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  • Writer's picturethianecarter

Bearing the Weight of the Ancestors

I'm blessed with the opportunity to speak with and learn from different people about their personal finances. As time goes on, I am beginning to understand that some of you are really putting the weight of your ancestors on your shoulders.

You’ve got student loans, or credit card debt or you’ve just made BAD decisions related to money and you think it’s all on you to fix it for you AND for the next generation. That’s a lot. And while bad money decisions have never been my story, I’ve made some realllllllllly bad life decisions, and I know what it feels like. I can’t imagine what it’s like to not forgive yourself. I can’t imagine what it’s like to feel like you have to wear those decisions every day of your life and not feel like you can get out of them.

I think I’m just the opposite - I forgive myself instantly. Like the moment I make a terrible decision (and I have so many to choose from), I also make the decision to accept the consequences and learn the lesson. At some point, I realized it hurt too much to keep punishing myself for those decisions - life was going to do that for me. I released the urge to beat myself up and chose instead to focus on making better decisions moving forward.

I’m sharing this with you guys because I really need you to stop punishing yourselves for what you didn’t know, what you could have done better, what you didn’t have. I get it - somehow you think you’re the hope and the dream of the slave and it’s all on you to make it happen…it’s not. You know more than the ancestors knew, you have more than they had, but you’re going to make mistakes. Repeatedly. The trick is not to repeat the same ones. The thing about money is - it’s just math. And not even complicated math. If you spend less than you make and invest the difference, it multiplies. But you’ve got to get over your feelings. The feeling that you have to make all of the right choices, the feeling that your past is holding you back. You’re not being held back by the money - we can make that happen. You’re being held back by the pressure you’re placing on yourself…use that energy to make better plans, make better decisions, make better choices. Don’t worry about the generation before you (or the one after you, for that matter). Take this one step at a time, build one block at a time and be intentional. I promise the next generation will thank you for it.

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