, willing and able to undergo this transformation?


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.