Step Three:  I am precious, unique and authentic.precious unique authentic

No material object, however beautiful or valuable, can make us feel loved, because our deeper identity and true character lie in the subjective nature of the mind.  ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Several years ago my mother went to Tanzania with her church on a mission trip committed to providing glasses for a tribe of people who lived in the bush.  She was struck by their general attitude of happiness, appreciation, and their eagerness to share.  If one member of the tribe had a successful hunt, they brought the meat back to the group and they all feasted.  Time and time again, they expressed their gratitude for life in general and the gift of sight that the mission group had brought them.  They did not need closets in their mud huts because they wore all the clothes they owned.  Obviously, they had little compared to the average person in the USA, but they apparently lived a life for which they felt blessed.

It is not the size of our bank accounts or the amount of time we have to do the things that we want to do that determine how truly prosperous we are.  Rather it is how I feel about myself and my life that determine how prosperous I feel.  Individuals in the poorest tribes in Africa report feeling much more blessed and happy than top CEOs working at major corporations in the USA.  Individuals in the US, where we are blessed with abundance beyond our ability to appreciate, have a hard time understanding how people who are struggling to eek out an existence can feel happier than individuals who live in multimillion dollar estates.  The underlying issue is attitude.

Perhaps those individuals living in poverty see life as a gift and themselves as the receivers of this marvelous present.  Those of us who have struggled with happiness, may believe that the size of our bank account or the worth of our estate determines our happiness.  Maybe we have lost sight of ourselves.  If happiness has become that carrot of having enough money, enough fame, enough stuff, then we will never find happiness.  Because it is out there – beyond our ability to ever truly reach.  Whereas the individual who is content, no matter what their financial status, may realize that true happiness is only found from being content with who you are – a mindset that is obtainable by anyone BUT ONLY if they/we are willing to look within.

It is too easy to make money an external measure of success, which I know is unfounded.  I pray for the wisdom to see the wealth in my life and recognize how truly blessed I am.  I have all the time and money I need.  My true blessing is the gift of accepting this.  Neither money and/or time make me truly wealthy.  It is my belief about these elusive properties that determine whether or not I am truly prosperous.  If I saw time and money as strictly tools that serve me, I would keep both in perspective.  Knowing I have enough enables me to be content and happy.

We come to our understanding of God, our sense of the sacred, through the stories of our lives.  As you grapple with the raw materials of your days, be a theologian.  ~Krista Tippett

How do your innate abilities factor into your options for change in how you experience money?  Based on your strengths, what can you do that will result in a positive shift in how you currently experience money?

The pages of your life belong to you.  Write a story that makes you happy and proud.  And someday, somewhere, a wonderful little girl will read it and say, “I want to be just like her.”  ~Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan