The Sweet Beginnings of Change

It’s 2012 and I’m incredibly excited about the New Year. This is the first time I’ve felt this way on January 1st. Perhaps it has to do with the Mayan calendar predictions or maybe there truly is a spiritual transformation underway. Whatever it is, I feel it.

I’m ready to reinvent myself. It’s time to stop waiting to be the person I want to be and start being that person. To do this, I need to cut the ties that hold me back, in particular: excuses. This Friday, I was in a store and came across a book by Wayne Dyer called “Excuses Begone”. In it he asks some fantastic questions designed to deflate the excuses that we use to justify self-sabotaging behaviour. Some questions that stood out were: “Where did it come from?”, “What’s the payoff?”, and “What would your life be like without this excuse?”

Right away I thought about money. Like most people, money is a very complex subject for me. It’s tied into self-worth, a sense of freedom or lack of, and happiness. I use the fact that I don’t have as much as I’d like as an excuse for not being happy, and for not living the life I want. In the middle of the store, I was stuck to the spot questioning this thought.

Where did it come from? Money was a source of constant conflict and unhappiness for my parents. They yearned for a better life, but felt they could never have it because they couldn’t afford it. There was a silent message that if only they had more…they’d be happy. Ultimately, it wasn’t about money. It never is. Scratch the surface of money problems and there’s usually another conflict in hiding.

What’s the payoff of keeping this excuse going?  I get to remain the same by carrying on what I learned from my parents. It doesn’t require me to change, and I can simply continue to live the life that I know. It’s comforting in its discomfort.

What would your life be like without this excuse? This question rang loudest with me. The instant I read it, I knew my excuse was a sham. Without it I would have nothing to blame my unhappiness on; which means that I would be discontented for no reason. And that would be irrational. It’s entirely possible I use money as an easy way to explain what’s not working in my life. Not having this excuse would also require me to change.

I’m starting 2012 by diving into this change. I want to have a better relationship with money, one that’s harmonious and free of conflict. The first step is recognizing that excuses are distractions keeping us from acknowledging the truth. The next step is to decide whether we truly want change and then committing to it. The final step is to instill new thoughts and behaviours. With practice it’ll become a habit. This is what new years are for: reinventions and new beginnings. I’m ready.

Happy New Year to all my friends at WordPress! I hope 2012 fills you with joy and illumination.