EVER since my split up and divorce four years back, there have been times that I’ve grown terribly tired of the constant robbing Peter to pay Paul, the overwhelming barrage of bills, and the Herculean effort it sometimes takes to manage finances on such a tight budget. And yet…the vast majority of the time in between these bouts of weariness has been filled with a kind of insubordinate joy. In poker terms, it’s as if my monetary angst sees me a struggle and raises me a dream.
Unlocking the story behind this rebellious bliss became a curiosity I couldn’t resist. I knew, of course, that money alone would not make me happy. But what was it about NOT having any to spare that made me so ridiculously content? What joyful mysteries were being unlocked by my being broke?
Here’s what I now know accounts for this magic of money limited living:
- My stress has been reduced a thousand-fold because I found out what’s really important to me – and chucked all the rest. I had to. I simply couldn’t afford it.
- There is a feeling of deep connection with the people around me. I know they all like me for me. It is such a feeling of joy to wake up every day with an awareness that in every single personal relationship I now have, people couldn’t care less if I can afford the latest and greatest vacation destination or newest kitchen update. They just want my presence around them.
- I have become much more courageous. It takes hoospah to say ‘I’m broke’ in a society where certain people won’t even speak to you unless you can show fiscal stability akin to theirs. This has translated into more authenticity in other areas of my life as well.
- I am much more aware of my limitlessness. We all have certain hang-ups, things that stress us out because they don’t fall within our natural talents. Mine is technology. In the past, I would have always paid someone else to handle all computer issues or website design projects. Now, I often dive in and try to tackle these tasks myself, and in doing so have learned that I’m a lot smarter and more well-rounded than I could have imagined.
- I learned to ask for help, and this has led to the discovery that a spirit of cooperation already exists among people. The common man’s fiscal system is one that is based on the sharing of expertise, of surpluses, and of talent much more than it is on money.
Because of these lessons, there has been one final takeaway. My financial fears have gone the way of 80’s leg warmers and jelly shoes: it’s not like you never see them, but they’re so rare now as to be virtually obsolete. I have learned to live in the flow of life instead of anxiously grabbing for something in the future. This means both that I do my part, and also that I allow the Universe do Its’. And it means that I no longer am afraid of money shortages. I now use them as an opportunity to access the magic that is inside of me.
Discussion Question: What have financial challenges taught you about yourself and life?