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How to be at Peace with Money

Many people want to have more peace in their lives when it comes to money.  Many try to make investments, cut spending, earn more money, etc. in pursuit to be at more peace, thinking that money will peace.  Yet, as I discussed in Stressed about money or debt?, money will not bring peace.  If we think that peace can come from a source outside ourselves, then we will need to constantly worry that another source can take it away as well (e.g., greedy corporations, scam artists, etc.).   If money brings peace, then we will focus on keeping our money which will create stress and worry if the money vanishes so will our peace, happiness and joy.   Peace of mind actually comes from within by looking at our beliefs.  It is our beliefs that cause our thoughts and emotions.  Thus if we have beliefs of lack around money, that is what we will see and feel. 

So what are beliefs that can make us feel stress and worry?  The answer is how you look at life. For example,

• Victim (Blame) – such as “Corporations are too greedy”, “When I get ahead, something always comes up”, “There is no opportunity to get ahead”, “Rich get richer and poor get poorer”, etc.

Peace comes from knowing that you can handle any situation that comes your way.  Yet, when we see ourselves as a victim, we give up control of our lives to others.  The thinking is that it is not our fault that we are in this situation.  It is easier to believe that it is being to us.  However, even though we have not put ourselves in this situation, how we deal with the situation defines us.  By blaming others, we lose site of what we can do about it.

• Undeserving – such as “I will never have money”, “Why would anyone want to hire me?”, “Poor me”

Peace comes from knowing who we are.  There is a big difference in being poor and broke. Broke is a financial term for not having money.  Poor is what defines us if we let it.  As I have said elsewhere, self-worth can not be taken away. It is internal and can only be given away, if we let it.

• Fear – such as “Will I have enough in retirement?”, “Can I afford to send my children to college?”, “What if I lose my job?”

Peace comes from knowing there is nothing to fear.  People have used fear to stop themselves from taking action.  However, it is gut instincts tell us what to do.  Fear is staying paralyzed for a long period.   For example, you can fear having enough for retirement. Yet, the key question is what can be done about it.  Unfortunately, many have done nothing while believing (fearing) that it is an insurmountable task rather than taking action (big or small) towards solving their issue.

• Lack – “There is not enough money to go around”, “I need to fight for my share”, “I will be happy when ….”

Peace comes from knowing there is no lack.  We create lack from comparing ourselves to others.  Yet, how many of us really do not have enough food, shelter or clothing to live on.  We will find some who lack compared to others.  Some may go without a meal or a home.  Yet, there are shelters, food kitchens and other resources for those to fill their basic needs.

If we want to create lack, we can.  If you go back to 1800’s and 1900’s, lack had a different meaning back then than it does today.  We now have only a few people die due to malnutrition each day in the United States.  Yet, this is a tiny fraction of what others see around the world or what we saw in our country just 100 – 200 years ago.  If we solve our health crises and wage issues, there will still be lack.   Lack is state of mind of comparing ourselves with others rather than being grateful for what we do have.  And, when we think of lack, that is what we create because we get what we have not what we want.

Sometime lack is even a coat of pride.  It becomes a story of how bad I have it.  Have pity on me because I am lacking.   Now, do not get me wrong.   As Americans, we have the resources to help those in poverty (give them a hand up).  At the same time, telling stories of how bad things are will only keep people in lack.

We may feel lack and think it is from the lack of material possessions.   However, what we all want more of is love.  Peace comes from knowing what we truly want in life.  That is love.  And, for those who want love, they can find it all around them. Ask a dying patient what they would have wanted more of in life: a bigger home, more money, more food or more love?  Guess how they would answer the question?  And, love is the only thing you do not need to fight over because we all have it if we allow ourselves to feel it.  We may try to buy things to make us happier, feel more secure or feel more wanted.  It is all coming from a place of wanting more love yet looking elsewhere for it.

• Shame – such as “If someone really know me, they would not like me”, “I need to hide my debt”, “The way I look is who I am”, “If they knew I was having trouble, then ….”

Peace comes from dropping the shame.  Shame is where we try to hide who we are. I refer to shame as wearing a mask so no one can really see who you are.   Sometimes shame comes from trying to hide lack of money or lack in self-esteem. I find it interesting that when a person declares bankruptcy they are filled with shame (like wearing the Scarlet A) which then affects who they are.   They feel less than and thus get results that are less than.   Because all their energy is going into the shame (trying to hide who they are), they have no energy to make a dramatic leap forward.  However, when a business declares bankruptcy (e.g., Kmart or United Airlines), it is just a reorganization needed to survive and become stronger.   Then within a year after the bankruptcy, these firms are worth billions again while people who filed bankruptcy are struggling to keep their heads above water.   This is because how we feel about bankruptcy (shame versus feeling stronger) will determine how we live after bankruptcy.

It is good to know who to be more peaceful in theory, yet how should this be applied in day-to-day life?

Belief Alternative Action
Victim Empowerment • See yourself as creator of your circumstance (in particular, the feelings about the situation)
Forgive those who you believed harmed you
• Do a budget and/or plan how to get out of debt
Undeserving I Am • Improve self-worth
• Understand who you are (read I Am)
Fear Planning • Look at what you fear (retirement, college, bankruptcy, etc.) because we look at it, fear will decrease
Plan for what you are afraid of (e.g., retirement0
• Feel the fear and do it anyway - like public speaking or doing a budget
Lack Gratitude • Practice Gratitude
• Practice Tithing
Shame Openness

• Tell people what you are ashamed of (fear of what they may think is usually worse than what they will actually think) and who may get help and compassion from it.
• Improve Self-worth
• Understand who you are (I Am)


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