Dear Lucy: I have been reading your articles and video emails about debt but I just want one thing that I can do to ease all of these negative feelings about myself and this debt.
– Thank you, BT
Dear BT: We had our debt seminar on this past Saturday (March 310 and I wish you had been there. Maybe, next time. The joy of teaching for me is in what I learn or remember as I am teaching.
Three points for you:
Debt vs Credit
If you could close your eyes and remember the largest items on your list of debt, do you remember when you went to make the purchase? Do you remember how excited you were, how anxious you were about getting the credit approval, why you wanted to make that purchase? Do you remember all of the joy and relief you felt when you were able to walk out with that purchase?
And, oh how wonderful it felt when they said, “yes!” You felt such gratitude and you were so proud that you had been found worthy of being granted that credit. And all along, you assured the people extending the credit that your intention was to pay them back, right? Of course your intention was to pay them back!
Today, even as you spend hours every day working, worrying, feeling unworthy and dishonest, sorry, angry at yourself, angry at them for trusting you, sad etc., what hurts the most is the shame of having broken your intention, being seen now as not being credible and behaving as if you are no longer grateful for the trust placed in you.
Debt starts out as credit, mutual benefit, joy and thanksgiving for the borrower and the lender. When we no longer feel these it is because something unexpected happened along the way. In the drama of circumstances we forget that we really are wonderful human beings with infinite potential for recovery, hope and power. You are not your circumstances. You are what you think about your circumstances. As you work diligently at being aware of how you are thinking about yourself and judging according to appearances you can begin to decide or choose a better, more productive way of being.
Circumstances changed, maybe you made some mistakes. But, you would not be feeling this pain and anguish over this debt if you were no longer the deserving person of hope, integrity and purpose who secured the debt in the first place.
Are you truly any less of a person of worth because of your debt? If you had the money, would your intention to repay the debt change? Are you still grateful for whatever that debt represents in what it purchased? Maybe it was a home for shelter; a car to get to work or help others get somewhere or utilities to keep you and your family warm and clean. Were you only thinking of yourself when you made the debt or were you thinking of how the purchase would benefit your family and others? Most of us have good intentions that include others.
So here is what you can do. Gratitude is one of the highest of emotional attractors for good. The Word says, “in all things give thanks.”
First, give thanks for the credit, which signifies your capacity to be trusted. Look at that stack of bills and remember that they are a testimony to how you have been trusted. Then give thanks that you are the same person of integrity who was honored with that credit and that your intentions of honoring that credit remain the same.
Then act on those intentions by developing an honest and reasonable repayment plan that does not rob you of the ability to continue to enjoy the right to liberty and happiness. Don’t commit to do something that you cannot do. Put it in writing, give it to your creditors and honor it diligently. There are laws that protect you when you follow them. Research them. Lift up your head and give thanks that you are and always will be God’s beloved.
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy’s new book, “BE NOT ANXIOUS.” Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)