Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Living Authentically

Peter and Sarah are haunted by a secret. They live in an upscale neighborhood of houses with three-car garages. Entry halls with cathedral ceilings. Bathrooms as big as bedrooms used to be. There are tennis courts and soccer fields. Good schools.
But their secret is… they can’t afford to live there.
They moved in when times were good, and now times aren’t so good. “We were stretched from the beginning,” admits Sarah.
It’s not only their house. They feel as if they’re “expected” to participate socially in ways they can’t afford. Like the expensive summer camp where all their kids’ friends are going. In trying to keep up, they maxed their credit cards, and are making minimum payments. “The interest rate is killing us," says Sarah. But what else can we do?”
The obvious answer is to move. Move to a neighborhood they can afford. But that means facing a reality that Peter and Sarah aren’t yet prepared to do.
There is a heavy cost in trying desperately to “keep up with the Joneses.” It’s more than financial. Peter and Sarah aren’t living an authentic life. They’re pretending to be who they’re not.
Being real—with ourselves and with others---is the pathway to inner peace. It means acknowledging the truth about where you are financially. Never mind comparing or trying to keep up with anyone else.

Try this: A Prayer to be Real
I am living beyond my means.
And I am not at peace.
I want to live an authentic life
And not lean on outward show
But I’m scared,
Afraid that by myself I won’t be enough.
Help me face my fear.
Help me believe that I am enough.
When I embrace Reality,
I will find peace because
Reality is another name for God.
This comes from my new book, Grace on the Go: Prayers to Ease Money Worries