I was talking to my dear friend the other day. I've known her since graduate school. I've lived in her home. We've been on lot's of crazy adventures. I love her so. So, you could say I know her. We were discussing her finances, an area of her life that she now has completely squared away. When I lived with her I studied her homemaking habits and she gave me advice about what foods to buy when money was tight (corn tortillas, beans, and rice, in bulk). She knew these kinds of things because money had always been tight for her.
So to be walking along talking about the fact that she has money to pay all of her bills, money set aside, her taxes paid early, and money to spare for fun things, was novel for us. I remembered that three years ago she made a goal of conquering the money thing. As it turns out, she succeeded.
So of course I asked her what the heck happened? And she mentioned the book Secrets of a Millionaire MInd. I'd heard of it before and the name alone is so off putting that I hadn't given it much thought, but in light of our conversation I now couldn't stop thinking about it and picked it up from the library. It's pretty cool and I think I will learn a lot about my own thoughts surrounding money, hopefully resulting in more money for myself and my family. Last night a particular passage stood out.
When the subconscious mind must choose between deeply rooted emotions and logic, emotions will almost always win.
When you are in my line of work you think a lot about feelings. I am sure without a doubt that the benefits of a child being able to identify their emotions are enormous to both parent and child. And that later in life:
- A child that has been supported emotionally and allowed to express and understand their own feelings can use her emotions as a guide when making decisions or designing her life.
- A child that learns to feel feelings and express them fully need not develop avoidance techniques later in life, such as self-sabotage, drinking, drug use, or intense solitude.
- A child that has been allowed to feel her feelings to their greatest extent will witness the temporary nature of emotions and later in life refrain from making critical decisions when emotions are running high.
- A child that recognizes his own feelings becomes an adult that recognizes his own feelings and that can then take measures to care for themselves, love themselves during that emotional experience.
But feelings as they relate to money is new to me. As I understand it from the book, knowing ones emotions, recognizing them and filtering that information can lead to either poverty or riches. It depends on what happened for you early on, how your understanding of money was formed by the feelings you felt while absorbing money ideas from your parents and environment. If money was a heated issue in your family, if your parents fought about it and you felt scared, your subconscious has not forgotten this link. If money is linked with fear (or anger or any other negative emotion) then later in life when making money decisions of any kind, your subconscious will "take care of you" by getting rid of the thing that caused those unwanted emotions - money.
My feelings can make me poor. Or wealthy. Holy cow.
The thing is though, one must know what those feelings are before they can unravel how they are affecting her financial life. The author doesn't talk about this part, learning to recognize ones feelings. But we do!
So here's to feelings. Here's to letting your children have theirs, no matter how inconveniently they arise. Here's to parenting with empathy and knowing that not only are we setting our children up to be happy and healthy, we are also giving them the tools to become financially healthy as well.