It has been a long dry spell. Very, very long.
I’m not talking about sex, although that has suffered a bit since the cancer thing. But I’ll save that for another blog.
I’m talking about money.
Why is money not flowing?
It seems my husband and I have been stuck in a rut of financial lack and I am doing everything in my power to understand why so that we can move through this and on to the financial prosperity that I KNOW awaits us.
But there’s definitely a block present. Must be. Why else would we be so challenged for so long?
I’ve been digging deep on this for a while; trying to get to the source of what the opportunities are for us. Because Mike and I are a team, this could be a lesson for us as a couple. Or maybe it’s our own individual limiting or irrational beliefs we hold around money. Either way, I am deeply committed to understanding this issue in service to accepting and receiving financial prosperity.
I get a visual. It’s a picture of me on one side and money on the other and we’re divided by a wall. And the wall is made of fear.
I think back to three years ago, when we were enjoying a time of financial prosperity for the first time since having kids. I had a wonderful time indulging myself. I was able to go grocery shopping without keeping a mental tab on our budget. When the boys needed socks or underwear, I didn’t have to hesitate before jumping on to Amazon. And when I wanted to grab them a sandwich from Subway, or a Starbucks for no special occasion, I did it! So no extravagant vacations or luxurious extras; this is how I indulged. Such a feeling of freedom. It was fantastic!
And then I got cancer.
So I wonder… Have I paired financial prosperity with getting cancer? Is there a belief present that I can’t have everything? That I’m unworthy of living a life of happiness? That I should never get too comfortable because just when I think everything is going well, the other shoe will drop and something horrible will happen? I feel the energy rising and tears begin to flow- a sure sign I’m on to something.
I let that sit with me for a couple of days as I contemplate these misunderstandings and misinterpretations. And then another thought comes forward. Maybe there’s something else at play here as well. I have a sense of what it is and I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Let me back up. Over the last several months, I’ve been experiencing our financial situation in many ways.
First there’s panic. An immediate, guttural fear that my family’s safety and security are in jeopardy. My history has shown that making choices from a place of fear never works out. That didn’t stop me though. I went into crisis mode, looking for any kind of work I could get.
Let me back up even further.
Many years ago, my husband and I agreed that I would stay home with the boys, making him the primary bread winner. We didn’t come to this decision easily. But ultimately, it was right for our family, fulfilling my lifelong dream to be a mom. And while I do generate some money from home, it’s meant to supplement my husband’s income. Yes, I know this is a privilege that many women don’t have. I understand the gift…and the consequences.
So when I found myself in panic mode, my first reaction was to jump in and take care of things by myself. The thinking in my head goes something like this, “Well, if he can’t do it, somebody has to.” And if you’re wondering…yes, there was some resentment.
So then I spent several weeks looking for work. Any kind of work. Nothing came. During this time I was really, really unhappy. I was getting several signs that this wasn’t the direction that was going to lead to the financial prosperity I longed for. In addition to no movement on the job front, my body was filled with anxiety that kept me awake at night, I was unable to eat, and I was grumpy. But I was doing what I thought had to be done.
Then I began learning about quantum physics and how we can create our reality by raising our energy etc. and it really helped shift me into a much more positive space. I felt empowered, energized and hopeful. Instead of hunting for jobs, I placed my energy into things that brought me joy: my family. And while our financial situation didn’t change, I was much, much happier. I began to trust and have faith that things would work out.
I stayed in that space until a few weeks ago, when, once again, I was faced with the cold, hard facts of our finances. Sent me right back into that panic place. And the pattern continued. I jumped into looking for full time work outside the home. I was scared and miserable. And nothing was working out. None of the positions I was applying for responded. None.
Again, it was clear that this path wasn’t leading me anywhere, but I just didn’t know what else to do. My prayer shifted a bit. “Please just point me in the direction that best serves our family. And if I’m meant to be home with the boys, please provide the financial means to allow that to happen.” I even got really specific, asking for the amount of money that would help us out.
And then a friend gently pointed out the possibility that perhaps the opportunity available to me is to shift out of my old (grrrrrrrr) pattern of over responsibility.
Ding, ding, ding!
Yes, I’m guilty. I come from a long line of women who have learned the pattern of over-responsibility, sometimes known as martyrdom. I’ve been aware of this pattern for a while. Even explored the connection with my breast cancer, but again, that’s for another blog. But I have been mindful of my choices with regard to this pattern, especially around my boys. It just hadn’t occurred to me that the behavior was showing up in relation to my husband.
And I realized that perhaps the reason we’ve been stuck in this pattern of financial lack is that I have been enabling it. UGH. OUCH. Really? All along, I thought by jumping in and overstepping my husband’s role, I was saving us; when in reality, I was enabling him to stay small and not giving him the space to step more fully into the role that he chose.
My rational mind is quick to step in and question this insight. Doesn’t this give my power away? I am a strong, independent woman and I wonder if this is my way of playing small. But wasn’t the point of the whole feminist movement to give women the power to make their own choices? I am choosing this path. But the thinking part of me still wonders if these are rationalizations to serve my position.
I check in with myself and a few things come forward right away. First of all, this FEELS right. The anxiousness and tightness in me dissipates as I come to this realization. Secondly, what we’ve been doing up to this point is NOT working, so why not try this out?
So I took a huge leap of faith. I sat down with my husband and shared my insights. If the past several months has offered us anything, it’s the ability to speak the microscopic truth with each other. Many times in the past we’d discussed changing up our agreement and switching roles. But we know that wouldn’t serve either one of us; in fact, it would bring us further away from our own heart’s desires. So I took a deep breath and spoke my truth.I told him I was going to stop looking for full time work and that he would have to find a way to step up and make the money to keep us going.
It was scary, but also so liberating. It felt as though a weight was lifted and, once again, I could breathe.
And guess what happened? My husband had an amazing week of meetings. There’s nothing solid on the table YET, but there’s lots of possibility and potential. And I think I can make our remaining resources last until he lands that next gig. Because that’s what I’M good at. I’m great at making the money we DO have last for a long time. I’m also really good at believing in my husband and kids and holding that space so they can be the amazing people they are! I’m good at finding ways to save money and generating supplementary income. I’m great at keeping our financial books, cooking (well, sometimes), cleaning and keeping our house in order. And I’m especially good at keeping my family healthy and happy.
I ran into a man while walking our dog recently. He has been a banker all his life and he was sharing how excited he was to be reaching retirement so he could finally do what he has wanted to do his entire life, write a book. I stop to think about choices. Sure, we could’ve chosen that path, but we decided a long time ago to try things differently: to do what we love NOW and have faith that our passions would provide us with what we need. OK, so it has presented some challenges, but honestly, I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
So here’s to financial prosperity. After all, I’m already living a tremendously abundant life, where I get to experience radiant health, joy, laughter and LOVE every day. I understand the incredible gift that I am blessed with daily. Now it’s time for me to surrender and complete the picture by accepting and receiving financial abundance.
And so it is.