The following entry is an exercise from Julia Cameron’s work The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of Enough.
It might make for uncomfortable reading.
Often what follows, as a course of the exercise, is personal – sometimes jarringly so. I prefer to aim for as much openness as possible about my past, about my family dysfunction, and about my current health and emotional challenges now. My present as I write this is quite stable, but my past is something of a lingering disease – and there is the possibility that the lingering disease may actually be literal, rather than metaphorical. Money is more taboo to discuss than even sex, sexual violence, or misogyny from populations as suppressed and oppressed as women. What is silenced most of all are the later in life protests of the targets of emotional and physical abuses – “get over it” is in fact “shut up about it,” because shutting up preserves the abuser’s power by ensuring that that person will never be held accountable – that’s what silence does. This also creates a situation where the target’s silence contributes to the abuser’s ability to persuade herself or himself that the behavior “wasn’t that bad” thus enabling that person to seek a high by abusing another day, whether that’s a person or a substance. While it is not the case for everyone, the work I do via Julia Cameron’s projects brings out these memories and maladies – and the scream breaks the spell.
There is also a very positive side to this work for me in that I am a stronger, better committed writer. I plunge into this work as one path to total healing. Most people just want to get working on their art. It works for that – just remember to forgive yourself for what you do to yourself, and stay accountable for what you do to others. That’s really the simplest way to function.
The reason I can’t stop debting is:
- because I feel rushed.
- because I forget to keep track.
- because I worry, and I try to medicate the worry with spending.
- because I feel bad about myself.
- because I know the money is kind of/sort of there and I don’t see my goals as concrete.
Survey: What behaviors can I change?
All of them. I’ve already made progress by tracking with two SmartPhone programs, especially when I also track the shared household money. I’m recognizing that one of my issues with thinking of it as Mike’s money and not “our” money is the frequency with which my sister would help herself to my clothing, money, etc. and the violent hostility she met any attempt of mine to borrow anything of hers. (She still can’t conceive that I unstrung her guitar strings one year because my teacher told me it would reduce damage to the guitar when it wasn’t played regularly. Why? Because she only touched my stuff out of entitlement and spite.)
When I worry, I need to go journal and stash the crazy. Make a list. Make a plan.
When I feel bad, it’s usually a health related issue. Prayer for those moments, as much of it is truly out of my hands at this time.
The understanding that THIS WILL HAPPEN is the part that’s taking the most retraining. That these things I want ARE within my reach – and it isn’t taking that much time to accumulate the money to do them. I’m not sure what I can do to anchor that in my mind – perhaps some affirmations will help. “My money is real. So are the possibilities connected to it.”