Making peace with personal debt

It seems that almost everyone today is burdened by debt. Many of us feel our personal debts — and our national debt — weighing heavily upon us.

Some people always seem to have issues with owing money. Others have been propelled into debt due to the economic crisis. Regardless of how you got there, debt often equals despair. Let’s take a look at some key ways to deal with owing money — and our fears and feelings about it — that are both practical and spiritual.

Know You Are Not Your Debt

Understand that you are not your debt. Your debt represents where you are financially, not who you are.

Forgive Yourself and Release the Past

If you have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with being in debt, work on forgiving yourself and releasing the past. The past is history and you can choose to do it differently.

Use Stress Management Tools

Debt can create a lot of stress in your life, so integrate stress management techniques into your daily life and nurture yourself by exercising, eating well and taking care of yourself. Continue to tend to your well-being — emotionally, physically, spiritually and, to the best of your ability, financially.

Understand Your Spending Patterns

Going forward, make a commitment to understanding your spending patterns so that you can form a new awareness around your shopping habits and impulses. Keep a small notebook to record both your daily purchases and your mood or emotions at the time of purchase. Notice if you tend to shop or buy impulsively for emotional reasons.

Make a Payback Plan

Make a Spending Plan that includes both saving and debt repayment to the best of your financial ability. Even little efforts will make a difference and will increase your self-esteem.

Reach Out to a Debt Counselor

If your debt load is overwhelming and preventing you from sleeping or living a normal life, it is important to seek the help of a certified debt or credit counselor. Remember, you deserve help and support, so reach out for assistance.

Know When to Seek Emotional Counseling

If you are feeling deeply depressed, isolated, emotionally paralyzed or unable to cope with your financial circumstances, seek the help of a therapist or social worker.

Seek the Advice of an Attorney If Needed

If you know deep down that you cannot afford to pay your debts and it’s hurting your health, or life, seek the advice of an attorney and consider bankruptcy as an option. Ultimately, bankruptcy is about financial forgiveness and giving people a second chance, which everyone deserves. Know that your life, health and family are far more important than any debts you may owe.

Practice Gratitude

Practice gratitude everyday for this one beautiful life you have been given. If you just do the best you can, each day, to make the most of what you’ve been given, things will work out.


Pray for Debt Solutions and Peace

Pray and/or meditate daily to maintain your spiritual and financial well-being. Here’s a prayer for making peace with debt:

Dear God,
Please help me to heal my relationship with money and to be released from the bondage of debt. Help me to know that I am not my debt or my financial circumstances. Help me to know that regardless of my circumstances that my life has meaning and value. Help me to be kind to myself and to use my indebtedness as an opportunity to heal and to be closer to your infinite wisdom.

Give me strength, courage and wisdom and guide me to right action. Please surround my life with your constant love, light and protection so that I may know that I am never alone. Thank you for all you have given me and continue to give me. For this and so much more, my life is blessed and I am eternally grateful. I surrender all to you with faith and trust that all will be resolved in time. And so it is. Amen.

Financial crisis blogger Deborah Price is devoted to offering hope and support during these difficult times. Visit her blog, Your Daily Spiritual Stimulus.

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