Face the Facts, Change the Story, Choose to Move Forward…
‘I’m an idiot.’
‘What a mistake.’
‘I can’t let them see this.’
‘I don’t see how I’ll get out of this debt.’
Sound harsh? After 15 years of working with passionate, hard-working professionals, I hear these kinds of stinging comments all the time—not ever about what another has done. You and I would never speak this way to our smart, committed gal friend who’s building her business with 110% of her heart and soul.
Importantly, these are the quiet, cruel things we will say to ourselves about past financial choices. The deepest cuts in financial betrayal, trauma, or error are the ones we inflict upon ourselves—by creating and energizing a painful story about our money past.
Financial Forgiveness follows 3 major steps: #1 Face the Facts, #2 Change the Story, and #3 Move Forward. In Part #1 I wrote about Facing Facts. For those of you who wrote out your story and shared it with a confidential partner, good for you.
What happened in the past is operating for us in the present moment through how we talk to ourselves. We are the ones who make the meaning out of the experience of what happened and who we are. Often, the story we author features us as someone who is flawed, mistake prone, and limited in future earning potential.
I see this in many mid-life women who are solopreneurs, coaches, or healers. Women are more likely to blame themselves and over personalize their financial choices. I think that is the dynamic that shows up in study after study showing women “lack confidence” in their financial decisions.
#2. Change the Story. Take the facts you have collected and ‘look up.’ How does the divine ‘see’ you and your story? The spiritual perspective is the catalyst for healing. Forgiveness is a human process of releasing the burden; God does not need to forgive us.
I start with remembering that God/ Higher Power/ Universe/ Divine loves us and expresses as us eternally and unconditionally. Our spirit is one with God. Humanly we have free will, we make choices, and, oh sometimes, do we suffer the consequences.
Our free will allows us to shift what story we tell about ourselves.
Notice the dialogue of your story—what you say out loud to others or what you say to yourself. Take your hands, put them out, and half close your eyes. Tilt your head up, take a deep breath, and imagine the loving presence of the Divine. It is both all around you and within you.
How does God ‘see’ this situation? What is the divine conversation about this incident, this choice, this decision of your financial past?
Allow the compassion to arise. If God does not judge you, use that as a starting point for shifting the dialogue about yourself. Now you can move from ‘I’m so bad’ to ‘what am I learning from this?’
What capacities for financial growth have you developed? What wisdom are you gaining?
Those kinds of questions activate the more loving and insightful parts of us. Your inner conversation shifts from blame of the past into the possibilities of the present.
Congratulations. You are on your way with Step #2 of financial forgiveness, Changing the Story.
I see you becoming free.