This week’s theme is stories.
Years ago when I was doing a yoga teacher training, we talked a lot about how we humans attach to our stories and how this might show up in our lives. Maybe your story is a traumatic childhood that makes it hard for you to trust or find peace. Maybe you grew up poor, your family in constant survival mode, and so you recreate survival scenarios in your current life or are driven to earn money at all costs.
Perhaps your story is that you’re not good enough, people don’t get you, you’re too fat, or you can’t catch a break. Or maybe your story is that you’re better than others, self-made, causing you to judge people who don’t live up to your standards or to disregard the role others have had in your success.
While I hope none of these possibilities is true for you, and that your stories are healthy and positive, if any area in your life is causing you or others pain, is holding you back from reaching your goals or knowing joy, you may want to examine your inner stories.
My own example is the story I told myself about money. The central theme was not enough. It reached a climax when my husband, who had earned good money for years, hit a slump. He started hopping from job to job, not making much money, propelling us ever closer toward financial disaster.
I reached a point where I was ready to divorce him because I couldn’t cope with the stress. At my wits end, I signed up for a course on Daily Om called A Year to Get Rich with Purpose. This is something I never would have done had I not felt desperate, believing it would be nonsense, too ashamed to admit that I needed help attracting financial stability and freedom in my life.
The course was nothing mind blowing, just daily quotes, inspirations, and commentary that encouraged reflection on my beliefs about money. I came to realize that my money issues started when my parents divorced when I was 8 years old. We went from living comfortably in a spacious home to a tiny one-bedroom condo, where I shared a room with my brother and my mother slept on a sofa bed in the living room. My father’s child support checks bounced often, causing my mother to incur overdraft fees on her checking account. These experiences shaped my life and my untold story became, I’m not enough, even my own father doesn’t think I’m worth the money.
Making the connection between these events and my current situation prompted a change in mindset. I started to see my husband not as an irresponsible enemy, but as a flawed person who needed help. I decided to try helping him instead of blaming him, to show love and do my best to see the good in him. I began to include in my daily prayers thanks to God for our healthy finances. I focused on viewing our situation as a temporary problem that could be solved instead of a permanent way of life.
The result was that, eventually, my husband found a stable, good paying job again. More importantly, around the same time, I was promoted at work and received a hefty pay raise. Through reflection, I realized that putting all the burden and responsibility for our finances on my husband was a cop out, and that I needed to empower myself financially, irrespective of him. Then my father sent me a check for $1,000 out of the blue, just because, and I knew my story had shifted.
I am not saying this course was a miracle, but it did help me to change my story from one of deprivation and not enough to one of feeling worthy and, yes, even entitled to financial blessings. I share it with you because I hope that you will do the soul searching needed to change any narrative in your life that may be holding you back from being your healthiest, happiest self.
May you climb out of the dungeon and into the light.