Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fear of Finance

Fear of Finance

I wish I could be funny about this. I feel like writing something funny. I’m really funny when I want to be. But today I’m scared again. I’m scared, but I will whistle in the dark. I think sometimes that fear is detached from actual events. Fear is in the mind, not in the event. Or it is attached to a fearful event by association. It may be an outdated association.
So here I am. My husband is depressed this week because there is a hole in our budget. He will have to borrow from savings again. (Having savings at all is a novelty). So here is my thought process, which has its own logic:
Money = incompetence
Money = lack of money
Lack of money = death

Oh, I am so dramatic. I even majored in drama. Metaphorically, I major in drama. For God’s sake, calm down, Tess!
All right. I’m calm, I’m calm. And here are my Rorschach ink blots – my associations that cause money to equal death:
  • Mom & Dad = bills in shoeboxes
  • Bills in shoeboxes = bills in collection
  • Bills in collection = angry Dad
  • Angry Dad = suicidal Dad

This is so pathetic. I am, as I have mentioned, forty-three (had a birthday this month). So you’d think I could unhook from this by now.

16 months ago we had a bankruptcy; last year we left our house behind. Now we’re in the hole again. And all because I am afraid to look at finances consistently enough to stay on a budget. And probably, my husband is, too. But he certainly looks at them more than I do. I just buy things – groceries and lattes mostly – and deposit money into my business account when I earn it.

I’d like to write something now that will show how competent I am…
  • Last night my novel-writing class started. I have eight students. We talked about plotting. I really enjoyed it. It was at the community college.

  • Today I am editing a book for a client. It’s his memoir. It’s interesting work.

  • Next week I have a story due. It’s an assignment. That means they asked me to write it. The editor said they wanted me because I’m good at capturing kids’ feelings and getting into a kid’s mind.

  • I have four kids. They like me.

  • I have a husband. He likes me, too.

  • God likes me.

  • Ummmmmm.

I don’t believe this is insurmountable. I’m just not getting past the discomfort of the fear. I’ve got to be willing to walk through it like it’s one of those bead curtains we used to divide rooms with in the 70’s.

There’s this verse in the Bible that goes “Perfect love casts out fear.” Just a sec, I’m going to look it up…Okay, I John 4:18. Here’s the parallel Bible site. Cool! Still no Orthodox translations, but cool, nonetheless.
Basically, it says that God is love and that perfect love casts out fear and that fear has to do with punishment, so that if we are fearful, we have not been perfected in love. Which says to me that I haven’t grasped and understood fully the presence of God in me, which is love and that when I can do that I will no longer be afraid.


CJ said...

Hmmmm sometimes I get so scared I begin to have a panic attack and then I have to calm myself down. A circle all on its own.
Great example of fear and how it grows. Well done!!!

tesseract said...

This is good. How do you calm yourself? I do some deep breathing and stuff like that. I just feel so annoyed that I get this way at all.

CJ said...

I tell myself that I am alright. It is only anxiety. The same thing as being excited about getting on a fair ride or going somewhere on vacation. FEAR is only an emotion. Breathe from your stomach slowly and exhale through your mouth slowly. Think of a beautiful flower. A beautiful place. Etc. Practice breathing when you are not afraid to see how it works. Practice, Practice and more Practice....Not easy but it can be done! Tense your muscles and release. You will learn the difference.