Joe Rutland believes that a man’s worth is not determined by the size of his bank account.
Without a doubt, one big area that causes me a lot of uneasiness in my personal and professional life is dealing with money.
I grew up around pretty successful business people. My father was an attorney and, while not a millionaire, did OK. My grandmother ran a small-town women’s clothing store and applied what she learned from her father, a successful man in his own right, to have great wealth.
Sometimes, I wonder if the genetic financial knowledge train took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and didn’t reach my insides.
Just writing about this topic raises a lot of feelings and emotions, which is a good thing. I’d rather feel these moments of fear, doubt and uncertainty and transfer them into having more faith and confidence in my ability to master finances. I do take full responsibility for my own actions and behaviors around dollars and cents, and am striving to make amends to myself and creditors, too.
There are times where I’d just like the universal forces of good just to pour down a bucket of bucks and say, “OK Joe, you’ve been good to your family and friends for a long, long time. Here’s your thank-you note and everything is paid in full.”
Am I just being too Pollyannaish about it all?
Just show me the damn money!
When looking back upon my own financial experiences, it leaves me with an inner sense of “what the fuck did I do and why did I do that?” thinking. I didn’t get my first job until I was 19 years old, so some who read this might say I should have started working earlier. Anyway, a lot of those paychecks went toward helping pay for groceries and other bills at my childhood home. I was not the greatest saver in the world, either. One of those messages that I received from family members was that there would always be enough for me … and there was but not “always.”
I can say (this is the positive swerve here) that I’ve intentionally focused on upping my financial knowledge in the past 2-3 years. It has been a mixture of both spiritual and educational learning that is providing a great amount of healing.
There have been moments of living with a friend for a few months while looking for employment. There also have been moments where I’ve worked 2-3 jobs at one time and made enough wealth to pay off two repos and debt. As this moment, I’ve seen myself slide backward yet coming forward again.
One takeaway from the internal financial crisis is feeling a sense of sanity taking hold. That’s the case around money and other areas of life, too. I’m quite aware of many people who offer financial advice and support on the public stage. Some of it fits me and some of it does not. That’s OK because I am learning from it all.
With all that being said … does the size of my bank account today, in this moment, equal the size of my heart and soul? No.
I choose to believe that my own worth internally is infinite. If I spend too much time measuring my internal worth to my outer circumstances, oh crap … it’s not pretty in this present moment.
What I’ve come to see is when more sanity and serenity take hold within my inner world, then those outer circumstances – including financial pieces – become balanced.
Yet there is work to be done.
Being a creative writer, podcaster, social media specialist and marketer are areas that I’ve learned and developed a lot over the past few years. Taking all of these aspects of my professional life to the next level, and having a lifestyle that breaks me out of a 9-to-5 world into balanced creativity and sanity (there’s that word again!), means a lot to me.
Trusting others to help me along this path has been quite the trip. I’ve had people graciously help me (and you know who you are) when times were really low. I’ve also had people support me in different and newer ways as I expand my own creative abilities far beyond simply being a page designer at a community newspaper. I know that I have so much to offer and I do so in different ways.
Being a voice for the cleft and craniofacial community around the world does mean a lot to me. Giving back through writing and creating means a lot to me. Sure, I’d love to have an article reach the best-viewed list on major online portals.
Success can be a healing component to life. Plus, isn’t life meant to be enjoyed and not endured? I believe so.
That’s why I believe what takes place inside me around finances matters. I also believe it behooves me as a man and human being to be more fiscally responsible in my own matters. Thankfully, I’ve offloaded a lot of inner bullshit messages around money. They still crop up here and there, yet more and more I’m turning a deaf ear to those words filled with fear, shame, guilt, insecurity and hate. Those inner messages are ones that would have me stay down, not grow, not learn, and look for obsessive comfort outlets and take my eye off a prized life.
I do have a desire to have more than I do now. I don’t find anything wrong in that inherently. If what I create and do brings someone enjoyment, education and pleasure, then shouldn’t I receive some compensation for my work? I believe so. There are times when I’m willing to put together giveaways to help more people in their lives.
Then again, maybe I just need Jerry Maguire in my corner (along with his buddy, Rod Tidwell).
Photo: Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr