Whether we owe a little or a lot, debt weight may be common, but certainly not carefree to carry. In today’s world, debt shows itself everywhere—from our nation to our neighbors, and seems “normal”. Google stats show America currently has over 20 trillion dollar debt and the “average American household” owes nearly $135 thousand dollars. In today’s article, we’ll explore how living in debt drains more than our bank accounts and how a simple change in our perspective can make direct deposits into our personal worth, and add dividends in dollars and life.
We owe, we owe, so off to work we go
Although loans certainly have their place (who could buy a home without one?) the trouble with spending more than we have, is that we take on a debt that’s even greater than dollars. When we owe a debt of money, we also owe a debt of obligation to gathering money. Hence we live lives in obligation to money— not for the joy of experiencing life. So we spend our days doing things we feel obligated to do, and we’re not happy about it. We wear long faces on the way to work, and long faces at the jobs we don’t like. And long faces under our smiling masks as we spend time selling products or services to people we do not like so that they can pay our bills. We work long hours and don’t make time to exercise or smell a rose or play with our children. We skimp on groceries and don’t buy the healthy organics so we can save money— then lack nutrition and energy or go to the drive-through because it’s quick and cheap.
Doing what we don’t want
This obligatory cycle of debt is enough to make anyone want to jump off the wheel of life. Although we may have a house, car, boat or other “stuff” that we want, everyday obligation to choices we don’t want to make, makes us miserable. A life of obligation is no way to live.
The Big Lie
There are lots of reasons (aka excuses) why we stay obligated and keep the job, client or sugar daddy, simply to pay off a debt. I understand the driving need to survive and support ourselves and our families. However, if we sell our soul for our “stuff,” and then act in ways that are disrespectful, manipulative and harmful to ourselves and others, what’s the use? No amount of money can ever replace the time and life experience we’ve lost, or the joy that we could have by choosing to live each day happily, in vibrant health, with people we enjoy for all the right reasons.
Debt beyond dollars
Hidden beneath any obvious financial debt we may have, lurk two more debts. Although not outlined in any written contract, they are nevertheless pending. They are emotional debt and spiritual debt. The emotional debt of STRESS from having borrowed what we cannot repay creates anxiety. This anxiety is born of fear of failure as we try to rely on ourselves “work our own way” out of debt. In addition to this emotional debt is the spiritual debt of UNWORTHINESS. Having received what we have not earned, leads us to feeling unworthy of the great things we have purchased or overly worthy for receiving what we did not earn. This creates an over-reliance on our own abilities to “get” or “take” what we need from Life, instead of simply working honestly and receiving what Life provides. The combination of these three debts: financial, emotional and spiritual, provide the perfect stage for us to feel irritable with ourselves and others, depressed, hopeless and drive us toward addictions of all sorts as we desperately seek any way out.
It wasn’t always so, and it can change
The concept of debt as a way of life is new. It began in the early eighties when credit cards became readily available to the general public and letters of approval arrived weekly in our mailboxes. Before then, consumer debt was far less common, and fewer people were addicted, distracted and weighted down by debt. Today, the “normalcy” of debt can make it seem as though it will always be present in our lives. This does not have to be our truth. It is important to remember that life wasn’t always this way, and we can be debt-free once again.
The trouble with trying to repay debt with money …
is that it really isn’t any fun. As we just discussed, chasing dollars at the expense of our happiness is debilitating. And even after our debt is paid, we may be left chasing the next “thing” we need to borrow for, and simply step back into the trap of debt and obligation! Again, not fun.
Of course banks will only take money as payment for our loans. However, as an expert in willpower, with clients who are now debt-free, I urge us to not give money too much credit. There is a more enjoyable, spiritual method to earn money that is without stress. Warning: there will be no spreadsheets, budgets or penny-pinching.
The easiest, most enjoyable and effective ways to pay off financial debt has nothing to do with money. As a matter of fact, as my clients agree, when they chose to focus on budget and money as a way to “manage” and “work off” their debt, they were the most unhappy! Instead, I suggest an eye-opening, heart-opening change in perspective, which will increase the value of our life account and bank account.
Invest Yourself Wisely
Instead of seeing our most valuable asset as money, and what we use to pay for “stuff”, let’s realize that our most valuable asset is life and its energy within us. If we aren’t alive, we can’t do anything, much less pay our bills. Since our life energy is more valuable than money, what will we choose to do with it?
How we choose to invest our energy is the best prediction of our financial future. Do we invest in activities that are worthy or wasteful? Do we donate our energetic, waking hours to smoke, drink, gossip, watching television, illegal activities or other unhealthy indulgences? Or do we invest our energetic capital in healthy, productive activities? I am not suggesting that we work 24 hours a day so that we become rich— quite the opposite. Richness comes in a variety of shapes: rich health, spirituality, relationships, wisdom, awareness, and finances.
As we focus and choose to consciously and wisely invest our energy in health and joy, we make deposits into our “good life” account, and our “financial” accounts will grow in tow. Think about your own life—how much money do you spend per week on things that are unhealthy or not growing you in a good direction? How much time do you spend with people who are draining and leave you feeling “spent?” If you invested in your health instead, could that money be put toward debt or that time be put toward joy?
Every Second Counts
When we invest our life energy (also known as “energetic dollars”) in health and joy, we show Life that we are grateful, appreciate and want more of these things. By simply choosing health and joy, Life will provide us with dividends of health and joy. For example, if we invest in healthy eating, Life may provide us with dividends of healthy bodies, sleep, wakefulness and offspring. And, if we invest our “energetic dollars” in work that bring us “joy” that we “love” to do, Life will bring us more of that joyful work that we love … and the dollars that come with it. As you can see, by making choices in “health” and “joy,” we are making direct deposits into our personal worth and receiving dividends in dollars … and in life!
I challenge and encourage you. How can you invest more of yourself in health and joy? Please share your thoughts and feelings so we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,
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