“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.” —Maya Angelou
Is love in the air for YOU during this month of hearts and roses and chocolates and valentines?
Well, it should be.
You know, one of the things I like to remind my clients is this: WatersEdge Wealth Management is here for YOU. We are working with and for YOU. We are helping YOU.
And you choosing to believe in that statement and choosing to engage in the kind of deep work we do together around wealth and wellbeing?
That is a clear statement of the LOVE you feel for yourself. So, congratulations if you’re engaging with us. You are paying attention to YOU and you are showing love for YOURSELF. That’s incredible and you deserve to be recognized for it.
Love is hard for a lot of us, I think. Maybe we don’t feel like we truly deserve it. Maybe we don’t feel like we are worthy of something so grand, so important, so VITAL. Perhaps we feel as though we have to work way too hard to get even a tiny smidgen of it from any external sources.
And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe, rather than looking for love externally, it’s time to shift the focus on the love we feel for ourselves internally. And one way you can start to express the love you feel for yourself is to actively engage in developing a healthy relationship with your financial wealth.
Now, I’m a woman. A lot of my clients are women. My office is run by women. And, of course, this isn’t an issue that’s exclusive to women. It’s a human concern and I suspect we’ve ALL struggled with the idea of loving ourselves deeply and wholly.
Since many of our female clients are the ones who are expressing this struggle to us at WatersEdge Wealth Management, though, I feel like women might perhaps be the ones who would benefit from thinking a little differently about love and its place in our lives – and how spending time and energy on your financial wellbeing can be an incredible act of love.
So, let’s take a couple of client case studies as examples.
First, I have one client who is 41 years old. She has always struggled with her physical appearance – her weight, her style, her face, etc. Most women, I suspect, understand this feeling. She, at 41, is not “enough” – that’s the word she uses when she talks about how she feels about herself. She isn’t “good enough” to make “enough,” she isn’t “smart enough” to be “worth enough” to an organization. She doesn’t exercise “enough,” she doesn’t clean “enough,” she isn’t loving “enough” to her partner, etc.
Do any of these feelings resonate with you?
She made a change when she was 41 years old because she decided then that it was time to start redefining the word “enough.” And while she is still working on certain aspects of that definition, she took a leap and started spending time with a financial advisor who understood the kinds of questions to ask in order to effect the kind of change she wanted to see.
Next, let’s take my 54-year old client. She is successful – an executive of a mid-size organization with a very healthy salary, an annual bonus, and stock options. She’s respected at work, she enjoys the challenges of her job, and, in her career, she feels pretty satisfied – and pretty competent, too.
Does she feel like she’s “enough” at work? She wasn’t sure how to answer that question when I asked – but she used the words “satisfied” and “confident” when we were talking about her career.
My client also happens to be recently divorced. She had to move to a new house – her first time living alone in 30 years – and she has one child who is in college and another who is just about to turn 18 and leave the house. Clearly, she’s dealing with some stressful things at the moment.
When I asked if she feels like she’s “enough” when it comes to her personal life, she very quickly said: “Not at all. In fact, it feels like I am nothing – like nothing I’ve done for the past 30 years is enough in my personal life. And now I don’t know what to do next.”
Her relationship with money is solid – she’s smart and has been engaged with our work together over the years and so she feels satisfied with how she’s dealing with her money.
However, as we looked at her account balances during our last meeting, she asked me an interesting question – one she hasn’t asked me before. “What do you think,” she said, “Will I have enough?”
Now, here we have two different clients with two different stories and two different sets of circumstances – not to mention two completely different financial pictures.
And yet, they’re both struggling with the same things – they’re struggling with feeling like they’re “enough.” Why?
Here’s what I think: if you believe YOU aren’t enough (whatever that means to you), then how in the world are you ever going to believe you have “enough” wealth?
In my experience it’s hard to separate these two things since (again, in my experience), wealth is such a personal thing. For a lot of us, our connection to finances is incredibly intimate, very personal, and, often, challenging to address honestly.
This human perception of “not enough” permeates EVERYTHING…even when there is actually enough (or more than enough), if we perceive there isn’t enough…well, there just isn’t enough. (It’s a circular conversation, I know – but I think you get the point. It’s related, all of it!)
Listen, not loving yourself “enough” – and that means not treating yourself with kindness, respect, and patience, not to mention not giving yourself the time to grow, develop, and learn, isn’t something that just happens when you’re 18. Or 21. Or 32 or 41 or 54 or 65 or 72 or 89…it’s something we ALL struggle with ALL the time. This can be a life-long struggle.
Let’s go back to my two clients. Together, we made some decisions and we had some conversations and through the discussions, their relationships with wealth – and wellbeing – are transforming.
What an incredible act of love these two women have committed – giving themselves a place and a space to develop and grow in their individual and unique relationships with wealth.
Here’s what I want you to keep in mind – the takeaway: whether or not you received flowers earlier this month in honor of Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or partnered, whether you’re married or divorced, have children or do not, widowed or happily independent, and whether or not you feel like you’re “enough,” please know that you deserve to love your relationship with your wealth.
WatersEdge Wealth Management is here to help you develop that relationship so that the next time you ask yourself (or your financial advisor) “Will I have enough?” you’ll be able to answer, confidently, “I will. And I AM.”