Over the last little while issues of debt ceilings, credit rating, and currency stability has been in the news. And while the situations may be different from country to country, it doesn’t seem good. Now, my job isn’t to critique the financial market and government decision-making process, but to relate what’s happening in the world to you – and how your powerful mind can find greater mental and emotional health, happiness and stability. If we look at the currency of the mind – our habits, thoughts, behaviours and emotions – the ‘crisis’ going on around us is an external example of what many people are going through, internally, on a daily basis.
What is Debt?
The definition of debt is “something, typically money, that is owed or due.” Yet how do we keep track of our debts and credits, emotionally, physically and mentally. One of the resources we have internally are emotions or feelings. Unlike different international monetary currencies, each of these feelings – both comfortable and uncomfortable – are very valuable. Positive emotions, or ones we like (joy, contentment, accomplishment, connection etc), give us incentives to continue to do behaviours that are working for us. Negative emotions, or ones we don’t like very much (anger, fear, stress, guilt, loneliness, sadness etc) are just as precious. They indicate when we might be ‘off’ in fulfilling what we need and want. They are the financial update that makes us pause and say ‘what’s going on here? What needs to change?’, and when we pay attention, we can be better guided to more profitable ways of doing and feeling. Ignoring them, like ignoring a credit card debt balance, can get you in hot water. If you need an update on the messages that emotions are sending to you, please contact me at [email protected] and I’ll be happy to send some information to you.
When will it end?
While the financial crises seem too big for an individual to tackle, your own emotional debt is within your control. Unfortunately our debt ceiling can’t be lifted without some serious consequences. Often times, when we are feeling out of our league with emotions, we can experience negative physical symptoms. Stress puts pressure on all aspects of ourselves and continued indebtedness can affect the very core of our being. One situation we sometimes forget, however, is that ‘our’ debt might be a carryover from the past. The messages and morals we are given from childhood on, usually given by very influential people in our lives, may not be true, or true for us. At times we need to reassess the ‘structure of the world’ according to our past and see if it is true or just a perception or holdover. If it is no longer relevant or supportive, we may need to restructure. While this may feel like an overhaul of a well established system, the rewards for starting again with updated information and viewpoints can profit you extensively in the future. Sometimes it feels tough to do it alone – this is where friends or a therapist can help.
Defaulting on Debt
Sometimes we do something that places us in emotional debt that we can’t do a thing about. Let’s say, we made a mistake with a friend, which ended the relationship. And even trying to reconnect or apologise, the other person would have nothing to do with you. That’s a sort of a default. In the emotional world, there is a way to move past this default – forgiveness. While you might not like what you’ve done, or the way you’ve acted, reacted or approached the situation, most of us, having the power of hindsight or the ability to do a re-take of the interaction, would probably not do the same thing again. So that makes it forgivable. And this is true of others. They may have messed up which resulted in hurt, pain, misunderstandings or injustice, but it is within our ability (in the mental/emotional world more than the financial world) to move on from these defaults/mistakes to live more fully and happily, by letting go. Remember when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
Responsibility and Release from Debt – or Bankruptcy
So in summary, there are a few simple steps to take control of your own personal, emotional debt crisis. While it would sometimes feel easier if someone else had to ‘deal with it all’, we have the power of responsibility on our side – we are the ones who can positively affect our futures. And whatever mistakes we have made in the past, we deserve a clean start, which is something we have the power to grant ourselves. Investing in time and resources to keep yourself from emotional bankruptcy is one of the wisest uses of your assets:
Getting your Triple-A Rating, Emotionally
- Realise that emotions are vehicles that help to guide you and direct you.
- Understand that you may have inherited some emotional debt from those you love (and want to emulate) – however, you don’t need to carry it if it isn’t working for you.
- Should you be a ‘victim’ to a debt default, cut your losses by forgiveness (and learning the lesson)
- Should you default on debts, set yourself free through forgiveness, take the responsibility for past errors by learning to do it better the next time.
- Understand how emotional debt affects you, and get support in releasing or controlling it – this will enhance your health, wellbeing and emotional prosperity.
I love to give you the credit you deserve. Have a wonderful August and keep in mind your mental, physical and emotional bottom-line.