Patterns often repeat themselves within families. Genetics is commonly used as an explanation for this. Addictive personalities, disposition to depression and anxiety, abusive relationships maybe. I’m becoming more and more sceptical of genetics being used as scapegoat for unhealthy patterns and more open to the idea that the “monkey see, monkey do” nature of children is more feasible.
Nature vs nurture is not a new concept, I know, but because I’ve been recently reading about the connection between thoughts and physical reality and how the thoughts you think are often dictated by your childhood, it’s given me a lot to mull over.
“We base our life script on our early messages. We are all good little children and obediently accept what “they” tell us as truth. It would be very easy just to blame our parents and be victims for the rest of our lives. But that wouldn’t be much fun, and it certainly wouldn’t get us out of our stuck position.” – Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life
Whilst I believe it’s important to find the root of self-deprecating beliefs and behaviours, I also know how vital it is to redeem our personal power and not remain stuck in a victim mentality forever. I see myself as being in limbo between these two points at the moment.
Louise Hay asserts that virtually every problem in our lives has come from a limiting belief, which is quite a shocking viewpoint. For example, a financial disaster indicates the belief that we are not worthy of having money.
It seems so intangible to think this way. There are countless external circumstances that can affect how much money we have: growing up poor, being made redundant, the cost of living increasing without a wage rise, the boiler breaking down, someone from the council messing up a benefits application(!). So it makes sense that a person’s natural reaction to “it’s because of your beliefs that you are struggling for money” is one of derision or even anger.
For whatever reason, I’ve moved past my initial angry response and I’ve started to accept that she might be right.
My parents both have mentalities of lack to a greater or lesser degree. And they have both always had money struggles. I was aware of my Dad’s financial situation from quite a young age. I knew he was in debt. And I knew his stance on the government and middle and upper class people. I often heard him express his resentment at people with money: “Being busy is the middle class disease” (I have to admit, I still find that one funny). He was actually brilliant at budgeting and I’d follow him around the supermarket while he counted up the cost of the weekly shop as we went through the aisles, always making sure he wasn’t overspending. Although this is really wise of a parent to do and completely understandable, it still comes from a lack mentality.
And my Mam has always been one for borrowing money off people, owing money to people, ignoring final notices. I had everything I needed as a child (which I’m incredibly thankful for) but not often things that I wanted. “We can’t afford it” became my family’s mantra. It would make sense that I’d subconsciously inherit this “there’s never enough money” mentality and play it out in my own life as I have.
I actually started working at 13 although it took me a long time to develop a decent work ethic. I was never great at saving up money or being wise with it though. I think that because for so long, I’d not been able to buy or have the things I wanted like clothes and magazines and CD’s (millennials aren’t always as out of touch as you think they are!), when I did finally get some money of my own, I was desperate to buy myself things. It would’ve tortured me to save it all because I already felt this huge lack in my life, was always wearing clothes I didn’t like etc.
So although I was now making some of my own money, I still felt trapped in the cycle of lack, work and temporary abundance that I squandered. I can’t say I regret it, though. I was a teenager and it’s part of my story for a reason.
And when I went to university and qualified for the highest amount of student funding, scholarship and all, I more or less squandered it again. Don’t get me wrong, I always left money for food and rent, but I could’ve definitely been wiser with it. It’s always this feeling of “FINALLY! MONEY!” that has made me so reckless with it. Whereas, maybe if I had the belief that money will always come to me and that I’m deserving of abundance, I wouldn’t respond to it with this exhilaration.
Lately, I’ve had some very real (I guess that’s my ego speaking) money scares. I’m still in my student overdraft from 5 years ago and deeper into it than ever. On top of that, the cost of living in Edinburgh is the most I’ve ever experienced. Luckily, the opportunity to work a bit more has presented itself and I’ll soon be going from a 36-hour week to a 40-hour one.
But regardless of those things that seem more or less out of my control, I’m starting to confront this “lack mentality” that I keep talking about, that is in my control. And I’m doing that by noticing when I start to tense up thinking about money and consciously relaxing. Starting to think about all the things I have to be grateful for: a roof over my head, food in the cupboard, a hot shower, a full-time job. And starting to think less and less that “I can’t afford that” and more “I can’t wait ’til I can have that”. And smiling. How can you have a lack mentality when you’re relaxed and smiling?
“Reverend Ike, the well-known evangelist from New York City, remembered that as a poor preacher he used to walk by good restaurants and homes and automobiles and clothing establishments and say out loud, “That’s for me, that’s for me.”” – Louise Hay
There’s a specific chapter in You Can Heal Your Life about prosperity. When I have completed this chapter, I’ll return to this subject and write about it again. At the moment I have absolutely nothing to lose, so why not try something different!
Thanks for reading.
– SMUT. ❤ xxxx