The I HATE Budgeting (But I Like Having Money) wrapped up the 12-Step program, learning the final 4 steps to changing their relationship with money from (even mildly) dysfunctional to hopeful, intentional and – dare I say – joyful.
While the 12 steps typically deal with addiction, financial behaviors can be addictive, too, and, like any wound, you clean it first and then focus on healing.
Step 9: Make amends directly
I perform research on the steps prior to the meetings and in doing so I found Northpoint Evergreen Bellevue‘s post. It reminds those going through the 12 steps that the first 7 steps are about you: you getting right with yourself, your Higher Power, your situation. But making amends is about getting right with others.
The group discussed how difficult this step can be. Admitting you were wrong or at the very least inconsiderate is not easy, but gets much easier with practice. Sometimes we were wrong because of the inability to say “No” (to ourselves and/or to others) or the push to say “Yes” (to everything and everyone).
Let me also say that admitting wrongs is easier when you’re willing to forgive wrongs.
The Three Rs of making amends are:
- Restoration (of the relationship)
- Resolution (solve the problem, identify a new solution)
- Restitution (fairness and justice to pay the person back – if possible – or pay it forward)
Step 10: Take another personal inventory & admit wrongs promptly
Getting honest and real with yourself is the key to changing those aspects of yourself that aren’t serving you well. One participant in the group noted, “I ‘worth’-ed myself into a lot of trouble,” meaning she kept trying to convince herself that she was valuable and “worth” a purchase but found herself in a financial bind as a result. This is a very typical financial behavior that can wreak havoc mentally, emotionally and financially.
You may read about how to take a personal inventory regarding finances and also about Steps 5 & 8 (admitting wrongs, making amends) to refresh your memory.
Step 11: Become disciplined with your prayer & meditation, acknowledge and seek your Higher Power’s will and communication.
The discussion on this step revolved around making life more meaningful, more rich.
I just started reading The Cloister Walk in which the author
describes her life as an oblate of a Benedictine Monastery.
She shares that the Benedictines believe time serves us (instead of us serving time)
and that in every day there is time for prayer, work, study and play.
In only one day this has changed my outlook and my calendar. But I digress…
Janine, a regular participant, shared a thought that resonated with her, “Let my crop grow to a manageable harvest. Let it not grow rotten in the field and let me not grow rotten in the harvest,” meaning, “I want to experience abundance but not become greedy.”
Breaking this step down into components:
Discipline means to learn and learning can be fun! Perhaps your Inner Rebel is making you skip school when your inner Teacher’s Pet longs to learn. Finding the learning method that works best for you is crucial. As my friend and life coach Nancy Rizzo says, it’s got to be “simple, comfortable, doable and your way.”
Prayer is about asking for help and support, perspective and guidance. Prayer can also be about giving thanks. “I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful…. It’s the only totally reliable get-rich-quick scheme.” ~ Ben Stein.
Meditation is about listening. One of the benefits of meditation is the change in perspective you experience. You become more peaceful, more content, more understanding, more compassionate. More, in essence, who you really are.
To acknowledge is to know. Knowing and feeling that you’re loved and cared for will change your whole life. I personally believe that it is my Higher Power’s Will that we simply remember that. My dear friend Ruthann has a wonderful phrase, “I know in my knower.” Step 11 gracefully invites you to access the force, the flow, the rhythm… of love, forgiveness, abundance and peace.
Step 12: Carry these principles to others, live them in all aspects of your life.
One participant who has lived the 12 steps for decades shared that they’re about getting clear about what is important.
Another observed that the steps are about determining what serves you, what supports you in the creation of the life you want to have.
I think we can fail to wield the power we have over many aspects of our lives because our circumstances can give us the illusion that we are powerless. Don’t fall for it.