Breathing Freely

I’ve wondered sometimes how much happier a place the world would be—or maybe how much happier I would be in the world—if money was not the thing that seems to make the world go ‘round. Or more precisely, I’ve wondered how much easier it would be to be happy if I had more of it or if I had saved and spent what I had more wisely. It seems to be an astonishingly common query. I hear people asking variations of the question all the time, particularly when they’ve found themselves in what feel like dire financial straits:

So I asked the Shower Team: How do we begin to free ourselves from the emotional burden of overwhelming financial obligation, of mountainous debt and/or the accompanying fear and shame of having created it? How do we look at what we’ve done and what seems to be always bearing down on us, and feel free?

The problem and the solution is inherent in your question. To ask “How do I free myself” is to miss the hugely important and absolutely unquestionable fact that you ‘are’ already free. Nothing and no one, no set of conditions, no outstanding balance, no
massive monthly payment, no deadly financial boulder rolling toward you can for one single instant change the reality that you ‘are’ free.

You are so free, that you can see yourself as bound. You can actually choose slavery to anything that you believe has power over you. You can even choose bondage to something that feels good to you. It doesn’t matter . . . bondage is always your choice.

We know that is very hard to hear when collection agencies are tracking you down and invoices are piling up and the fear is rising like flood water. But it is no less true when you believe you’re drowning than when you are basking on a beach somewhere. It is what you are choosing to see and believe—the thoughts that you are thinking over and over until they become “real” to you.

The irony is that the more you see yourself as bound—by shame, by guilt, by worry, by dread, by frustration . . . the stronger your chains become and the longer you keep yourself enslaved. So what do you do? When the payments are due or when the questions from onlookers are put to you: “How are you going to manage?”

Will you believe the lie that those “statements” say anything at all about who you are or what is yours? Will you agree with the deception that what you earn or owe or spend or save has anything to do with your freedom? Will you choose to blame yourself for some perceived failure to measure up to a meaningless standard? Will you accept anyone else’s criteria for what makes you worthy? Who gets to decide your freedom? Who’s in charge? To whom do you give that ultimate authority to dictate to you how you feel about you?

We encourage you to pay what you are able to pay in order for you to feel that you are honoring yourself—and as you do so, to tell yourself how irrelevant it is. We encourage you to see from the broader perspective how infinitesimal any debt you’ve accumulated really is . . . how it can disappear—and will—as you are able to see it for the speck in the Universe that it is—and see you for the worthy, loving and lovable, capable and competent, blessed creator that you are. We also encourage you to remember and believe that when you transition back to your blissful nonphysical state, any debt that remains will not be taken with you.

“He/She really screwed up. Blew big wads of cash on stupid things and then had to pay the piper. He/She probably died a broke and broken soul.. Better luck next time.” Is that the story you’re telling and believing? How’s it working for you?

If you’re feeling burdened, it is not because some big hairy monster is breathing down your neck. If you’re feeling shamed or guilty it is not because a bank has you by the short hairs. If you’re not breathing freely, it is not the smog or the smoke coming from some building or bridge that you burned. It is all about what you’re letting in and what you’re letting go of. Stop holding your breath. You’ll be amazed at how free you feel, when you finally exhale.


Sometimes even I have to sit back and chew on some of what I hear and even as I note that to myself, I hear “No rush and no worries”. So I/We are, for the moment–as I am taking deeper, easier breaths–complete.

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About Dan

Published novelist, poety, essayist, photographer and college educator. Visit me at www.firstadream.com.

Posted on April 21, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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