Thank You Nasty Pants
Valuable Money Lesson Learned from Snarky Comment
“When you (consciously or unconsciously) resent money or cling to your limiting beliefs about money or refuse to participate in making money, it does not serve you, it does not make you more noble, it does not help you or anyone else. What it does is put you on a hunger strike by cutting you off from that which you need not only to survive, but to thrive.”
– Jen Sincero, “You Are a Badass at Making Money”
Never a dull moment in the life of a writer 😊
It certainly seems as if the Universe loooooves sending juicy material my way…perhaps curious to see what I’ll DO with it!
Case in a point is an interesting incident that occurred a few weeks ago. It was just over-the-top enough to make me pause a moment and think, “Now that was odd…is there perhaps a lesson or two in this for me?”
But first, let me back up a bit…
A few months ago, I posted what I thought was a cute little ad about renting out my home for four months this coming fall, when my niece, Emily, and I will be traveling.
I posted the seemingly innocuous ad on Craig’s List as well as on my own social media. I also sent the ad to a few friends to share on their Facebook page…which they kindly did.
Unfortunately, shortly after one of my friends posted my cute little ad on her Facebook page, one of her followers posted a not-so-kind comment that went something to the effect of:
“THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD!!! $2500 PER MONTH?????? THIS GREEDY PERSON IS DISGRACEFUL! THERE ARE HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THIS PROVINCE!!! ENTIRE FAMILIES ARE HOMELESS!!!”
Apparently, the diatribe went on and on and on. I didn’t bother to read the rant myself…just hearing the gist of it from my (mortified and extremely apologetic friend whose Facebook page the comment appeared on) was enough, thank you very much.
And not only did I not read the comment myself, nor did I waste my precious time and energy posting a reply comment back. People with that much misdirected anger and hostility are probably not particularly open to hearing an alternative to their opinion.
However, although I didn’t comment publicly, I certainly thought a great deal about Nasty Pants’ snarky comment. In fact…The venomous tirade turned out to be a very valuable trigger that gave me the opportunity to take a good (albeit uncomfortable) look at one of my own deeply entrenched beliefs about money. Click To Tweet
Because after my anger had passed, these were a few of thoughts that came to the surface:
“Gee…maybe I am charging too much to rent out my home?”
“Gee…maybe I should let a family stay in my house for free?”
“Gee…maybe I am being greedy?”
And on and on it went – me feeling uncomfortable for wanting to rent out my home for fair market value – until voila! I finally unearthed the core belief, buried way down deep in my subconscious mind.
And what was this core belief?
That because I already receive a regular monthly income/pension due to the on-duty death of my police officer husband, I have no right to make any more money.
In other words, according to this wonky, dangerous & ridiculous – but true-to-me apparently – belief, I have already been given enough money in this lifetime and therefore it is indeed VERY GREEDY of me to try and make a little extra income by temporarily renting out my home…even though I could use it to help pay for my upcoming trip.
Is this belief ridiculous? YES! And my conscious mind knows it. Alas, it’s my subconscious mind driving the bus…and it is her job to make damn sure I adhere to this belief at all costs.
Because let me tell you, this particular belief about money has been very expensive to shelter all these years. No unexamined belief about money (or anything else for that matter) lives rent-free in our head. And some beliefs, I’ve learned the hard way, are far more expensive to hold on to than others…and not just financially.
So I dug a little deeper and asked myself: What emotion might be at the root of this belief?
The answer? GUILT.
Yup, you read correctly. On a very deep level, I did feel very guilty for receiving my dead husband’s pay cheque – for the rest of my life – for no other reason than because I was married to him when he died in the line of duty.
Again, this is ludicrous. I mean, it’s not like I personally had anything to do with bringing about his death! So why would I feel guilty about receiving the money that is legally entitled to me? That doesn’t make sense.
Alas, when it comes to emotions and the subconscious mind, logic has precious little to do with it.
Because rational or not, if our subconscious mind believes something as truth, we will do everything to ensure that belief is supported by our actions…even if consciously, we want to behave differently to bring about a different result.
As for the snarky comment on Facebook, I’m not exactly sure what Nasty Pants wanted me to do in lieu of renting out my home for fair market value. Let a homeless family live in my house for free? Was she renting out her home for free to a homeless family? I highly doubt it.
Nasty Pants is right on a few fronts: rental rates are through the roof, so are housing prices, so is homelessness. Affordable housing is a huge issue that absolutely must be addressed…fast.
Where Nasty Pants is NOT right is in publicly blaming and shaming an individual for an extremely complicated socioeconomic problem.
And yet…I am grateful she chose me to unleash her frustration on – because it gave me an opportunity to become aware of an underlying belief that was no longer serving me…or anyone for that matter.
Because here’s another little nugget of truth:
If I had made my own financial health a top priority for the past two decades – instead of feeling guilty about receiving my dead husband’s pay cheque and thereby giving away vast quantities of my precious time, money and energy – I would likely be in a far better position today to actually be able to help people with issues such as affordable housing.
I am wired to give. I have always been this way. And I will always be this way. I was this way long before my husband died, and I plan on being a generous giving person until the day I die.
But as kind, generous and virtuous as it is to help others out, financially and otherwise, to do so at the expense of our own health – financial and otherwise – is both ludicrous and irresponsible.We absolutely must take care of our own financial health first. Click To Tweet
As it turns out, Nasty Pants will be pleased to hear that I did end up renting my home for a significantly reduced rate to a young family who needed affordable short-term housing. But I didn’t make that decision out of guilt. I did it because it was prudent to rent to people who I know are going to take proper care of my home and garden…protect my real estate investment. Giving them a much-appreciated good deal feels nice, too…but only because I am in a financial position to do so.
Another time, however, I most certainly will charge renters the going rate in my community… astronomical as that amount may seem to some. But that will be MY decision to make, Nasty Pants…not yours.
In fact, the sooner we start judging each other less and supporting each other more, the faster we’ll be able to start solving the rapidly mounting myriad of issues facing us all.
How about you?
Might you have a deep-rooted, unexamined belief about money (or anything else, for that matter) that is no longer serving you? Might it be time to bring it to the surface…and give it the heave ho?
Related blogs by Maryanne
Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a co-founder of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive Maryanne’s blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.