Over the years I have found it very easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the "joneses" and thinking that I will be judged for what I have rather than who I am. The past few months have taught me that that has not only led to financial crisis and stress, it has undermined my own values at the cost of my health and happiness.
Getting out of debt has been an amazing freedom, however staying out of it and not re-creating the same old pattern of getting credit will take practise. Needing to buy a car (it is a need due to work), I almost fell into the trap of thinking I needed to get financing for a car that I could not pay cash for rather than buying a car that I could pay cash for.
Yes, that means it's going to be an older car, but so long as it is reliable and safe, does that matter? I gave myself quite the sleepless night wrestling with why I almost signed a lease on a newer vehicle. Thankfully I woke up knowing I had decided no and that was the right thing. Amazingly I then received an email from a friend who informed me that a relative was selling a car - for a price I could afford. So, no more debt:-) I just had to let go.
Our credit score is becoming more and more prominent- it's used for renting apartments, for jobs, for buying things. I appreciate that it is important to know that people can afford the things they are buying. However there is an implied underlying value judgement against those who fail the test for whatever reason. As I am currently in the later category I notice that I feel shame and that I think I am "less" of a person. I know it is ridiculous but when I allow that thought to permeate my health suffers and it doesn't solve the problem - just makes things worse.
This thought process can happen about all sort of things. Its negativity encourages us to focus on what we aren't so good at and takes away the energy to focus on and do what we are good at. Letting those thoughts go is not easy. However when we do let them go, what comes in in their place is so much healthier and makes us happier too. Recognizing patterns, repeated behaviours and traps and making a written note about what we want to do/say instead is really helpful.
Note from step 24. I have created charts and record sheets for weight loss and money management as well as a "happiness" graph. If you would like these please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reflect on a time in your life when you were really happy. What you were doing, what came next. How did the happiness affect you and others. It might be a single event, or a holiday or a period of time. For me the birth of my two daughters is probably the happiest times in my life - even though I didn't feel great, the love I felt was surreal. My eldest daughters name means joy and happiness in Persian.
Eating wheat and gluten free all week
Creating the Thank You Project -Thanksxamillion
Being firm with myself about finances
Stepping on the scales and realizing I was 2 pounds lighter - yippeee
Getting the munchies after supper
Not getting much sleep due to the car issue
Getting on top of my to do list and maintaining what I have committed to
Quote for the day
"Happiness is always possible, but we have to be willing and open to receive it--and sometimes that means letting go of what we're holding onto."