At a young age, we lost our family home and were forced to sell it.
I was too young at the time to understand why. One evening I came home hungry and asked my mother if I could order pizza. She said we couldn’t afford it.
Before we lost our home, I could always order pizza whenever I wanted. My favorite was Pizza Hut. I’d order two large pizza’s, a bottle of Pepsi and a garlic bread for $20.
We weren’t rich growing up, but we could always afford the basics like food.
Life went on after we lost our home. We rented a new home and got back on our feet. From that point on, I became very careful with money. Even when I had more than enough money I was still careful.
As I got older, I tried to shake the habit of being so money conscious. Part of the reason was that I wanted to give to those who had nothing and I was finding the transition hard. My previous girlfriend would often comment that I should not focus on money so much and live a little.
Until I met her, I hadn’t traveled anywhere in the world partly because of this need to always be money conscious in case a tragedy struck.
One night I carefully analyzed what was causing my beliefs about money.
Then it hit me: losing my home as a child was still affecting me as an adult.
“What made changing my money habit so hard was this deeply ingrained childhood experience that I’d never really dealt with or understood”
The older version of me was still living like that twelve-year-old child who’d come home to the news that we’d lost our home. Even worse than that, the experience of being told one night that our family could no longer afford simple pleasures like pizza was still with me.
So how do you change when you’re finding it so difficult?
What worked for me was finally dealing with this childhood situation. I had to tell myself that I’m no longer that little boy anymore and that things have changed. I do have a home and I can afford food which is something so many people in this crazy world of ours don’t have.
I had to learn to be grateful.
I had to move on from the past.
I had to find a reason to ditch my old beliefs in order to change.
What finally caused me to change was realizing that my beliefs about money were holding me back from my goal of helping other people.
I couldn’t use my money to help others unless I dealt with my childhood issues. It was the question “What am I missing out on by not changing?” that allowed me to change finally.
The change finally came with this new question and I ended up donating money to help build a school in Laos. The year after that I started using my money to help homeless people and victims of domestic violence.
What makes change so difficult is not letting go of our childhood trauma.
Once you let go of the past, then you can get the change you’re seeking.
Make change a must.a
Image Credit: Joshua Earle on Unsplash