I just finished listening to a live talk on the Spiritual Path to Money Tele-Summit and something I heard really struck me. The speaker was Colin Tipping, a person whose book Radical Forgiveness I have mentioned several times in this blog and have continued to recommend enthusiastically to anyone who needs to find forgiveness of self or others.
Colin spoke about people having a financial set-point, just as we seem to have a weight set-point. Interesting side note is that in the moment just before he articulated this idea, the words set-point and the phrase just like with weight popped into my head, so when he started saying the words I had just thought of, I got a little chill.
The financial set-point insight was around how people have a certain comfort zone when it comes to money. That level of comfort comes from conditioned thinking, often based on our family beliefs about money, work, etc. For instance, people who come from working class families may think that money is somehow tied to hard labor, that money is difficult to come by and that having more money than our unconscious beliefs would dictate is somehow not acceptable and therefore we sabotage our own efforts at success to maintain this unconscious set-point.
I’m not paraphrasing Colin very well, but I want to get this message out because when he talked about how people often will not succeed beyond this unconscious belief, or if somehow they manage to, they will find a way to sabotage it and lose everything, I had a flash of insight about myself that might help me change my direction in life.
I grew up in a blue collar, working class family. Not only that, but I came from a family of generations of uneducated people. Mind you, I’m not saying stupid people, just people who did not pursue education beyond high school and many of whom never even went that far.
When I was younger I never even dreamed of having an education. I didn’t grow up with the mentality that I could do anything I set my mind to. I grew up thinking that I would get out of high school (maybe) and that I would immediately go to work, struggle financially my entire life and then have only Social Security to rely on in my old age. With one exception, I have nearly accomplished that exact pattern. And I think during his talk today, Colin shed light on the reason why.
After many years of working and barely getting by, I broke out of the family mold and decided to get an education. I was in my 30′s, married and raising kids. I decided that I was going to get a college degree and then go to law school and become an attorney. As I have mentioned previously in this blog, I had no idea what it would take to get a law degree or that it required 7 years of post-secondary education. Regardless, I set off in pursuit of my goal.
Here’s where the aha! moment came from today. I did get a law degree, but I am not practicing law and I can’t even say I am barely getting by financially. I am in the worst financial shape of my entire life right now and I think I have let old limiting beliefs put me here.
When I was in my final semester of law school I was so busy studying that I didn’t see my family very much. One day when I went to visit my parents, my dad said that he had been wondering why I hadn’t come by and whether he was going to have to “call my secretary and pay me $200 an hour to come and visit my mother.” My dad had been making similar comments the entire time I was in school. Comments about how I was going to become an elitist and think I was better than my family, etc. Perhaps it was because I was exhausted from all the studying, but the comment he made that particular day wounded me to the core of my soul. It was one of the last times I saw my dad. I have been estranged from my family for almost 5 years, for a lot of reasons, this being one of them.
What I realized just today while listening to Colin talk about money is that even though I haven’t been in contact with my family for some time, they still have a hold on my way of thinking.
I did graduate from law school, I was the first in my family to get a college degree of any type and the only one to go to graduate school. But ever since I graduated from law school my life has been on a downward spiral. I have not passed the bar exam after repeated attempts, I have not kept a job for more than a few months at a time, which is unlike me, and I am in more debt than I can pay off in this lifetime unless something changes drastically.
Today I realized that it is entirely possible that the reason things have gone the way they have is because I am fulfilling my role in the family, even though I tried to break away from it. I may have betrayed the family code by earning a law degree, but to keep things even, to obey the financial and success set-point established in my unconscious, I kept failing the bar exam. I have an education I haven’t been able to use and I can totally blame it on circumstances beyond my control.
From this moment forward, I am dedicating my energy to replacing those beliefs I have about success and loyalty that have kept me fulfilling my role as the irresponsible member of my family (I am the youngest of six kids). I am going to find ways to affirm that I can succeed and release any limiting beliefs I have about money and success. I am not going to let my past be the blueprint for my future.
My gratitude goes out to Colin Tipping, once again, for his wisdom and insight that have literally changed my way of thinking. Though I have never met him, I feel like Colin is a friend. And the best kind of friend, the kind who will tell me the truth about myself to help me succeed.
Please visit Colin Tipping’s website www.radicalforgiveness.com and look at the tools he offers. I guarantee you will find something there that will help you with your life and spiritual growth. You can also follow Colin on Twitter, @colintip.
Thank you, Colin! I am so grateful.