My trip to Michigan was depressing. It usually is. I was able to see almost all of my friends and family though, and it was great to spend some time with them, to be a part of their lives. I miss that so much.
However, so many of those people I love are struggling in one way or another. Most people are struggling financially — jobs are hard to come by and good jobs are all but nonexistent. At the same time, the restaurant where my mom works, which my best friend’s family owns, is struggling to find decent employees. I only saw one person who seemed truly happy and excited about her life.
I’m working to rewrite my core story and my trip home reminded me how I came by the beliefs I’m trying to change. Here are some of the things I saw while I was there:
- Financial insecurity is normal. Real prosperity is an unrealistic goal.
- Work is something we all have to suffer through; no one enjoys their job, but we have to have money.
- There is always too much to do, so something must be sacrificed. Usually it will be the sacrifice of a dream or a goal to reality.
- You can’t count on anyone to help you. Even if someone wants to help, they’re probably struggling too so how can they offer you anything?
- It’s always best to be cautious. Things could turn for the worst at any moment, so be prepared.
Everything there is treated as a zero-sum game. People who are successful are regarded with resentment and suspicion — obviously they couldn’t have achieved that success without taking something from someone else. People are reluctant to help others unless they can see a direct pay off. Fear is always, always present and drives most decisions. Everyone suffers from a poverty mentality and that is the part of my core story that I am trying to change.
Prosperity, not poverty.
Faith, not fear.
Abundance, not absence.
I can do this.