You can imagine the elation of the nearly 400 students, some of whom labored under a debt of nearly $100,000 before they even graduated. Smith’s generosity provides a rare but potent example that there are ways we can get out of debt that transcend the burdensome belief that debt will weigh us down for the rest of our lives. While many good financial advice classes teach how to lighten or eliminate debt by manipulating our finances, I would like to highlight how you can get out of debt by manipulating your mind. Let’s look at the spiritual or psychological reasons we stay in debt, so we can learn how to get out.
Every situation that occurs in the outer world is a reflection or expression of something going on in the inner world. Holding significant financial debt is a sign that we are holding a deep sense of owingness. On some level we believe that we have done something to tip the scales of karma against us, and now there is a person or institution out there to whom we are beholden. Owing a person or bank puts us in an inferior, vulnerable position. If we don’t hustle to keep the creditor paid, they can take away our car, home, money, or other possessions. It’s a terrible feeling that someone else has power over us, and can remove our good.
The truth is that no one has power over you. If you know who you are and what you are worth, no one can remove your good. Feeling indebted is a golden opportunity to recognize that we each have power over our life and claim our inherent deservingness to have good things without being beholden to some external authority.
As a spiritual being created in the image of an infinitely wealthy Higher Power, you are totally solvent at all times. All sense of owingness is an invention of the fearful, limited mind. The first step to erase debt is to affirm confidently, “God doesn’t owe and neither do I.” When you realize that debt is unnatural and solvency is your natural state, you will have achieved the first upgrade of your consciousness and begin your path to financial solvency.
Another way to break the debt cycle is to thank and bless your creditors. The lender helped you get something you value. Thanks to their investment in you, you now have a car, home, business, or vacation. They believed in you and found you worthy to steward their money. So instead of cursing or complaining when you write your check to the mortgage company, appreciate the nice house you are living in as a result of their confidence in you.
You can also play a prosperity game (suggested by Abraham-Hicks). Take a blank checkbook and make an imaginary deposit of $1000. Then write imaginary checks for specific activities that would bring you joy. Take that weekend jaunt, sign up for the seminar, or buy the art supplies you have been dreaming about. On day 2, deposit $2000 and write some more checks for things you would really enjoy. On day 3 deposit $4,000 and up the ante on pleasurable activities. Double your deposit every day for a month and keep stretching to spend vaster amounts of money. You can help people you love, donate to your favorite charities, and transform spending money into a fun adventure. By the end of the month you will have shifted your mind from a lack and owing mentality to one of generosity and overflow.
Consider, also, that debt is just a numbers game. Lots of people and companies have debt on paper, but they are prospering. Some airlines owe many millions of dollars for their aircraft, but meanwhile they are earning lots of money. Other people have debt but they don’t think much about it. They just live their lives happily, enjoying all the good things they have, like beloved family, friends, and nature. They pay their bills as much as they can, but they do not think of themselves as a debtor with a problem. Just because you owe money, do not assume the identity of a debtor. You are always spiritually solvent.
Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at its root.” You can try all kinds of financial manipulations to get out of debt, but the real change will come only when you shift your image of who you are and what you deserve. You are a solvent spiritual being who deserves all the best that life has to offer. At the highest level, the one that counts, all of your accounts are already paid off.