I have a client whose financial crisis mirrors the one in our global economy. She spent the last few years banking on the idea that she could somehow circumvent the rules and not be fiscally responsible and that the universe [God, some magical power out there] would provide.
I believe what we are witnessing is the equilibration of hubris, and by that I mean human arrogance that universal prinicples somehow don’t apply to them.
Haven’t we seen the wealth and power wielded by Wall Street personas as somehow out of our reach? Didn’t we all buy into the idea that these people were immune to the rules? Didn’t we believe the evidence of their stature as pillars of the financial community?
Sure! There’s even a very insightful TV show playing called Dirty Sexy Money that portrays the antics and machinations of “the richest family in America.” They do whatever they want! They buy political elections through lies and influence. They bend the rules, change the rules, at will. And they seem to get away with it.
But the show gives us the other side. These people are just as clueless about personal relationships and self-fulfillment as every other person walking the planet. They just look good and have wealth to mask their misery. It may soften the consequences of their attitudes and behavior, but it doesn’t eliminate them.
So what does this mean for us?
I think it means to see whatever level we are being affected by the “financial crisis” as a mirror to show us areas to clean up our thinking and figure out how to live well in a different way–by paying attention to our attitudes and ask ourselves the kinds of quality questions that will lead us to appreciate the challenges of life and re-evaluate how we are living it.
I see money as an expression of energy, and I believe net worth and self-worth are equal. When I see a client with a lack of net worth, I immediately start looking at what they believe about themselves, whether they have a sense of value for themselves, to what degree they are able to live from the inside out, rather than letting the world and what surrounds them dictate their lives.
Usually, this shows up as lack in more ways than money–they lack a sense of appreciation of the people around them and the magnificent universe we live in, they blame others and situations for their problems, they are looking for some sort of magic pill, both figuratively and literally, to get them out of the mess.
There is no magic to living well, because it takes the same process for everyone. And one of the great benefits of financial crisis is that it forces us to get back to basics and rebuild the financial foundation, rethink and reset priorities, stop making up stories about being rescued and take care of each problem, one by one, in a reasonable, logical, effective way.
So what is my client doing? She got a job and is doing the mental preparation work to enable her to succeed at it. Is there any guarantee that she will? No. But the fact that she has faced her situation and takes responsibility for it, the discipline with which she has looked at it and seen what her mental obstacles were and is willing to work through them, gives her a much better chance at effectiveness than when she was trying to have faith that somehow God would provide.
I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes for her. I’m also interested to see how the dire consequences of our global crisis affect the election, how we do business, and what happens on Wall Street. These people were very big, and they fell. Isn’t that the same thing that we experience when our unrealistic thinking creates fantasies that we pray will come true? Is that any different from when we’re–just as our mothers warned us–too big for our britches?