I spent an amazing day – that I didn’t even know I needed – learning to Be Made Whole. That was the title of the Women’s Conference hosted by Living Streams Worship Center this weekend.
I was invited to speak and had every intention of delivering an information packed presentation on why we should pursue debt freedom. That’s not a stretch – as you can imagine. I love talking about it. Love interacting with people who know they can do better. Love encouraging others to figure out how to accomplish their debt free dreams.
But…I was in for a treat.
Dr. Brenda Jones is the service line director for women and children at Provena Mercy Medical Center. She spoke on a topic that I would not label “typical” for these types of conferences, but it probably should be. Trauma.
In seeking wholeness, a range of traumas that people experience present obstacles. Those traumatic experiences manifest in ways that impact a range of productive issues – including your ability to achieve financial stability.
There is also a very real spiritual component where past trauma can prevent you from moving forward due to guilt and/or shame. If we aren’t personally suffering, we likely know someone who is. She also advised us that often trauma victims don’t realize how significant the experience was. We can often focus on the manifestations of that trauma – the unproductive or risky behaviors – without understanding the underlying cause.
Obviously, mental health professionals would be best in these cases. However, in the absence of professional help, we can find ways to love that person in the meantime – even if all we can do right now is cover them with prayer. Her segment was so personal and spoke so directly to a very real dilemma in my own life.
Sherrie Flowers, the conference coordinator, spoke on a topic that is key in fixing your finances. Controlling your emotions. Debt can often be the result of unrestrained spending as we’re guided by feelings and not sound fiscal principles. She asked a question that I found insightful – “How many have done something to specifically improve their emotional health?”
One point made which definitely impacts your finances had to do with your environment. Toxic people can drain your emotional stability. You may need to audit your associations and distance yourself from those who won’t or can’t support growth and productivity in areas that are going to impact your future. One of those areas is definitely your finances.
Discipline was a word often repeated during this presentation. Working daily to not be ruled by emotions should be a goal. While we may fall short, success in this area is possible as we work to develop discipline.
The keynote speaker, Andria Hudson, had a challenging task. The conference began at 9am and she was up after lunch and a full day of sitting – around 3pm. However, this lady was up to the challenge. She encouraged the group to revise our definition of success. I like her suggestion.
Are you living with purpose? Doing what you’ve been called to do? Do you know what that is? She mentioned purpose is something you’ll do for free. That’s definitely one way to look at it.
Success should not be defined by the acquisition of material things or money alone. Those items offer temporary highs – that’s why we keep chasing the latest trend. A better definition of success has to do with understanding your purpose in this life and working diligently within that framework.
The American (or your particular country of origin) Dream looks very different to everyone. Being shackled with debt presents an obstacle to truly being available to explore your purpose and live that dream on your terms. As I asked the group during my presentation:
What would you do if you were not bound by debt?
Seeking to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy is a great compliment to pursuing debt free living so we can be made whole.
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