Companies are closing, pension accounts are being drained, unemployment is going up, folks are losing their homes and the bankruptcy rate is escalating. Many feel as if they’re walking through scary times as they watch their piggy banks sink.
It all sounds like a train wreck in another state- something tragic but also distant While we’re empathetic, the impact is lessened because it doesn’t affect us personally. Until it does. Then, very suddenly, things shift and it becomes very real, very fast.
Just this past week I’ve had some personal issues with some real estate investments that are now upside down. Additionally, several of my best friends are facing financial crisis in their lives. Due to the bank cutting off their lines of credit, one has already lost his business, while another is trying to creatively save his business, home and family from bankruptcy. Suddenly this financial crisis we’ve been hearing about for the last year has gotten very up close and personal.
The odd thing for me is that these are some of my “well to do” friends- people that I thought were untouchable. They play a bigger game then I do. One friend has a manufacturing company and has millions of dollars of guaranteed orders to fill, but doesn’t have the several hundred thousand to purchase the materials to complete the order, due to the tightening of credit.
My friends and I have asked ourselves why this is happening. What’s the lesson here to be learned? As one friend said, “I know this builds character, but don’t I have enough of that already?” It’s frustrating when you do the best you know how and yet “bad stuff” still happens.
I don’t think this is about building character, or things that we did wrong, or errors on our part. I don’t think it’s about good people being rewarded and bad people being punished. This is such a global problem that it is bound to affect most of us in one way or another, and at this point we all know someone who has been affected by the economic downturn.
I believe it’s all part of a much greater picture and we’re only seeing one piece of the puzzle. Although it’s easy to judge this now as “bad”, we can’t yet know what blessings will come from these difficult times. More millionaires came from the depression (per capita) than from any other time period.
Instead of focusing on the losses and lamenting over the would haves and should haves, let’s move forward, set our intentions and goals for what we desire and move in that direction. And, let’s do that in spite of what’s showing up around us. That’s the fun part- not getting sucked into the drama of life.
If I only have so much energy in the day, I choose to spend it on things that matter! This downturn has certainly made it easier for us to prioritize what matters and what doesn’t. We spend so much of our time trying to “get ahead” and acquire stuff, but when it comes down to it- stuff doesn’t matter. People do. Experiences do. Things like our health, well-being and love- they matter. A new car suddenly isn’t important.
We just have to believe that abundance is still there for us- even if we can’t see it today. Just like the sun is still there on a cloudy day even if you can’t see it, abundance is still there for you when the road looks scary. Keep on walking. Keep focusing on the big picture and not on the dark colored pieces. With faith, perseverance and the love and support of good friends, we can get through even the most difficult times.