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Yea, Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Debt . . .

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Doesn’t it seem like the whole world is going through a mid-life crisis?

My own personal mid-life crisis started five years ago. I quit my job as a nurse (with a comfortable 6-figure income), and just launched out into the wide wide world, wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up. The move was part genius, part retard . . .

I don’t recommend that you try this at home. It’s definitely not for sissies, which is why I really shouldn’t have done it that way. I tend to whine about minor headaches and hangnails, and use pain of any kind as an excuse to wine.

I fell flat on my face, forced to acknowledge what seemed like abject financial failure for the first time in my life. And I didn’t know how to separate my sense of self worth from my net worth, which sent me into a literal state of panic within the first year.

I felt like an outsider looking in. I watched the whole world in motion, people driving around in cars, watering their lawns, taking their kids to school . . . all of them looking so certain about their place in the world. I kept wondering, “How do people even have the energy to get out of bed, let alone do all this stuff? And why? What’s the point of it all?”

By the time I was having physical symptoms, (often feeling like I couldn’t breathe and major sciatica), I decided that regardless of my ability to ever make a dime again in my life, what I most needed was peace. I needed to find a way to experience personal peace before I knew how everything was going to work out. And that’s when things started to turn around.

With everything that’s happening in the world right now . . . the stock market, housing prices, the credit crisis, billion dollar bailouts, inflation, deflation, war . . . a lot of people are experiencing panic.

There’s a lot of fear out there, and I get it. I don’t think we’re supposed to pretend that we’re immune to fear, we just need to know how to walk through it, and do our best to restore and maintain a sense of personal peace. Nothing ‘out there,’ (not even the next presidential candidate or the guru’s at the Fed) can give us peace. It really doesn’t seem to work that way.

If I’m waiting for external conditions to line up a certain way before I’ll consent to feel safe or happy, then I’ll probably be waiting a very long time. Alternatively, I believe that as each person, one by one, finds an internal sense of peace and power, it will accidentally seep out into ‘the world.’

I don’t think that we can solve problems using the same mental processes that created them. We need to find a different perspective, some inspiration.

One of the things I do before I get out of bed in the morning is rehearse my own slightly customized version of the 23rd Psalms:

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’ sake.”

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of debt,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine economy;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My account runneth over.”

“Surely goodness and money shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”


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