I know. I hear you. In fact, I just felt a whole bunch of you cringe and tense up. It’s that scary word…an incredibly emotional subject. Most of us are still raw from old wounds, tumultuous periods of life when nothing went as it “should.”
We all have these deeply rooted beliefs. Some we are intimately aware of and wear proudly, waving our little “I believe!” flags. Others hide deeper, in those dark little corners that escape our own realization. There’s this funny thing about beliefs though…a lot of times they aren’t our own. Often they are injected, planted deep by someone else…maybe the world, other influencers…or even by well-meaning parents.
Money is never an easy topic of discussion. In fact, I hesitate even now. Fingers hovering above the keyboard. What will they think? You see, I am very intimately aware of the deep pain that comes along with learning how to heal financially. You might even say that particular pain and I were besties for awhile. I know what it feels like to desperately seek income solutions. I know the anxiety that comes with looking at my bank account and feeling “unsafe” and unprepared.
Why am I sharing? Because I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want to acknowledge that no one is above those challenging seasons of life where money is scarce and fear is ever present. I’m ready to share my story and hopeful that the wisdom I gained in the valley may bring insight and support to others. I’m ready to be me.
A Match Made in Crisis: Newlywed Risk Takers
My husband and I have built our life together on taking risks. Always pushing the status quo, we reside more often than not in the fast lane, dreaming our way to new (sometimes crazy) heights. As newlyweds, we abruptly followed a dream and moved to another state with our hair on fire…no friends, no plan…just us. Why not? Our impulsive excitement continued and we soon found ourselves expecting a child.
Was I prepared for this? Heck no. But there I was.
While my husband championed the American Dream, working hard at a commission-based position, I got to play stay-at-home mom to our new daughter in that perfectly blissful postpartum dream. Except that it wasn’t a dream. At all. It was winter. In CHICAGO. I had no family, and a new baby that was convinced I was the perfect human pacifier. Amidst the constant crying, incessant nursing, and frigid cold, I welcomed new friends into my life: isolation, sleep deprivation, loneliness…and another bestie, depression.
Painfully squirming for some relief and stability, we did what any normal newlywed couple with a young baby would do. We threw money at the chaos and bought a house. Afterall, it was 2006 and homes were practically being given away to anyone with a pulse, right? We’d just figure it out, right? The move from a dark city apartment to a bright lakeview home sounded like the perfect solution. Money can buy happiness, right?
Belief Crisis: Money can fix everything. Any problem can disappear with the right amount of money.
Reality: It is excruciatingly painful to feel buried, suffocating slowly underneath an overextended financial commitment and cumbersome, monumental debt.
What were we left to do? My husband went on the hunt for a more secure, higher paying job. And he found it…back in Virginia, where we had started. Naturally, our new home had no value and we found ourselves the ideal candidates for a short sell. Fine…let’s just cut our losses and move on. We’ll figure it out later. Right?
We had another lesson to learn. We trusted a real estate agent to help us get out from underneath this problem while we settled back into a new life in old Virginia. The agent overlooked a crucial, rule numero uno, must-do as a Chicago homeowner – winterize your house. A pipe burst. A big, fat, ugly painful one. We found ourselves booted off the short sale path and dumped quite solidly on the arduous road to foreclosure and an unavoidable, heartbreaking bankruptcy. Depression and I were pretty much sharing a bed at this point.
The Wake Up Point: Recovery Mode
It was the most grueling year of our lives. But even in that pain, we discovered our wake up point. You see…I believe our wounds are where restorative light is able to enter us. It is in that brutal vulnerability of our greatest struggles that we draw threads that connect us to those we need. It opens our eyes and our ears to listening, learning and sharing.
Belief Crisis: I can’t survive this. There is no going up from here.
Reality: This is excruciatingly painful. But it will be alright. You can recover from this. You will recover from this.
Less than five years later, we are finally fully and solidly back on our financial feet. Not only have we ditched our former besties depression, isolation and impulsivity, but we have welcomed in new friends. Hope, transparency and love. Together, my husband and I have moved past financial ruin, back into a safe zone and now into our top earning potential, finally shaking off the “just getting by” paranoia and settling into a hard earned career for him and a perfectly designed home business system for me.
What’s even better? I now get to help others to find healing, equipping and empowering them on their journey back to financial health by achieving the personal strength and clarity that allows them to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
My financial beliefs took a big hip check during that difficult season of my life – simply put, they had to! But I’m here to say that hardship is just that…a season of life. It is never too desperate to overcome and never too late to set yourself on a different path, taking that first step towards a transformative life. It’s never too late to live financially free and vital. It’s never too late to be me. It’s never too late to be you!