I made a huge mistake when I heard we were getting another stimulus check this spring.
I started spending the money before I had it.
I went on the IRS website and figured out how much I would get, and then I sat down and planned out what I was going to do with it.
It was exciting to think I could pay my big tax bill and still have some money left over for something fun -- like a friend’s destination wedding in December.
I got a little loosey-goosey with the money I had set aside for the tax payment, because I knew that stimulus check was coming.
I RSVP’ed “YES!” to the wedding, because I knew that stimulus check was coming.
I told Bill I was going to buy myself a new grill, because I knew that stimulus check was coming.
I even promised my daughter I would buy her plane ticket for a summer trip with her friends, because I was so sure that stimulus check was coming.
I had a little nudge from my intuition that was like, “Girl, you better slow down and wait until the money actually comes!” but I was like, “Shut your face, Intuition! The last two payments were direct-deposited into my account as soon as they started distributing the money! Why would this one be any different?!”
So, I’m sure you can guess what happened: the stimulus check didn’t come.
At first I was like, “That’s cool. I’m sure it’s just taking a little longer this time.”
But then other people in my house received theirs. Everyone I know received theirs. I read every word I could find on the internet about the third payment, and I definitely should have received it already.
I emailed my accountant. He confirmed that we qualified for it and should have received it by now.
What should have been an exciting time of anticipation went south really fast. I had committed that money already! I needed it!
I was desperate for it.
And then, as the panic started creeping in, I checked the IRS website again and it said very clearly that the amount of my third payment would be $0.
As in, no money at all.
The IRS website reminds you like 100 times NOT to call if you have any problems with your payment. I felt so powerless and frustrated and helpless.
And I’ll be honest with you: I completely fell apart.
I ugly cried for quite a while, and then I got really super pissed off.
It would have been easy to say I was mad at the IRS or the stupid website, but I was actually mad at myself.
I know better than to let myself get desperate. I know that, on some level, I had created this situation, because instead of welcoming the money with gratitude and excitement, I had demanded it with fear and desperation.
Instead of allowing it to enhance my already wonderful life, I NEEDED it to be happy.
And I think this is where a lot of people get stuck -- it’s super hard to dream and aspire and set goals without falling into the trap of thinking you can’t be happy until you GET the thing.
Whether it’s health, money, a new job, or that perfect partner you dream of every night -- you gotta be happy without it, and be comfortable with the possibility of not getting it.
That inherent joy and peace with yourself and your life as it is now is what attracts even better things to you. Positive energy attracts positive things.
The work is in being grateful and excited about what you already have, not getting really stressed and working hard to get the things you think will make you happy.
So, when I found out I was getting $0 -- for whatever reason -- I had no choice but to just let the whole thing go.
I took a deep breath and literally threw up my arms and said, “I guess we’re not getting a stimulus check. We’ll have to live without it.”
To my surprise, I was relieved.
No more running around trying to figure out where it was. No more asking my husband a million times if he’d checked the mail today. No more fretting and worrying.
I had given up, and peace returned.
I started figuring out how I was going to pay the tax bill with money from our savings, I told my friend I wasn’t going to be able to make it to her wedding, and I gently reminded myself I could live without a new grill this summer.
And then I went and grabbed the mail that had just arrived, and the check was there.
I released the NEED for it, and it came to me. Immediately.
Is there anything in your life that you’re desperate for? What are you grasping and scrabbling for rather than lovingly inviting with your peaceful heart?
Can you let it go? Can you find a way to be peaceful without it? Can you let it just be an optimistic thought rather than a requirement for your happiness?
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