Act 364

Be nice to yourself

So here’s the thing. We’re awfully hard on ourselves especially when it comes to money. It’s wrapped in expectations, competition, accomplishment, pride, vanity, secrecy, even shame. It’s not really a healthy relationship at the best of times. We measure ourselves by it and judge one another by how we use or don’t use it.

I’ve spent a year trying to dissect my relationship with money and debt. Why I shop, what I buy, why I buy it, how I buy it, what I do it with it and how I got here in the first place. And I’ve learned a great deal. Mostly that you can’t buy happiness. It’s not for sale. It can’t be sold, traded, exchanged or even earned. It has to be cultivated. We owe nobody for our happiness and nobody is responsible for it but us.

I think if we were nicer to ourselves, we might have an easier time of freeing ourselves from our addiction to consumerism. Bigger, better, shinier, newer, nicer. For some people, shopping is a hobby; an all inclusive week in Mexico an annual entitlement; a big screen TV a basic necessity; a luxury car a status symbol. None of this could be further from the truth. We’ve fallen under the spell of keeping up with the Jones, the greener grass on the other side. It’s a pretty crafty illusion if you ask me. That’s why┬áI spent a year peeking behind the curtain. It’s my view that there’s plenty of button pushing and lever pulling going on behind there by the so-called wizards of wealth. It just wasn’t adding up for me.

It’s adding up now. The wizards are just ordinary people trying to do their job, the Jones are in worst debt than you and that greener grass is astroturf. It doesn’t really matter what everyone else has or does, what really matters is what you’ve got going for you. Your happiness. Your dreams. Your family. You. So be nice to yourself. A friend you can count on, always.