April 27: Financial Stress, and the Courage To Change Our Attitudes About Money (Using the Twelve Tools and Twelve Steps of Debtors Anonymous)

Thought for today:

The stress of being a compulsive debtor is bound to take its toll.  Living close to the edge leaves our nerves shot.   After years of declining incomes, under earning and over spending, we can  feel worn down.

We didn’t get this bad overnight, and we won’t get better overnight.  But change will come if we follow throughout with what the program tells us next.

A member shares:

“When I first came to DA, I was in a panic mode.  I couldn’t keep u p with credit card debt.  Creditors were calling me on the phone ’round the clock, and I had no idea how to deal with them.

“I was late on all my utility bills, my taxes were overdue.  I really couldn’t tell you how much debt I was in, or what I was spending the little money I had on.

“The worst part was that I felt isolated in my ignorance, with no one to talk to about it.  I had so much shame about my debts.  It was my deepest secret.

“I found answers in the fellowship of Debtors Anonymous.  They walked me through the program of recovery, and I am financially solvent today.”

Using the Steps and Tools will help turn it around:

With a little courage, we can admit in Step One, that we are “powerless over debt and that our lives had become unmanageable”.   Accepting that we have no inner resources to deal with the debt problem on our own is actually a good thing, because it is in this type of surrender that Step Two works best, where we find hope that  a “power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”.  

The fellowship of Debtors Anonymous can help us develop a relationship with a Higher Power that will help us change our attitudes about money.  Regardless of our history with religion (or lack thereof), in Step Three, we can surrender to the idea that we have some work to do, and to our Higher Power.

While taking these first Steps in changing our attitudes, we can also use the beginning Tools to get clarity about our relationship to money:

  • We make meetings (Tool One) so that we can identify with others in the program.
  • We perform record maintenance (Tool Two), tracking our spending and income to the penny to help us avoid vagueness about our finances.
  • We ask someone in the group to help sponsor us in the program (Tool Three).
  • Once we have a month of numbers we schedule a Pressure Relief Meeting (Tool Four) with two others in the fellowship,.  During that meeting, we share our spending history and develop a Spending Plan (Tool Five) and an Action Plan (Tool Six).

As we move through the remaining Tools and Steps, we are often amazed at how quickly these simple disciplines can turn our attitudes and our financial situations around.  Optimism returns when we use the Tools and Steps to turn financial stress into courage.

Have I surrendered all the attitudes that kept me in debt?

Meditation for today:

Happiness comes when you allow yourself to relax and know your Higher Power is near.  You are not the center of the universe, although you may feel otherwise.  You have a purpose but it is not to dictate everyone’s actions.

Your purpose is to become the best version of yourself you can be.  In this way, your Higher Power can shine through to others who need help.

Affirmation for today:

“Everything I experience today is part of my Higher Power’s plan to uncover the perfect me.”

Prayer for today:

“I pray that my attitude  becomes more hopeful, and that I discover more serenity.”

Follow Through:

A Currency of Hope is a publication of Debtors Anonymous.   It describes the basics of the DA recovery program and includes 38 success stories of DA members. It offers experience, strength, and hope to help other compulsive debtors and all those who want to stop incurring unsecured debt, such as credit cards, unsecured loans, personal loans, unpaid taxes, and more.

(Some links on this page will bring you to the official website of Debtors Anonymous.  Other links bring you to Amazon. If you decide to buy something, Amazon will give us a small commission. This helps us defray the costs of running this website and does not add to your cost.)