A few years ago, I ran into a man who began a very intense discussion with me (more like a monologue) about debt. At the time, I had no idea why he seemed to launch into this diatribe, but the more he talked about the sins of credit card debt and the idea that it is “wrong” to borrow or lend, the more uncomfortable I became. I could feel myself squirming inside with guilt and shame since at that time, I had a fair amount of debt (credit card and other).
As I drove away from this interaction I thought, “I hope that I never see him again. He is so self-righteous!” But later on, I realized that he was simply showing me the part of my own mind that I didn’t want to acknowledge. I felt bad about debt. I felt like I had done something wrong (that I was myself wrong) to be in debt, and that good people didn’t have debt. I hated my debt and had to admit that I hated myself for getting into it.
As I began to awaken, I could see that the harshness I felt toward myself was also the concept that I had been raised with, and believed to be true, about God.
Personified, it would look like a strict, tight-lipped 18th century headmaster who never slept, but walks the halls constantly, large ruler in hand, delighting in finding the smallest transgression, labeling everything as good or bad, right or wrong. Its cold, searching eyes never happy until the culprit (i.e. me) was found and duly punished. Try as I might, I would never be good enough in its eyes.
Once I had this revelation, I knew that the only solution to this apparent problem was to bless it (and myself) but I found this to be a huge challenge. How could I bless something that was wrong or bad, and if I blessed it and myself, wouldn’t I just keep charging or spending what I didn’t have?
But I did begin to bless it. I actually took my credit card statements, looked at each purchase, whether it was food, clothing or anything else, and I brought up the item in my mind, and thanked God for the benefit that I received from each one. I held my credit cards in my hands, blessed them, and gave thanks for them too. It took a while to actually feel different about these blessings (which I formerly called “debt”) but as I persisted, and as the lines of good and bad softened, I began to see all of it as simply a part of my life. Not good or bad, right or wrong, just life experience with lessons that were for my growth and expansion.
We label so many things as bad and then feel bad about them. If we aren’t feeling good, how many times do we say, “I have a bad cold, or a bad back?” If we feel we’ve done something wrong; if we’ve had an accident, uncomfortable incident, or just been in a low mental state, we call it a bad mood, a bad day, or even bad weather.
What would it feel like to assume that the next step you take, you are taking on holy ground? What if we looked at our lives as good, expanding and perfect? Bless this day and everything in it. Start with yourself. Today is a new day, a good day.
“On meeting people and talking to them, bless them in their health, their work, their joy, their relationship to the universe, themselves and others. Bless them in their abundance and their finances, bless them in every conceivable way, for such blessings not only sow seeds of healing but one day will spring forth as flowers in the waste places of your own life.” From, The Gentle Art of Blessing, by Pierre Pradervand