Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness


The reason that it’s necessary for me to talk so much about how bad things had gotten for me financially and career-wise before moving on too fast with fixing it all is that I had to concede to my innermost self that I was an underearner, that my ass was kicked, my dick was in the dirt, and that there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to recover on my own. I know from lots of experience that this is absolutely crucial if there is to be real recovery. And, as I’ve said many times, although a lot of shitty things happened to me along the way, my problems are of my own making and it’ll be up to me to move forward in a positive way.

I had so many prejudices against the religion of my youth and organized religion in general; only desperation could take me back to being willing to consider such things. Furthermore, recovery from alcoholism alone (together with the admonition to “practice these principles in all [my] affairs”) simply wasn’t cutting it with regard to my underearning issues. My “newfound” spiritual beliefs to include principles of Religious Science and the practice of Native American Ceremony still has not lifted me out of poverty and the compulsion to not do anything to earn or move toward my vision. I am at a place of surrender.

Ways I was/am insane with regard to this issue: I’ve given $10,000 to charity since I’ve made a single student loan payment. I’ve pretended that if I sat around imagining exactly what I’d like my financial life to look like while doing absolutely nothing practical to move it in that direction, that all of it would magically appear. I’ve spent hours and thousands of dollars and emotional energy on self-medicating through sex while actively avoiding ways of making money or moving my career forward. I’m even reticent to talk about the piece of underearning as a phenomenon that has to do with actually doing the “thing” that underearning is the antithesis of which is, of course, earning! I have an irrational fear of taking some crucial steps and this fear can only be relieved by my seeking help with it. I understand how ridiculous that sounds to some of you. I realize that to others among you, it makes perfect sense. This I know from being a recovering alcoholic of so many years. It is virtually impossible to explain to a non-alcoholic why and how exactly it is that an alcoholic just can’t “control his/her drinking or simply stop if it’s a problem. They just can’t be made to understand. Similarly, people who don’t have the underearning “disease,” (even some of them recovering alcoholics themselves) just can’t be made to understand the underlying psychological phenomenon in back of the symptoms that make up “underearning.” That’s okay. I don’t need anyone else to “get it.” I understand it and for the first time in my life maybe I have real hope that I can get past the things that have held me back for years.


Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness: I think that the thing that has kept me most often from honesty with regard to career and earning issues when I have chosen (even unconsciously)instead to be dishonest is the fear of embarrassment. Isn’t that silly? I’m always super-concerned, even fearful of other people’s judgment. I’ve lied to cover up my underearning behavior so much it’s become natural to do so. To be open-minded with regard to changing whatever needs to be changed in me is essential. I’m seeking lots of help, investing time and energy into my recovery in this area and things are changing (for the better) pretty quickly. Of course, as is usually the case when we try to better ourselves, first, there was a lot of disruption. I’m open to wise counsel from my trusted friends and am seeking wisdom from others who have recovered in this area– and as soon as I started seeking such people out, they appeared by the scores! I have, in the last forty some-odd days, been blessed to reap the wisdom of many other people (several of whom also have double digit years of sobriety like me) who were once exactly where I am but now are functioning very well in the career of their choice and making more than enough money to support themselves including self-care and entertainment. I want what they have and am willing to go to any length to get it. I would say that I have been willing to recover in this way for a great long while but I believe that if that were true, I would have already recovered on my own. The truth is, (ugh, hard to admit) that if I was truly willing to do what it takes to move out of where I’ve been for years and into where I’d like to be (with regard to issues of career and earning) I would have already done it. Does that make sense? I can say I’m willing but actions speak so much louder than words. At this point I’m just praying for greater willingness. In essence I am praying to be willing to be willing.

When I first got sober from alcohol, it was pretty easy for me to grasp the (new to me) concept that I was sick with a disease (alcoholism) and that alcoholics are sick people trying to get better and not bad people trying to get better. But when it comes to the phenomenon of underearning (which I am learning has its roots in a psychological malady) I had a hard time grasping a similar concept. To me, I was broke because I was bad– because I wasn’t “doing it right” or– and here’s the biggie– because I was just too goddamn lazy to get a job. Some of you have thought this too (about me I mean) am I not right? The thing is, I have “just gotten a job.” I’ve gotten many jobs. If you’ve been with the blog from the beginning, you’ve heard the story of many of the jobs I had. I’ve had many (what I’ve now learned to call)”underearning jobs.” I’m not doing that anymore. I’m never going to be a hooker again– and I consider myself to have been a hooker in a lot of the jobs other than when I was an actual prostitute. To me, any job in which you sell yourself (your soul) for a buck– well, that’s the “world’s oldest profession.” That doesn’t mean I’ll never take another job “just to make money” as I move towards my goals and dreams but it is my intention not to let any of those jobs be of the soul-and-energy-sucking variety like the ones in my past.

The tentative plan is still to return to New York as quickly as possible but some other possibilities have presented themselves just in the last few days. I am remaining open to possibilities and seeing what The Universe presents as my options. I’m going to hold off on sharing with you about them until things are more definite but just suffice it to say that went I stepped foot on this journey with you, even I didn’t know what big changes were about to happen for me and where this path would take me. I trust the process though and I’m not giving up. I’m actually feeling about as hopeful as I’ve felt since September 1. Good things are on the horizon. I just know it.

See y’all tomorrow.

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