Day 230 post 2
I have always panicked about money. I remember panicking about it when I was counting the pennies in my piggy bank, thinking to myself that this will never do. I was 6 and concerned over the fact that my pennies didn't add up to enough to cover the house I'd like to own someday, or the car I would need to buy, so that I could drive to the college I would need to attend, to be able to find a job that would cover the cost of the home that I'd like to own someday. I was often a frustrated child because I'd watch my friends, finding such happiness, I mean... pure joy, in the $10 their Grandma sent for their birthday. They were more than content spending that money on a new barbie, or a movie, or something totally pointless, I felt. I was jealous of these friends because they didn't concern themselves with the prospect of rainy days. They didn't worry that there would someday be a financial famine. They were 6 years old and acting like it! Why couldn't I just let go? It's not like my parents didn't provide for me. There was never a marked reason why I was like this. I was always fed nutritious food, given clothes to wear to school, and they even gave me a car when I was going to college. But that's just the way I was- I mean... am. I can't look at my bank account, or even the link on my desktop to the bank's web page, without getting a sick stomach. When Trenton and I bought our house I was sick for 4 months! I was terrified during, what should have been, an exciting time in our lives. But the fact that money has only become more scarce these past couple years has fed into my fears and it seems like every time I open a bill, or get a notice on the contents of our checking account I have a full-fledged panic attack. But today while I was standing there in the bank, as the teller was telling me how much I had after a deposit, I heard a very relieved voice in my head (yes...I'm hearing voices) that said, "Be thankful you have that." My cycle of panic was broken with that one sentence. Imagine if I took all the energy I waste on worrying about money and aim it towards being grateful for the money I do have, and opportunities I have to earn money, and all the other non-materialistic blessings I've been given! Besides- there has never been a time that things didn't work out. How can I keep worrying when I've been given so many examples of our finances surviving? And it's such a powerful practice, to be grateful. Studies are demonstrating that those who maintain gratitude as a constant state of mind are better able to fight disease, stress, weight, and feelings of loss. (http://women.webmd.com/features/gratitute-health-boost). During this time of the year- when merchants are encouraging us to be so spiritually unbalanced, let's force ourselves to focus on serving others, loving, and saying "thank you" for our blessings. Especially because Christmas trees, and the presents under them, are so much prettier when you're already happy with what you have.