Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Are you constantly struggling to make ends meet? Your financial and money issues may be about more than just managing your finances. There are often emotional issues, such as low self-worth, shame & guilt underlying money problems.
I grew up in a house where financial and money issues were constant and they created a significant amount of stress in our life. I was 10 years old when the bank foreclosed on our first family home. Then our 2nd house was foreclosed on when I was 20 years old. Being raised in a family with a blueprint of how to live in scarcity, instability, and not having enough was a learned and taught behavior. I remember constantly thinking, if only we had enough money, things would be different and we would be happy.
When I started college, I had one goal: To Make Money. I had already decided that I would be an accounting major at the start of my freshmen year. I know it is rare for a student to declare their major that early, however, it was an easy decision for me because accounting was a safe and stable profession. I knew it would be easy for me to get a job after college, I could make a solid and steady income and I was good at math.
Right out of college, I worked at a prestigious public accounting firm. For the next 20+ years, I worked at various companies in accounting & finance, in senior positions that paid well with stock options and bonuses.
And even while working in well-paying jobs, I always had this constant and very real fear that I would lose my house. I had nightmares that I would lose everything at a moment’s notice. No amount of money would give me the safety and stability that I needed to feel safe.
Throughout my career, my mind would often wander to do something more fulfilling to satisfy my need to help people. However, I would immediately shut the idea down. It was not an option. In my mind, I could not create a safe and stable environment for myself or for my family on the salary of a teacher or a social worker.
While I was very good at putting money away for retirement and investing in real estate, my husband and I always struggled financially with cash flow. We always seemed to make just enough to get by. We were on the credit card roller coaster for years, because we would charge up the credit cards and then pay them off annually with my bonus. We were keeping up with ‘The Jones’s”.
Something needs to change. I can’t do this anymore
In 2017, I left my job after 14 years with my fortune 500 company. I had no job lined up and I had no idea what I would do next. This was an unprecedented move for me. Things had to be so bad in my role, that the fear of financial instability was less than the struggle and unhappiness I was dealing with at work on a daily basis.
When I left, I spent a year being a stay-at-home Mom of our three daughters. I drove them to school and picked them up every day. While they were in school, I took classes and joined programs to focus on my mental, emotional & physical health. What I profoundly discovered during that year, was that my financial issues were not about money and they never were. But instead, they had to do with my own issues of self-worth, the emotions of grief, and feeling unsafe due to the loss of multiple homes as a child.
This realization gave me so much clarity and perspective. I now had such a different lens for looking at my financial situation. I realized that our struggle with debt and credit cards related to my low self-worth issues and the need for external validation through buying new and fancy things. This always gave me a temporary feeling of worthiness and value. However, when a person is constantly looking externally to prove that they are worthy when the newness of what they have just bought wears off, their problem is still there.
I saw an Intuitive Healer early on in my journey and she had me do an exercise during one of our sessions. She had me pick a colored marker out of her box of markers. She asked me to pick the color that I disliked the most. Right away I was drawn to a gold marker. She asked me, “Ok, why don’t you like that color? What emotions come up when you look at it?”
Right away I said, “Gold reminds me of royalty, being a king, and being valuable.” As I said those words, it was such an “aha” moment and it brought tears to my eyes. When I looked at that color it reinforced my unworthiness in myself. Gold represented value and that was not me, or so I believed.
I had felt unworthy all of my life. I came from a divorced family and struggled with issues of abandonment. It became so clear to me that my financial issues stemmed from my underlying issue of unworthiness. My negative self-talk and my actions were reinforcing my limiting belief that I was “Unworthy”. For the next 2 weeks I had to carry around something gold in my pocket and each time I felt it, I had to reinforce the thought and say the statement “I am worthy.”
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How I changed my relationship with money.
So that was the start of my journey to change my relationship with money and detangle all of the emotions I associated with it.
My life coach, Kimberly Napier, had me read the book The Energy of Money, which really helped me to dig into my relationship with money, the emotions surrounding it, and all of my limiting beliefs around attracting it, deserving it, etc. I highly recommend reading this book if you are ready to do the work and take a real look at the underlying roots behind your financial struggles.
After I left the corporate world, I entered the holistic health world driven by my daughters’ autoimmune health issues. I finally aligned with my purpose to help others and I stepped into my fear of uncertainty instead of away from it. I opened a holistic wellness center, Holistic Life Community and I started to educate and get trained in natural & holistic ways to help my girls and also to address my own mental health issues with depression & anxiety.
I am trained in an emotional healing modality called The Emotion Code, which taught me how to clear unprocessed emotional attachments to traumas, phobias, health issues, etc. This process taught me about emotions and how they can get passed down from generation to generation. This concept is called epigenetics. I knew I had a lot of generational trauma related to finances that had been passed down from both my mother and father and even from my grandparents. This is a fascinating article by the BBC on a recent study on Epigenetics: How Emotional Trauma Gets Passed Down.
This process has changed my life and has allowed me to let go of so many of my emotional attachments of grief, unworthiness, and instability related to money and financial issues. I have worked a lot on my own self-worth issues and now I have such a different viewpoint around circumstances that previously I had felt so helpless or shameful about. Things just don’t trigger me the way they used to and now I can choose how I respond to situations instead of just reacting.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”Albert Einstein
There are things that you can do if you are ready to start doing the work to clear your blockages and repetitive behavior. You have to start by making the decision to do something different than you did yesterday. Take the first step and read the book The Energy of Money and do the marker exercise that is mentioned above. If you are interested in working with a coach to help clear the underlying emotional issues, you can find me on my website www.holisticlifecommunity.com.
Laura is a Holistic Health Coach & Founder of Holistic Life Community in Wakefield, MA. She opened this center to be a resource & provide a community of holistic professionals that are dedicated and passionate in helping, educating & guiding people on their journey to find health, balance and joy in life again. Her 3 daughters propelled her into this work, when they were born with severe food allergies. Regular medicine provided no solutions, so she went on a mission to find a way to help her kids. She looked to Alternative Medicine and found holistic approaches that cured her kids of their food allergies, Lyme Disease and then her own life long struggle with depression & anxiety. She is passionate about giving people hope using holistic approaches.
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