Money: A Matter of Attitude, Broke or Poor

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Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail.
~Henry Wheeler Shaw: Being broke is a condition that many people are faced with this time of year. The Holidays are jam packed with food, family, friends, and frustrations. We desire to be, have, and buy all that will make our loved ones and ourselves happy, but we are usually long on want lists and short on cash. It is easy to fall prey to the seduction of buying on unlimited credit and having to face the unrelenting bills long after the momentary joy is gone.

We Are More Than What We Have or Do

Often we, unconsciously, relate our worth to the world in terms of money or possessions. Our inner feelings on how we earn, save and even handle money are connected to our self-esteem. We judge ourselves at our worst and others at their best, assuming that somehow they have the "secret" of making everyone satisfied and grateful for their gifts and throwing lavish parties without breaking a sweat or a fingernail.

Our worth as individuals is not tied to how much, how big or how many. Our worth is intrinsically tied to our ability to share our spiritual gifts. The truth is, that money doesn't buy happiness. We are so much more than what we have or do. If not, who are we when we no longer do or have?

Broke or Poor?

Look at our neighbors who have gone through the horrific hurricanes this year. Are they mourning the loss of family, possessions and livelihoods? The devastation was pretty non-discriminating with loss. After a blow like this, it will take some time to recover, financially and emotionally. Some people will bounce back quickly and others will never recover.

Broke is a lousy place to be, but one where you can look around and think, "This stinks, I don't want to do this ever again. What do I have to do to dig myself out of this hole? What options do I have or can I create?

However, there is also the condition of being poor, which affects your spirit and attitude. You can be poor and still have money and possessions, but think of yourself as a victim. If you see yourself as poor, and coming from a place of fear and lack, you will always be poor. Someone once said that the best thing you can do for the poor, is not be one of them. That isn't unloving or judgmental; it is a statement of not accepting poverty as inevitable or unchanging.

Presents or Presence?

The best present you can give anyone is unconditional love and acceptance. People who matter want your presence in their life much more than they want a present. Invite them to dinner, even if it is mac and cheese on mismatched plates. Write love letters. Give coupon books. Set an example by telling them honestly, "I'm broke this year, and I don't want to incur any more debt, let's skip exchanging presents."

We have all been broke, either financially, physically or spiritually at one time or another and we may be again at some time. But we are smart enough to know that it is a temporary condition and we will look for options. There are people who have money and then there are people who are rich. No one's poverty has ever been cured with a dose of money. The only way to cure poverty, which is a state of mind, is through an emotional change of attitude. Being poor is a choice.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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