Debt is a heavy burden most of us will have to bear at some point in our lives. It leaves us feeling depleted, stressed and desperate. But what if we could change the way we looked at and felt about debt? What if, when we thought of debt, we felt immense gratitude and joy instead of anxiety and depression?
Here's how you do it!
First you have to focus on all the memories, experiences, and opportunities debt has given you. Then grab a pen and a piece of paper and write a love letter to your debt. It might sound crazy but it works! This isn't going to magically get rid of your debt but it will start to shift your perspective and allow you to see all the abundance you have in your life and how much has come from your debt. Instead of debt popping into your head and setting off a self deprecating spiral into negativity you can feel gratitude and love. This will put you in a more positive head space so that you can set realistic goals for yourself and eventually pay it down.
Here's my letter to debt in hopes to inspire you to do the same.
First I want to say I’m sorry for hating you for so many years. I’ve always thought you were such a horrible life sucking virus and that others were lesser for having you. I was wrong.
You see, when I was a little girl my parents would say things like “We can’t afford that” or “That’s too expensive” or “We don't have that kind of money!” I would be riddled with guilt and frustrated that I couldn't have what I wanted. So I told myself if i'm never in debt then I won't have to feel guilty about money. Easy!
Debt = Not Enough, Failure, Loser. Therefore, I will never have it.
I worked myself to the bone to stay in the black. I controlled what I spent, where I spent it, and how much. I saved and took minimal risks until finally at 30 years old we met. It all happened so fast. I broke my foot, got laid off from my job and decided it was a good time to spend $2000 on yoga teacher training!? Six months later I was on EI, teaching volunteer yoga classes and was in MAJOR debt. -$7000 to be exact. The stress of it hung over me like a dark storm cloud always raining and whenever I felt it lift, even for a minute, a lightening bolt would smite me and I would become miserable again.
How could I have let this happen? I’m such an idiot, irresponsible, selfish, etc. My negative self talk overtook me.
I had this deep need to get rid of you and this stain of failure that I felt was stamped on my forehead for everyone to see. I worked 4 jobs for almost 6 months and finally I was free! WOOHOO! I could finally be happy again. I felt like I could accomplish anything! I had defeated the bad guy and life was good.
1 year later, we meet again. You reared your ugly head and we found ourselves in the hole -$20,000. You really got me this time. The negative self talk crept in and started to become a regular station on my internal radio. Failure, idiot, irresponsible, lazy, pathetic, etc.
And then Jodi said something that flipped my world upside down. He told me how grateful he was for our debt. That without it we would not be where we are now. Newly weds, living in our new Condo in a new city, Calgary AB, with our new furniture and car. He recognized you as a gift that has allowed us so many incredible things.
So first I would like to apologize for hating on you for so long. For using you as a justified reason to bully myself. For thinking that you made me a lesser person. Our lives have completely changed for the better and non of it would have been possible without you. For all the times you’ve had my back, fed me, clothed me, given me a warm place to stay. You are such a gift and I feel lucky for having you.
Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you.